After God gave the promised land to the Israelites, the nation continued to grow but there was no formal government as such. There were judges, who presided over the country, but not a government as we know it.
The people wanted a king. God had promised that He would be with them and would guide them, and God did just that by selecting judges. But the people wanted more.
Israel wanted a king and God allowed this to happen. The people, not God, selected Saul, a strapping military man as their king. He looked like a king. God, however, had someone else in mind. God did not look at outward appearances, but rather to the heart and soul of the man He would select as king.
Saul put on appearances and did what was expected of a king, but he was not the kind of man God wanted on the throne of Israel. God sent the prophet Samuel to find the right king. Samuel went to the house of Jesse, whose many sons were all good candidates for the job.
God selects David as king
Samuel got a good look, but wondered where the youngest son was. Being the youngest, he was out tending the sheep while the other brothers were being examined. Samuel got Jesse to bring David to him and Samuel knew that David was the man God had selected. David was God’s selection because of his character.
Saul relished being king and was weary of David, even though David served in his court and had been loyal. David was also best friends with Saul’s son Jonathan.
Saul wants to kill David
Even though Saul wanted David killed, David did not want to kill Saul, because Samuel, under the instructions of God, had anointed Saul as king of Israel.
To do harm to Saul would be just like trying to do harm to God. David wanted no part of it. It was not until Saul’s death that David took the throne.
Why it matters
God selecting David is important because we need to understand that in all of history, in all things, God is in control. David wasn’t the tallest, or the strongest, although he was a good looking young man. This was not a popularity contest.
The people had selected Saul because of looks and popularity, but Saul was not the kind of king God wanted. While certainly not the perfect man, David knew that he needed to trust God and have faith. Through all of his mistakes in life, and even some very bad decisions, David always came back to God.
God selects Jesus as king
David is the first king of Israel selected by God, and Jesus is selected by God to be the king of everything.
Why it matters to you
How many times in our lives do people overlook us, or marginalize us? Are looks and social standing all that matter? How many parents have children that turn on them? David’s life is a good illustration of cause and effect, and how God’s forgiveness allows man to move forward and even prosper.
Understanding who David is gives us a better understanding of who God is and who Jesus is.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
The story of David is a classic example of how a people, who desire to follow God, can still fail. Even though they fail and may not achieve all they want in life, they can still be in right standing with God.
What you may not know
God is faithful and will stand by those who follow Him. For all of his faults, David still wanted to follow. He learned from his mistakes and did not repeat his offenses. David’s own son wanted to kill him and take his throne, but God had other plans.
The succession of David’s throne would lead to Jesus. David wanted to build a temple to God in Jerusalem. He got all of the money and materials, but God said no. David’s son, Solomon, built the temple.