One of the historical lives most precious to me found in the Old Testament is that of King David. In fact, the first books of the Bible I ever read were I and II Samuel, which give an account of David’s life. Imagine me, a weak and sickly child living in near poverty in a broken home in a far western suburb of Chicago, when I learned that the first king of Israel, Saul, was chosen from the least of the family line of the least of the tribes of Israel. And when God pulled the kingdom from Saul’s family line, He gave it to David.
David was the youngest of his brothers and considered the lowest of them. Even so, God chose him. It seems, God supports the underdog. I love that! So many times, I have felt like the underdog, so I really related to this account and my introduction to David.
God Favors David
Presently, I am at the point of my yearly read through I and II Samuel. Those familiar with the life of King David know that God chose him because he was considered “a man after God’s own heart.” Did you ever ask yourself why?
David was courageous from his youth. When he stepped up to face Goliath, the giant, he did it to defend the honor of the great I AM in whom he put his trust. He wasn’t trying to gain a reputation as a valiant fighter. In fact, he faced his formidable opponent with nothing more that a sling shot and a few rocks. He wasn’t trying to gain a kingdom or power or wealth.
The biblical account tells us he was deeply offended by the mocking of Yahweh by the uncircumcised Philistines. This would be one reason God favored him. Even Saul, the king of Israel at the time, didn’t have enough faith to stand before his enemy believing in God.
David Knows How to Repent
Another reason I see that God favored David was the fact that David knew how to repent. The Bible doesn’t gloss over the life of David leaving out his challenges, fears and failures. From reading the Old Testament account of the life of David, we learn he was a weak paterfamilias, or leader of his household. He committed many gross sins, but he knew how to repent, to come before the Almighty and confess, agree with Jehovah, that he had transgressed.
God forgave him every time. That doesn’t meant that David was released from facing the consequences of his sins. His sins and weaknesses were felt by every person in his kingdom, especially his family and those closest to him.
In my recent readings of I and II Samuel, something else stood out about one of the reasons that God favored David. He sought God on everything. And when he failed to do so, he made bad decisions leading to his violation of God’s law. The circumstances he faced from those transgressions were severe.
David sought God in every battle using the Urim and Thummim. These were two stones located in the breastplate of judgment, the ephod, along with the stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel worn by high priests. High priests used these stones to inquire of God on specific things. Presumably, the stone representing the response of God glowed.
Once Abiathar, the high priest that escaped when Saul massacred 85 other high priests in Nob, reached David to tell him the news, he brought with him the ephod bearing the Urim and Thummim. From this point on, we see David over and over again calling for the ephod to inquire of God, specifically before he went to battle.
Saul Disobeys God
As I am very familiar with this account, I know what’s coming. I know that David will become the King of Israel, because God would yank the kingdom from the line of Saul. Saul had already lost the blessing. After he disobeyed the voice of the Lord and let Agag, the king of Amalek live, along with the best of the cattle, he lost his anointing. He had grown proud. He no longer heard the voice of God. He was living in darkness and confusion.
The Urim and Thummim gave him no guidance. Samuel and the prophets no longer had a word from God for him. In desperation, he sought the witch of En Dor to know his fate. What did he discover about his fate? Within 24 hours he, along with his sons, would all be dead.
King David Relies on Himself
I also know that as King David grew in stature, because of the anointing of God, he began to become self-reliant. This self-reliance led him to commit adultery with Bathsheba, murder her husband, take a census, for starters. But, unlike Saul, David repented and went back to relying on his inquiring of God.
Today, we don’t have high priests or use the Urim and Thummim. We don’t have prophets to call upon. We have something far greater. If we are following Jesus with our whole lives, inquiring of Him, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. He allows us direct access to God without a middle man!
God Desires to Bring Us into a Relationship with Him
Understand why! God wants to be involved in every area of the lives of His children. He desires communication with us, for us to know Him. He wants to bless us. He wants to guide us. He always has. He even wants us to delight in Him and promises us that when we do, we will receive the desires of our hearts (this promise is found in Psalm 37:4)!
Become a man after God’s own heart! Repent from self-reliance. It will eventually and continually bring great failure. Put your trust in the Lord. Wait in Him. He will do it.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…