What’s Next for David?

Searching His Word
  Seeking His Heart

David pleased King Saul with the soothing sounds of his harp. (See Preparation Put to Use) David made frequent trips to the palace to ease Saul’s tormented mind.

Later, Saul and his soldiers have moved about fifteen miles west near the Philistine border. Israel has had constant contentions with the Philistines and they certainly have big time trouble brewing now. The Philistines are on one hill and the Israelites on another hill with a wide valley between them.

Each morning, both sides come out ready to do battle, when a nine foot man named Goliath struts out with his bronze helmet and coat of bronze scale armor weighing 5,000 shekels (about 125 pounds.) Picture this massive man with bronze greaves on his legs, a bronze javelin slung on his back, and a spear. The iron point of his spear alone weighs 15 pounds.

He shouts to the ranks of Israel,

“Why do you come out and line up for battle? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” I Samuel 17:8-9

Saul and his men are “dismayed and terrified.” Everyday they listen to the pompous rhetoric from this giant of a man, but no one is brave enough to challenge him.

Now among the soldiers are David’s three oldest brothers. Remember them? Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah. Meanwhile, David still attends his father’s sheep. From time to time, Jesse sends David to the battle lines to take food for his brothers and bring back word on how things are going.

During one of these visits, David leaves the food with the keeper of supplies and runs over to where the men have lined up for battle. Just then, Goliath steps forward as he has done for forty days and shouts his usual defiance. The soldiers suddenly retreat because they are all afraid of Goliath.

David is appalled. He asks,

“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Samuel 17:26

Do you remember that I told you to watch later for oldest brother, Eliab, to appear again? Well, here he is. He’s been watching David talking to the soldiers and nosing around. Eliab “burns with anger” at David.

“Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” I Samuel 17:28

Can’t you hear the jealousy, bitterness, even hatred in Eliab’s words? Likewise, can’t you see the roll of David’s eyes and an accented huff as he responds?

“Now what have I done? Can’t I even speak?” I Samuel 17:29

Next week, we’ll see that David is not to be deterred by a jealous brother’s comments nor the haughty words of a Philistine giant.

~ Joyce ~

 

David – Fighting the Giant of Jealousy

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Meanwhile… back to David.

We last left David standing victoriously over the slain Goliath. David has another giant to overcome—Saul’s jealousy.

Now at first, Saul was delighted with David. For the first time, he truly paid attention to David. Apparently, when David had come to play the harp and soothe Saul’s troubled soul, Saul didn’t notice or even know the harp player’s name. When David was going out to meet Goliath, Saul questioned Abner,  commander of his army.

“Abner, whose son is that young man?” I Samuel 17:55

This “nobody” soon became a “somebody.”

Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in his army. This pleased all the people, and Saul’s officers as well. I Samuel 18:5

The women, who gathered to greet the men when they came home from battle, soon changed their song lyrics. As they danced they sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” I Samuel 18:7

This little ditty did not escape Saul’s notice. How dare these women elevate David above the king himself!

Saul was very angry: this refrain galled him… And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. I Samuel 18:8, 9

These two emotions—anger and jealousy—will inevitably produce negative action.

… while David was playing the harp, as he usually did, Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin him to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. I Samuel 18:10, 11

We see how that anger and jealousy led to rage. When David managed to escape the strike of the spear, another emotion surfaced in Saul—fear. What is at the heart of Saul’s fear?

Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left Saul. I Samuel 18:12

Ah, the lesson for us. Without the Spirit of God in us, we succumb to all those attributes of Satan—anger, jealousy, fear. We may have times of weariness, discouragement, or anxiety, but deep in our spirit, we know we have God’s spirit of hope within us—lessons I have internalized in this past month. It behooves us to keep our branches connected to our main vine, Jesus Christ. As we are strengthened daily, we can endure and find rest in Him when the tough times come.

On a personal note, (speaking of tough times) I had to change what I had written. Just today, we had to take my mother back to the hospital via ambulance. Congestive heart failure again. I’m scheduled for knee replacement surgery this next Monday. I would appreciate your prayer support as we try to discern God’s will and His timing in all this. Thank you, friends. 

~ Joyce ~