Memo 1035: David: The Burning Question
As we start a new year, it's also time to start a new Monday Memo series. I had considered an end to the Memo in 2022, but it's such a rich source of publishing material for me, having led to 12 books from Memo content so far, that I decided to keep it going for a while longer. Since I want to finish a historical fiction novel on the life of David this year, I thought I would produce some Memos on David that would help me with that other project. Therefore, for the next few months, we are going to look at David's life experiences and see how they contributed to him being the man of purpose and creativity that he was. Let's get started.
A FORGOTTEN SON
We know more about David's life than we do anyone else in the Bible, except perhaps for Moses. We follow David's purpose path from the time he was a child until his death. We also have access to some of his creative material in the psalms, which gives us even more insight into the man. His impact on his people was so deep that today, 3,000 years after his death, Israel still considers itself the people of David with their nation's flag featuring his star. And the Christian church uses his lyrics to sing and meditate, which gives us an idea of the size of this man's gifts and role in history. He's a most worthy subject for our study and emulation, for he was a man full of the Spirit before the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost.
The first reference to David is found in 1 Samuel 13, even though he is not mentioned by name when Samuel told Saul, "But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command" (1 Samuel 13:14). We eventually learn that this man after God's heart is none other than David. Then when it was time for Samuel to reveal who that man was and anoint him, we read,
Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives" (1 Samuel 16:10-12).
Now let me pose a question or maybe several questions. Here was a young man who we see was handsome, anointed, gifted, brave, and destined for greatness—chosen by God even. We learn that he was loved by many, some even risking their lives just to get him a drink from his favorite home fountain. Given all that, why didn't his father consider him as worthy to come before Samuel for consideration to be king? What was going on in that family that caused such an oversight? And why were none of David's family members ever a part of his royal administration or even mentioned when David came to national prominence? It's as if Samuel asked, "Do you have any other sons?" and Jesse had to think for a minute, snapped his fingers, and then replied, "Oh yeah, I forgot about the youngest." And when David became famous, he returned the favor by forgetting about his family, especially his brothers.
Some surmise that the reason Jesse did not think of him because David was the product of an illicit relationship between Jesse and another woman. They base that conjecture on David's handling of his relationships with his wives later in life. Others would say that his father overlooked him because he had high hopes for his older sons and didn't want the youngest to interfere with those plans according to local custom. Whatever the reason, David was his family's afterthought but he was in the forefront of God's plans, starting a dynasty that is still alive and well because Jesus, the Son of David, sits on an eternal throne.
Perhaps your family has been a source of pain rather than blessing for you? Or maybe you have a sibling or child who you have overlooked because they don't meet your criteria for future success? If it's the former, be encouraged that your family heritage has nothing to do with God's choice, unless you allow it to. And if you identify more with the latter, it's time to pray and ask God to open your eyes so you can see those around you, maybe even closest to you, as He sees them, allowing Him to overrule your bias.
Whatever the case, David proves that God has the final say where purpose and creative gifts are concerned. It's important in our families, churches, and businesses that we see others as God sees them and make room for them. It's vital too that we not judge our own effectiveness based on the opinions of others but rather on God's word and perspective. Ultimately, we must put our faith in God who found David when no one else was looking for him. He will do the same for you and make a place for you and your gifts, if you don't buy into the opinion of others where your future is concerned. Have a blessed week.