David was chosen to be the king that followed Saul. He was a very young man when the prophet Samuel came to anoint him as the future king of Israel. ( 1 Sam 16:13) It was a surprise to his father and his brothers that he was the one chosen to be Saul’s successor. David may have been only 17 years old when he was given the news regarding his future. I am not sure what went through his head after receiving the news but it was a message that I am sure he and his family never forgot. God had big plans for David’s life but it would take years before he would see the fulfillment of the prophecy. His call was clear and came from a respected man of God. The man who would be king had to keep a humble profile and wait for God’s timing for him to assume the title and all the responsibilities that came with it.
David would go through a time of training to prepare him for his future kingship. He did not boast of his calling but continued doing what his father asked him to do, care for the flock of sheep. David did not try to put himself in a position to be close to the king but humbly served his father. He did not think of himself as too important for this task, pride of his calling was not part of his conduct. God was ordering his steps and providing the training to develop his character to be able to handle his calling.
David was a skillful musician and had developed a good reputation among the people.
who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.” 1 Sam. 16:18
David was a young man with great potential and he faithfully served King Saul by playing his lyre when the evil spirit attacked Saul.
David was not afraid to take on challenges. Rescuing a sheep from a lion and bear was preparation for rescuing Israel from the Philistine army. Goliath did not intimidate him even though the entire army stood in fear and was paralyzed by the thought of fighting this giant. David took on the challenge because he understood that God would not allow his name to be defiled by the Philistines. (1 Sam. 17:26) He knew his God would give him the victory. Perhaps he remembered the calling of God on his life, that one day he would be king and if this prophecy was true, he did not have to fear for his life and could boldly come against Goliath. God was not going to allow him to be defeated or killed because his purposes for David had not been fulfilled. David’s passion for God and his glory was evident to all.
After this victory David did not return to his family but was taking into the household of Saul and appointed to serve in Saul’s army. (1 Sam. 18:2) God have him success in the battles and the people praised him. Again we see the humility of David and his desire to serve Saul. All the praise could have gone to his head and the temptation to announce that he would one day be king. The praise did not seem to affect David but it devastated Saul and the relationship he had with David changed from support to suspicion and jealousy. Saul feared that he would lose the kingship to David and from this point sought to kill him. (1 Sam 18:9,10) Saul’s two attempts to murder David were not successful, David’s life was in the control of God and the prophetic word would preserve his life so that God’s purposes would be established. God was with David but no longer with Saul.
David continued to serve Saul and God continued to bless his life. David submitted himself to Saul and carried out his responsibilities as commander of 1,000 men and God continued to give him success.
When David was told he would be given Merab, Saul’s eldest daughter as his wife, he responded in humility. (1 Sam. 18:15)
“Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father's clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 1 Sam 18.18
This promise was not fulfilled yet David did not demand that Saul fulfill his promise. A second wife was later promised to David, Saul’s daughter Micah. The price David needed to pay would put his life in jeopardy at least that is what Saul intended with the hope that the Philistines would kill David. (1 Sam. 18:21) Again David responds in humility.
“Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king's son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?”
It seems that David was unaware of who he was in the eyes of Saul and of the people. He claimed he was a man of no reputation, not worthy to be the king’s son-in-law.
Saul’s third attempt to kill David was a failure. The result was that Saul became even more fearful of David taking over his rule.
Saul’s fourth attempt to kill David was not carried out because of the intervention of Jonathon, Saul’s son and heir to the throne. (1 Sam. 19:2) Jonathon informed David of his father’s plan to kill him and David lived with this knowledge yet continued to submit to Saul and serve him. David demonstrated his loyalty to Saul in spite of the 4 plans to kill him.
Saul’s fifth attempt to kill David came when David was ministering to him by playing music to sooth his soul. 1 Sam. 19:10) I don’t know how you would react to the previous attempts to kill you by a man who was obviously intent on carrying out his plan to murder you. David remained loyal and did what he was called to do in his service to Saul. Once again Saul in his rage tries to pin David to the wall with a spear. David fled for his life to his house.
Saul’s sixth attempt to kill David came when Saul sent men to watch when David left the house and then kill him. David’s wife, Michal learned of the plan and helped David escape in the night. David sought refuge with Samuel the prophet in the city of Naioth. (1 Sam. 19:11-18)
Once again Saul planned his 7th attempt on David’s life by sending messengers with him to take David. (1 Sam 19:20-24)This time God defended David by causing Saul to fall under the power of the Spirit. Causing him to prophesy all the way from Ramah to Naioth. When he came to Samuel he continued to prophesy all day without his clothes on! God was stripping him of his robes of king and confirming his protection of David.
