Lord, I listen for Your still, small voice, comforting, guiding, calling. Speak, Lord, I am waiting and listening.
Read 1 SAMUEL 16:1-23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them” (Daniel 2:20,21).
God’s choice of David is the theological crux of 1 Samuel. It goes against the expectation that the eldest son (of Saul as well as of Jesse) would later be king. It emphasizes that having a heart beating with God’s heart is more important than lineage, birth order, appearance or perfection, although the Creator apparently enjoys good physical specimens of his creation! The relationship with God is what is most important. David must have wondered what it all meant, especially as, while experiencing God’s hand on himself, he witnesses Saul suffering the opposite.
There is no public recognition yet that Saul will be replaced but, in the meantime, he becomes increasingly dependent on David. It is an irony that he himself brought David to the seat of power by his own actions. Even David becoming the Goliath-slaying hero is a result of Saul’s deterioration. Saul was chosen to protect his people from the Philistines; earlier in his life he would have been the man in the breach against the giant, perhaps even responding to the challenge to single combat (1 Sam. 17:8,9), but he has lost both God’s favor and his own confidence and does not have the insight to perceive that his mental state is a consequence of his attitudes and actions. Only Samuel can see that the scene is being set for the royal transition.
What did David’s brothers make of this anointing? The eldest, Eliab, has only contempt for his little brother, who was assigned shepherd duties (1 Sam. 17:28). Later when their positions are changed, he may be the Elihu whom David appointed ruler of Judah (1 Chron. 27:18). Another reversal! But for now it is perhaps just as well the meaning is hidden, or David may have suffered a fate like Joseph at the hands of jealous siblings. It is enough, for now, to be in Saul’s sights.
As you look back on the last year or so, what changes can you see God bringing into your life? How are you handling them? What are you learning from them?
Mighty God, I’m in constant need of Your renewing activity in my life. I do not want to be cast aside because I have lost my heart for You.
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