Monday, January 16, 2023

A Man after God's Own Heart: David's Early Life as a Shepherd

We’re going to examine the life of the one of the great historical figures, a man named David. If there’s one person I want to mimic in my devotion to Christ it’s David. He is the prime example from the Old Testament of a godly man, a man the Bible says, was a man after God’s own heart.

There are many ways to examine scripture, we can look at it from a historical perspective, from a devotional approach, but for this series we want to look directly at the character of David himself, and how he responded to the story God had playing out for Him. And it wasn’t an easy journey for David. He had a hard life.

David starts off as the youngest of many brothers. Probably often forgotten. Often

1st Samuel 16: 11-13 And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is shepherding the flock.”

Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy with beautiful eyes and a good appearance.

And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord came on David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”

David was anointed as the king of Israel as a young man, and that would define his life for many years. He was a young king in exile. Because technically Saul was still king. But Saul had displeased God. And so God would slowly work in David’s life to bring him to the seat of the throne. Which is our first point today, God may appoint you to something before you’re actually there. It’s in your future, but God has already declared it over you. Now you’ve got to wait until it comes to pass in the real world, and that takes time, and patience. One of the core aspects of David’s character was patience, an ability to wait well.

Does that define you as well? Are you good at waiting?

Notice in verse 13, as soon as Samuel anointed David, it says the Spirit of the Lord came upon David, and stayed with him from that day on.

Next it says in 1st Samuel 16, “4 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord terrified him.

15 So the servants of Saul said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God troubles you. 16 Let our lord now tell your servants, who are before you, that they might seek out a man experienced in playing the lyre. And it will come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he will play with his hand, and you will be well.”

17 Saul said to his servants, “Find me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.”

18 Then one from the servants answered, and said, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is experienced in playing music, a mighty man of valor, a man of battle, and skillful in words, even a man of fine appearance. And the Lord is with him.”

19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”

Second point, God is the one who will bring about turns and twists in events to get you where you need to be. Don’t try to force it on your own, or figure out how it will happen.

Does it say that David incessantly worried about what events he needed to try to make happen so he would end up on the throne of Israel? No. Because David knew God would make it happen. And sure enough, David played the harp. And God made sure the right person noticed him playing the harp, who was an advisor to King Saul, and just like that, David ended up face to face with the King of the country.

That’s point number two, you need to trust God to make it happen even if it seems impossible. Faith. That’s trust and faith. And also linked to patience. Trust God to orchestrate events to make things work out the way they should, not necessarily the way you want them, but the way they should.

In verses 21-23 “David came to Saul, and stood before him. And Saul loved him greatly and he became his armor bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.”

23 It happened that when the evil spirit from God came on Saul, David would take the lyre in his hand and play. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”

Thirdly, not only does God arrange for Saul and David to meet like this, but God arranges Sauls response to David to be very positive, where he senses God’s spirit with Him, and David is then hired on as an the armor bearer for King Saul. He now has direct access to the throne room, he’s in with the king’s court, he’s favored by the king, and God has him on His way toward his destiny. All of it orchestrated by God.

David did the foot work, he went when he was called, played his instrument, followed God, and the Spirit of the Lord abided in Him. He let God be in control, and simply walked the path, as God set things up in His favor.

Patience. He waited many years, I’m sure knowing in his heart he was meant for something more. And God brought it to pass, and yet at soon as he was anointed another season of waiting began. Patience.

Secondly, faith, David didn’t try to manipulate or control events, he let God be God. He had trust, that God would bring it to pass. He simply trusted and waited, and God orchestrated events to bring him in.

Thirdly favor, God made sure as David walked in faith, that he would find special favor with Saul, and Saul would hire him on.

Patience, Faith, and Favor. Just like David we want to live with those sort of characteristics, which are ours in Christ jesus our savior. He brings them out in us. Which is amazing. Let’s walk in that way today. God bless you.