What would you do if you were chosen to become the next king? Business cards! Bumper stickers! Billboard signs! I’d want everyone to hear the good news! David was anointed king, and without any fanfare, returned to his duties with Jesse’s sheep.
Make no mistake! David was a great shepherd! A faithful shepherd! Later, David told King Saul, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it” (1 Samuel 17:34–35). He wasn’t boasting or bragging. He was giving credit to God for his protection. “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37).
David didn’t order business cards. He was faithful to God’s New Testament principal. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6). He humbly returned to his appointed task.
One day a royal messenger appeared at Jesse’s door with orders to conscript young David for duty. “Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and an evil spirit sent from the Lord began to torment him, so Saul’s servants said to him, ‘You see that an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command your servants here in your presence to look for someone who knows how to play the lyre. Whenever the evil spirit from God comes on you, that person can play the lyre, and you will feel better.’ Then Saul commanded his servants, ‘Find me someone who plays well and bring him to me.’ One of the young men answered, ‘I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is also a valiant man, a warrior, eloquent, handsome, and the Lord is with him.’ Then Saul dispatched messengers to Jesse and said, ‘Send me your son David, who is with the sheep’ ” (1 Samuel 16:14–19).
David was as faithful to Saul as he had been to the sheep. “When David came to Saul and entered his service, Saul loved him very much, and David became his armor-bearer. Then Saul sent word to Jesse: ‘Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor with me.’ Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would pick up his lyre and play, and Saul would then be relieved, feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him” (1 Samuel 16:21-23).
Once, “an evil spirit sent from God came powerfully on Saul, and he began to rave inside the palace. David was playing the lyre as usual, but Saul was holding a spear, and he threw it, thinking, ‘I’ll pin David to the wall.’ But David got away” (1 Samuel 18:10–11). And again, “an evil spirit sent from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his palace holding a spear. David was playing the lyre, and Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear. As the spear struck the wall, David eluded Saul, ran away, and escaped that night” (1 Samuel 19:9–10).
No! David didn’t buy a new wardrobe, give any stump speeches, or wave any banners. He knew what to do... “Submit to God... Draw near to God... Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:7–10).
All Scripture quotation, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.