1 Sam 16:11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.“
This is installment #3 of A Man After God’s Own Heart. It’s funny how we want to do one thing then God steps in and does what He wants. I’d recently been looking at David’s Psalms and could not help seeing his heart being that of a praise and worship leader bringing everyone into the presence of God. I thought it funny that it was as if he was created solely for that, but he did so much more. Then I was struck with what Lucifer’s original position as “the anointed cherub,” could that anointing Satan forfeited be what was bestowed on David, who wrote most of the Bible’s Psalms?
Then God stepped in. Last week Bishop Jakes preached a messaged called “Know Your Role.” Then it all clicked for me along with David’s WHIP; and his actions completely contradictory of the fall of Adam; David knew his role in whatever capacity and he served in each as unto God. Each role was vital to him becoming the King and Servant of God who was so affectionately known as “A Man After God’s Own Heart.”
Let’s look at the many roles of David:
–Shepherd: (1 Sam 16:11) Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” This was the role in which we were first introduced to David. Serving in his father’s fields tending to his sheep, goats and other animals that allowed his father Jesse to prosper. However, what we know is that this job was not the most flattering or exciting job. Jesse had 8 sons, yet David was the only one that didn’t even get into the room when Jesse and Samuel were looking to anoint a King. We got a little since of what kind of shepherd David was, when hearing of his protecting the flock against a lion and a bear. He was willing to put his life on the line to protect the sheep. That trait would come in very handy latter in his life as leader of Israel.
–Armor Bearer: (1 Sam 16:21) So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. This role in the bible, was a young valet that carried the armor and weapons of a warrior and in David’s case he directly served the King. Many may be familiar with the armor bearer role in the church, a person that travels with and serves the man or woman of God who serves the church. The are very close to them, they hear the conversations happening behind the scenes, they spend time with the person’s family, they see them at their highest and lowest because of the proximity. One of the key roles of the armor bearer is the ability to be both invisible and unheard. The text shows us that Saul the King loved David. I believe this speaks volumes about just how well he served Saul and his ability to be trusted.
–Musician: (1 Sam 16:16) Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well. David played the harp and he was well known for that skills; so much so that the Kings servants recommended him (1 Sam 16:18 Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”). The lesson we learn from this role of David is that the gift of harp playing was his key to the palace. In other words, Proverbs 18:16 A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men. When we have a God given skill, we should work to develop it and use it to the glory of God. The bible is clear, that your gift will make room for you.
–Delivery Guy: I’m taking a little literary liberty regarding this role. Jesse told his son David to take some food and supplies to his brothers that were out at war; (1 Sam 17:20) So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. I sarcastically called this role the delivery guy; I was originally going to use “uber eats,” but you get the jest. Here it was, the anointed one was tasked with taking lunch to his brothers. However, all things work together because as he was arriving to the stronghold of the troops, the Philistine giant was making his demands against the army of Israel. This would spark two new roles that David had not signed up for when he left home on a simple task. Sometimes our most tedious of assignments are the exact ones which lead us into our destiny.
–Salesman: (1 Sam 17:33-37) But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock. David was disgusted by the arrogance of this Uncircumcised Philistine and would not stand by and not let it be addressed. While everyone else may have been afraid (including his brothers), he would step up to represent the Lord’s Army. But not everyone thought it would be possible so it would take a new skill. David had to sale himself to the king; 1 Sam 17:33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.“ David immediately pleaded his case to the point of success, as Saul would agree to allow David to battle Goliath. This newfound skill of selling his accomplishments to the decision makers led him to maybe his greatest victory.
–Warrior: (1 Sam 17:40) Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. After his sales pitch was accepted, David then got himself ready for battle. The King and others wanted to help him by loaning David their gear and weapons. However, David understood something that is valuable for us all. He could not walk in the shoes of others but need to use the gear God had given him (1 Sam 17:38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So, David took them off). David would now become the ultimate warrior, as he aggressively attacked the menacing Philistine with his weapons of choice “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him.”
–Prince: (1 Sam 18:20) Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. So Saul said, “I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore, Saul said to David a second time, “You shall be my son-in-law today.” David’s amazing victory over Goliath changed everything from him. He went from caring for sheep to living in palace as the King’s son. He became a hero to the people of Israel, so much so that is made King Saul jealous. One of the “spoils” for defeating Goliath, was forever living tax free, but also the promise to marry the King’s daughter. Of course, David’s attitude for such a gift was maybe predictable “1 Sam 18:18 So David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” That was the posture in which David served as Prince in the Kingdom. There is one thing I believe to be the most significant thing about David’s attitude and humility in all these roles. He acted in each of these roles after being anointed the next King. This was a span of over 20 years between being anointed by Samuel to becoming King. David displayed tremendous humility by serving in multiple roles and in a few of them he personally served the one he would eventually replace. David always knew his role; he did not attempt to take on the role of others nor did he arrogantly approach even the most humiliating of roles. Because David knew his role, God could trust to put him in any position, because He would give God glory. We can learn a great deal from David attitude towards serving. It was in the many roles in which he humbly served; that he was certified and qualified to serve in his final role as King (2 Sam 2:4) Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.