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Preparing the New King

    The Philistines had been a primary enemy of Israel for years. They controlled all the iron ore of the region and were well equipped with chariots of iron, protective armor, and a select core of fighting men who stood three feet taller than the average soldier. During Saul’s reign the independent Philistine states united to forge a final victory over his forces, and an intimidating, nine-foot warrior named Goliath stood as their first line of attack. No one, including Saul, dared to confront the giant.

The LORD is my light and the one who saves me.
I fear no one.
The LORD protects my life;
I am afraid of no one.
Evil people may try to destroy my body.
My enemies and those who hate me attack me,
but they are overwhelmed and defeated.
If an army surrounds me, I will not be afraid.
If war breaks out, I will trust the LORD...
During danger he will keep me safe in his shelter.
He will hide me in his Holy Tent,
or he will keep me safe on a high mountain...

LORD, hear me when I call; have mercy and answer me.
My heart said of you, “Go, worship him.”
So I come to worship you, LORD....
If my father and mother leave me, the LORD will take me in.
LORD, teach me your ways, and guide me to do what is right
because I have enemies....
I truly believe
I will live to see the LORD’S goodness.
Wait for the LORD’s help.
Be strong and brave,
and wait for the LORD’s help.

PSALM 27
    When David arrived at the standoff, he was outraged that this godless man, regardless of his size, would be allowed to terrorize and belittle the army of God. Armed with a slingshot and an undaunted faith in God, the teenage shepherd boy confidently approached his gigantic foe. While the Philistine hurled threats and ridiculed his opponent, the youngster knocked him to the ground with a stone. David killed the Philistine, but God won the battle.

    From that day forward, David fought for God and soon became the most famous warrior in the land. As David’s reputation grew, so did Saul’s jealousy, until Saul tried to have him killed. But the king’s own son Jonathan protected and befriended David. In fact, David and Jonathan became covenant friends, closer than brothers. Jonathan walked a fine line, being devoted to his father, while remaining loyal to David.

    During one of his fits of rage, Saul suddenly threw his royal spear at David, but David’s quick reflexes allowed him to dodge it. The bewildered David ran to Samuel’s home, and Samuel hustled him off to a town filled with prophets. Saul found out and sent soldiers to capture David, but when they arrived, God’s Spirit was so strong that they could do nothing except worship God. Saul sent other soldiers, but the same thing happened again. Finally, Saul himself came, and he also fell on the ground, praising God. While Saul was on his face before God, David escaped.

    Months later, during a massive battle with the Philistines, both Saul and Jonathan died. David mourned their deaths and honored them in song.

    The stage was now set for David to become king.

Reflection: David led Israel’s armies to great victories, and then had to run for his life and hide out in caves. He was anointed the future king of Israel, and then was almost killed at the hands of the present king. In the midst of his turmoil David could find refuge and constancy only in his God. Out of these times came many of the psalms we appreciate today. In the midst of our turbulent times -times of despair, fear, betrayal, grief- they point us to the ever-present and compassionate God who continues to protect, listen, rescue, guide, help, and encourage.


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About the Author...
Ron Rose is a noted author and Director of Faith in Families. For more details, click here.

 
Title: "Preparing the New King"
Author: Ron Rose
Publication Date: January 17, 2001

 

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