Since David wrote the majority of the psalms so far, I thought it was a good time to slip a study in about him. He was an amazing man of God. I hope that this will help us understand the psalms he wrote and during what period of life he was at when he wrote them. There was so much more to David’s life than him killing a giant one day.
David was the only one in all the Scripture to be called “A man after God’s own heart.” He is mentioned in the New Testament more than any other from the Old Testament. He was a poet, musician, courageous warrior, and became king over all Israel. Whether he was a shepherd or musician before King Saul, he remained faithful and trustworthy to God. However, we will soon see that like us, he was not perfect. When the consequences of his actions begin to kick in, we see another side of him. His lust got the better of him and he was a weak father.
Our study of David begins with a small description of his physical appearance. He was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and had a handsome appearance, so Samuel says. David’s appearance didn’t set him apart from any other Jewish boy his age. He was nothing more than a shepherd boy, living in a little village of Bethlehem.
Samuel was appointed Judge of Israel by the Lord. God had rejected King Saul. God told Samuel, (in other words) to quit “belly aching” over Saul. In 1 Samuel 16:1-3, God tells Samuel to take oil and a heifer to sacrifice and go to a man named Jesse in Bethlehem and invite Jesse to the sacrifice and God would show him whom to anoint for the position of the next King over Israel.
Therefore, Samuel goes. Samuel tells Jesse for him and his son’s to sanctify themselves. The sons begin passing before Samuel, while the Lord is speaking to him, but rejects them all. In verse 11, Samuel says to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then Jesse said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said, “Send and bring him.” In verse 12 is where Samuel describes David’s appearance.
So what exactly was the quality God was looking for in the next leader of Israel? First, let me say this, “He was not looking for a perfect person, because there are none.”
I think the first quality He was looking for was spirituality. One who’s life is in harmony with the Lord. Whatever is important to God is important to us. Whatever burden’s the Lord, should burden us. If God says go this way, we don’t go in the opposite direction. Whatever we are doing that we know is not pleasing to God we stop it. We become sensitive to what the Lord is sensitive to. We start looking at the motives of why we do things. Don’t ever let someone or a preacher put his or her personal convictions on you as a qualification to whether God is pleased or not. If you do, you are placing yourself under a form of legalism. Let the Holy Spirit tell you through God’s Word what is not right for you.
The second thing God saw in David was humility. God was on a secret mission. Only Samuel knew He was looking for the next king. He saw a “servants heart” when He saw David. Psalm 78:70 says, He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfold. Psalm 89:20 – “I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him…”
When you have a servant’s heart, you are humble. You serve others faithfully and quietly. You don’t shout out to others, “Look how good I am!” A true servant doesn’t care if they are not patted on the back or get recognition just as long as the job gets done.
Third quality I believe God was looking for was “integrity.” Here are some of the meanings for integrity – complete, whole, innocent, having simplicity of life, wholesome, sound, and unimpaired. Integrity is what you are when no one is watching. God isn’t looking on the external qualities. He’s looking on the inside, which takes time and discipline to process.
So then, how does God train us to have these qualities that He’s looking for? This is how He trained David: In solitude. This is also how He trained Elijah. David needed to learn life’s lessons all alone before he could be trusted with huge responsibilities in public. Anyone who can’t stand to be alone may have some unresolved conflicts. Solitude has a way of helping us resolve those issues. David grew up obscure. He was basically unknown, unseen, and unappreciated. His character was being built.
David was also faithful in the menial insignificant regular unexciting uneventful daily tasks of life. Sometimes we think we are just “spinning our wheels.” We live constant, unchanging, endless hours of going to work, paying bills, that nobody notices or even cares about. But if you are after what God is after for your life, there will come a time, after all the training, praying, and listening, when we have a “Suddenly!”
After David is brought before Samuel and anointed as the next king of Israel, David goes back to herding the sheep. Little did he know that is where he would be trained for his suddenly.
If we want to be a person of God, we have to learn to be faithful in the little things, in the lonely places. That is where God will develop the inner qualities that will cause a conversion of the soul. We all can become like David—a man or woman after God’s own heart.
That was sped up a bit, just for a little background. In the following parts, I am going to go a bit slower and pick this apart. There is so much more than just anointing a new king.