I recently saw a list of people mentioned most in the Bible. Jesus was first place, David was second, Moses was third, then Jacob, Saul, Aaron, Abraham, and so on. If Jesus is set aside because of his divine birth, then among all human persons in the Bible, David is the most popular. Aside from Jesus, the world probably knows more about David than any other character in the Bible.
David lived a dramatic life full with crises and triumph. The story of David is told from 1 Samuel Chapter 16, through all of 2 Samuel, to 1 Kings Chapter 2. We first meet David in 1 Samuel 16:13 as a youth anointed by Prophet Samuel to be the next and second King of Israel after Saul the first King. Israel and the neighboring countries hears of David soon after when he killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
David is a hero and looks destined for greatness at this point in his life. He suddenly went from an unknown youth to working in the King Saul’s palace in a short space of time, wow! Then without warning, trouble erupted and for the next 7 years, David was running and hiding from Saul who was determined to kill him. This was the first of many bitter and tragic crises David faced in his lifetime.
We read in 1 Samuel 24:1-2 (NIV): “After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.”
David escaped and from a safe distance rebuked Saul in 1 Samuel 24:8-15 (NIV) (shortened): “Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul… See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you… may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you… “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? May the Lord be our judge and decide between us…”
David the hero, the conqueror of Goliath, was now living in a cave with all his family including his parents. I don’t know about you, but this type of misfortune would knock my faith so hard, I don’t know if I would recover. Seven years running, running, life completely ruined; yet, David held on to God. No wonder in Acts 13:22, we read about how God testified that ‘David was a man after God’s heart’.
Father, the world has been in bad shape for a while; our lives are unsettled and in some cases fallen apart; may the story of David give us hope and strength, in Jesus name, Amen!