Among the preparations we thought about last week in David’s life, one was his ability with the harp. (See David’s Preparations)
Even though David was anointed to be the next king, Saul still sat on the throne. However, things weren’t going well for King Saul. The Spirit of the Lord may have come upon David in power, but
…the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. I Samuel 16:14
Whoa… wait a minute! How can there be an evil spirit from the Lord?
God doesn’t emit evil, but evil spirits are subject to God’s control and operate only within divinely determined boundaries. Saul had been disobedient and was suffering the consequences of his actions.
Saul’s attendants notice how upset and despondent he had been, so one servant made a suggestion.
“Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit comes upon you and you will feel better.” I Samuel 16:16
“Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.” I Samuel 16:17
Great idea! Now who is a good harp player? In God’s wondrous providence, one of the servants knows of David. Don’t miss these little coincidences that often come in Scripture. (Or “God incidences” as I like to call them.) The servant says,
“I have seen a son of Jesse who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. [Maybe he’s heard the lion story.] He speaks well and is a fine looking man. And the Lord is with him.” I Samuel 16:18
Saul agrees to the plan, sends for David, and is pleased with him.
Whenever the spirit of God would come upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. I Samuel 16:22
I’m thinking of ways God prepped me. I grew up, an only child. From time to time, I would teach my imaginary friend how to make a bed, set the table, or how to print her alphabet letters. I seemed to have an innate desire to teach. As a teenager, I served as president to our girls’ mission group, leading and organizing. Years later, I could see how God used my teaching instincts and leadership qualities to teach in public school.
Both of my grandmothers played the piano and one played the accordion and clarinet. My mother and father “dated” by practicing violins together. Dad also sang solos; mother played the piano and later the organ for church. Singing together as a family became a common practice.
Is it any wonder, then, that I became an elementary music teacher?
Do you see how God prepares us for what is ahead? No doubt you’ve seen that in your life as well.
Who would have thought that harp playing would be an entry into the palace for David?
And where will sling shooting preparation take him next?
~ Joyce ~