In spite of this attempt David wanted to be at the King’s table to celebrate the new moon. (1 Sam. 20:5) He was uncertain if he should go and formed a plan with Jonathon to be away for 3 days and find out if Saul was still on the rampage to kill him. On the second day of the festival of the new moon Saul became concerned that David was not at the table with him. When Jonathon was questioned he gave an alibi for David’s absence which Saul knew was not true. His reaction now was to attempt to kill his own son by throwing a spear at him. Saul obviously had lost it and was willing to kill his own son because he was protecting David’s life.
David fled for refuge with the Philistines and convinced them that he was a madman whom they did not need to fear. (1 Sam.21:14) David continued to move around and was joined by 600 men who did not want to serve Saul. David was on the run constantly as Saul continued his pursuit to find him and kill him. None of Saul’s attempts were successful yet David made no attempt to attack Saul and his army. God’s protection was evident in his life and there was no need for David to try to defend himself by engaging in a battle.
When David and his men were hiding in the caves of Engedi, he had a perfect opportunity to kill Saul when Saul came into the cave to relieve himself. (1 Sam 24) David’s men encouraged him take Saul out but David could not do it. In spite of all the evil Saul had done and his crazy desire to kill David, he could not kill the man God had appointed king. David felt guilty of cutting off the edge of Saul’s garment while his men wished he had cut off his head. When Saul left the cave David showed honor to Saul.
“My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage.
David made Saul aware of the fact that he had spared his life and that he had no intention of killing him. David referred to Saul as “God’s anointed”24:10 and called him “father” 24:11. I could think of many other things I would have called Saul yet David showed honor and respect to him.
David’s humility is confirmed again by his own view of himself.
1Sa 24:14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea!
David could have said, “Don’t you know who I am? I am going to be the next king of Israel so stop trying to kill me!”
David’s humility and demonstration of respect and honor broke the heart of Saul causing him to weep and confirm that David would be the next king.
David honored Saul’s request that he would not destroy his name out of his father’s house. This was a common practice at this time to ensure that no one from the household of the previous king could become king.
Saul did not change his plans to stop pursing David. When Saul and his army were camped in Hachilah David sent out spies and found the place they were sleeping. (1 Sam 26) It was the perfect set up to kill Saul yet David once again refused. 1Sa 26:9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD's anointed and be guiltless?”
1Sa 26:10 And David said, “As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish.
1Sa 26:11 The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD's anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.”
David continued to show respect and honor to Saul who by all standards did not deserve to be treated this way. David trusted in God to continue to deliver him and in God’s timing he would elevate him to become king.
David’s comment to Saul are remarkable.
1Sa 26:24 Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the LORD, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.”
In spite of all the attempts on David’s life, he regarded Saul’s life as precious.
David fled from Saul and went to be with the Philistines. Saul finally gave up trying to kill David.
Eventually both Saul and Jonathon were killed in battle with the Philistines. (1 Sam.31) When the news reached David his reaction was not one of great joy that finally Saul was no longer going to be chasing him, he could live in peace and return home after years of fleeing for his life. David’s response was that he was appalled that the messenger had killed Saul and had no respect for God’s anointed one. The messenger was killed because of what he had done.
David and his men wept and fasted instead of celebrate. They showed honor to Saul and Jonathon.
David’s lamentation gave honor to Saul and Jonathon.
2Sa 1:19 “Your glory, O Israel
2Sa 1:21 “You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul,
2Sa 1:23 “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
2Sa 1:25 “How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!
David praised the men of Jabesh-Gilead for recovering the bodies of Saul and Jonathon and burying them in Israel.
2Sa 2:5 David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “May you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him.
David is an extraordinary example of one who was loyal to Saul, showed respect and honor in spite of all the evil things Saul had done and all the attempted assassinations of him. David had tremendous respect for the position God had given Saul as King of Israel. He submitted himself to Saul until it was obvious that he needed to flee for his life. David’s humility was demonstrated throughout this time in his life. He saw himself as one who was like a flea and not a future king. He waited upon God to bring about the fulfillment of the prophecy when he could have taken things into his own hands and made himself king by killing Saul. David confronted Saul with respectful and truthful words. He did not degrade Saul by calling him names or speaking evil of him.
The lessons we can all take from the life of David are what God expects from all of us in relation to those God has place in authority in our lives. Saul was obviously a fallen imperfect man who in the eyes of the world did not deserve any kind of respect and should have been removed from office. Yet David refused to speak against him or do anything to him.
· We witness behavior that is contrary to God’s standard.
· Politician’s tweets
· Denigrating statements on Facebook
· Fake News
· Disrespect for business owners and their property
God’s Higher Standard
Jesus told his disciples
Mat_5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Paul admonished the church in Rome
Rom 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Rom. 13:7 Pay…respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Peter instructed the church
• (1Pe 2:18) Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.