I love King David. What a hero! He was certainly one of the most beloved characters in the Bible. I mean, here was a man after God’s own heart yet his imperfection was blindingly glaring just like any of us. But his greatness, more than his leadership and bravery, was his humility to repent and confess when his sin found him out.
Let us revisit an episode in the life of this extraordinary yet very human king and learn the faithfulness of the Lord toward His own. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).”
David had earlier spared Saul’s life for the second time (1 Samuel 26:1-12). Who would blame David if he had killed Saul? After all, Saul was the aggressor here. David, though, chose to conduct himself with honour yet again. But in spite of Saul’s repentance (1 Samuel 26:21, 25), David pondered the possibility that one day he might die by the hands of the mad king (1 Samuel 27:1).
What? He who slain ten thousands thought that he who slain thousands (cf. 1Sa 18:7) would eventually get him? Put yourself in David’s sandals. If you were him, what would be your response? Would you pack up and run?
God delivered David from wild animals.
Imagine facing up to some of the most fearsome beasts. No, not in the protection of a zoo. If your instinct is like mine, you too would scream in terror and run as fast as your human legs and adrenaline could carry you. Usain Bolt couldn’t run fast enough to catch me! David, however, fronted up to these animals. Step aside, Bear Grylls.
“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him (1 Samuel 17:34-35).”
God delivered David from Goliath.
Goliath needs no introduction. Neither does Shaquille O’Neal to NBA fans. Now get this: Goliath is bigger than Shaq. That’s right. Shaq measures 2.16m in height. Goliath? A whopping 2.74m. Not even Andre the Giant (the late pro wrestler) at 2.24m could match Big G. Shaq would look up at Goliath (Andre, too), never mind puny shepherd boy David. No wonder the Bible tells us that “when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance (1 Samuel 17:34).”
And what did this rosy-cheeked, handsome boy say? “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine (1 Samuel 17:37).” In what must be the greatest upset in history, “David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him (1 Samuel 17:49-50).”
‘Beasts’ and ‘giants’ in our life.
Certainly God delivered David out of insurmountable odds many times. What we see here is more than heroism and human high drama. We see the faithfulness of God in action. When he was on the run from Saul, David looked back over his life and took comfort that his God was mighty to save. Psalm 54 is proof of his dependence on the faithfulness of God.
We face our own ‘beasts’ and ‘giants’ in the forms of trials and temptations. At times they might appear as frightening as lions, bears and behemoths that could easily slam-dunk us through a basketball hoop, but they will work to our advantage. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:2-4).”
We can be assured that God will keep us when we remain faithful to His word. “But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5).”