Ignite! | 1 Samuel 16:14-23 | Devotional
1 Samuel 16:14-23 Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better." So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me." One of the servants answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him." Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep." So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul. David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him." Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
OK, David, you’ve just been crowned king. You hair still smells of oil poured over your head in anointing process. Sure, it’s all been a bit mind-blowing. The prophet Samuel was blindsided. You weren’t even on his short list. But here you are, head still swirling from the whirlwind of events. What will be your first act as king? How about an inspiring speech? How about a significant military victory? How about a tax-cut? How about a trip to Disney World!? Or how about…playing a harp to soothe the tormented man who still thinks he is king? No, David, that’s not a strong start.
God often offers unusual curriculum in the University of Spiritual Development. We say, “Charge!” He says, “Hold steady.” We say, “I’m ready!” He says, “Not yet.” We say, “Let me lead!” He says, “Learn to serve.” God chose David from the sheep pens, anointed him king, and then gave him his first royal assignment—play elevator music to soothe Saul. Amazing! But remember God sees the heart. He see not only what it is, but what he wants it to be. A few tunes on the harp would not be the new king’s toughest assignment.
After holding the harp, David held the head…of the giant Goliath. That victory launched him to rock star status. Overnight he was on the cover of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People. He became Israel’s most eligible bachelor. Ballads were written of his feats. But God said, “Slow down, David, you’re going a little too fast.” So, for the next ten years (10 years!) David ran for his life up mountains and through valleys from a jealous Saul who was convinced he still wore the crown. During that decade, God took David through the fire in order to refine his heart.
He wants to do the same thing with you and me. Ready to sign up? The program is life-long. The curriculum is unusual. The assignments will be hard. The tuition is costly. But the degree is priceless! Eternally priceless!