By Teena Myers
The United Kingdom Rejected 4/11
For twenty years, Samuel mourned over Saul’s rejection. God did not like Israel’s demand for a king, but he never abandoned them. He never stopped working for their good. The first time he rejected Saul as king, God chose David before David’s mother conceived him. The year David turned twenty-five, God told Samuel to stop mourning and anoint the next king.
Samuel packed his anointing oil and told a partial truth to the elders of Bethlehem about his visit. Then he called Jesse and his sons to come to the sacrifice he made to God. Jesse arrived to learn Samuel planned to anoint one of his sons’ king. God rejected the sons Jesse brought with him to the feast. Mystified that God had rejected all of Jesse’s sons, Samuel inquired if there were any other children. When the youngest son, his family did not think worthy of worshipping God with them, arrived, God said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.”xii
Three things happened when Samuel anointed David. The Spirit of the Lord entered David from that day forward. Samuel went home. The Spirit of the Lord left Saul, setting up the circumstances that brought David into Saul’s inner circle.
The absence of God’s Spirit left King Saul fearful and depressed. His servants suggested music would relieve his suffering. Saul agreed, “Now select for me a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” One servant suggested the perfect candidate. Jesse’s son “is a skillful musician, a valiant mighty man, a warrior, skillful in speech and a handsome man, and the Lord is with him.” David’s resume earned him the job of Saul’s personal attendant.
Initially, Saul loved David and gave him the favored position of the king’s armor bearer. Saul’s relationship with David grew deeper when he killed Goliath, giving Israel victory over the Philistines. Saul’s son, Jonathan, loved David and Saul made him a permanent official. David succeeded at every task Saul assigned him. Everyone was pleased with David, from Saul to Saul’s family to his household servants.
The love fest ended when Saul returned from battle and heard the women singing, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.”xiv God had told Saul twice he would take the kingdom from him and given to another. Saul became suspicious that his replacement had arrived. By this time, David was so deeply ingrained in his circle of family and servants, he could not send him home to tend sheep again without causing turmoil.
Saul thought he acted wisely when he gave David a promotion to command thousands that also removed David from his presence. The plan backfired. David succeeded in everything he did. Now the nation loved him. Saul’s bitter jealousy and rebellion against God produced another bad idea. If he killed David, the people would rebel, but not if the Philistines killed him. He offered David his eldest daughter in marriage. David refused to marry her because he had no dowry to give, which gave Saul the perfect plan, so he thought. He offered his daughter Michal for a dowry of one-hundred foreskins of the Philistines, sure the Philistines would kill David, and the marriage never happen. David returned with two-hundred foreskins.
Every evil thing Saul did to stop David from becoming king moved David closer to fulfilling God’s plan for David’s life. David’s marriage to Michal made him the king’s son and put him in line to the throne. Even worse, David’s exploits in battle gave him a name held in high esteem by the nation.