The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), April 15
David’s quiet, private life as a shepherd changes forever when the prophet Samuel shows up at his house and anoints him future king of Israel. More than a decade will pass before David actually takes the throne of Judah. David spends the gap between the anointing and the inauguration running for his life. Like looking through a keyhole to see what’s in a room, Psalm 34 and other psalms reveal the inner life of David during those years:
- David praises God even when all goes wrong, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
- David ascribes all success to the LORD, “My soul shall make its boast in the LORD” (34:2)
- David lives with the awareness that those in humble circumstances can find encouragement as they observe his response to life’s happenings, “The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together” (34:2-6).
- David learns how to appropriate the promises of God and the presence of God during these years on the run. He declares in Psalm 34, “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (7). “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth” (15-16).
- David lives for the satisfaction that only God may give, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (34:8).
- David understands the need for self-control, “Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (34:12-14).
- David lives aware of God’s presence in spite of contrary circumstances, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry . . . . The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (34:15,17)
- David understands that the wicked are accountable to God, not David, “The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth” (34:16).
- David is confident that, though the paths will be difficult, God won’t hurt him, “He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken . . . . The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned” (34:20,22).
David understands that Samuel’s anointing him as king obligates God to protect him and fulfill His word. Therefore, David chooses to focus on the eternal God rather than on the temporary trials that beset him. He praises God when he is attacked, when he is unjustly accused, when he is embarrassed, and even when all seems to go against him. Though his circumstances seem to negate God’s promises, still he clings to them tenaciously and sees God fulfill His Word in His time.
Questions from today’s reading (1 Samuel 20:1-21:15; Psalm 34):
- What does Jonathan recognize about David that endears him to David?
- Who are the people of Gath (1 Samuel 17:23)? What does David’s seeking asylum in Gath reveal about his situation?