and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|February 1, 2010||
Volume 9 Number 3
The Journey of the Called
Paul wrote these encouraging words:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. -Romans 8
However, this ultimate good is often accomplished only after we have traveled a long journey along a treacherous and bumpy road. In reality, those who are the called by God according to His purpose often face afflictions that they could have never imagined as God uses their lives to achieve the good that He has planned. A good example of this is found in David, whom Yahweh chose to be the King of Israel.
Having rejected Saul from being King, Yahweh sent Samuel to find a new king from the family of Jesse. When Jesse brought his oldest son forward for consideration, he seemed to be the obvious choice for Samuel. However, Yahweh rejected him, reminding Samuel that He looks at the heart rather than at the outward appearance:
7 But Yahweh said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for Yahweh sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks on the heart. -1 Samuel 16
One by one, Jesse brought out each of the seven sons that were present with them, and Yahweh rejected all of them. None of them had the kind of heart Yahweh was seeking:
11 And Samuel said to Jesse, Are here all your children? And he said, There remains yet the youngest, and, behold, he keeps the sheep. And Samuel said to Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he comes here. -1 Samuel 16
That is when Jesse brought in David, a young reddish-looking boy, who had been keeping sheep in the fields. Yahweh chose him and anointed him to be the new King of Israel:
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and with a beautiful countenance, and pleasant to look to. And Yahweh said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers: and the Spirit of Yahweh came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. -1 Samuel 16
What a blessing for David! However, as the Spirit of Yahweh came upon young David, His Spirit was leaving the great and powerful King Saul. Furthermore, an "evil spirit from Yahweh" then came upon Saul to trouble him:
14 But the Spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him. -1 Samuel 16
Saul could only find relief from the evil spirit whenever David played his harp:
23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. -1 Samuel 16
The Spirit of Yahweh worked miraculously through David, giving him victories that no man could win. When David encountered Goliath, the Philistine giant, he told him that the battle he was about to fight belonged to Yahweh:
47 And all this assembly shall know that Yahweh saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is Yahweh’s, and he will give you into our hands. -1 Samuel 17
David slew the giant, not with a sword or a spear, but with only one smooth stone, which he hurled into his forehead with a slingshot (see 1 Samuel 17:49). The battle was Yahweh’s, and so was the victory!
Seeking to use David to increase his own might, King Saul soon put David in charge of his soldiers. However, after successfully winning his battles with the Philistines, David, rather than Saul, became the hero. David was welcomed home with music and dancing women proclaiming his might:
7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. -1 Samuel 18
Instead of praising Yahweh for the victory, Saul was overcome with jealousy. Therefore, he again opened himself up to receive the evil spirit from Yahweh. He even prophesied under the anointing of that evil spirit, as he tried to kill David with a javelin:
9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
10 And it came to pass on the next day, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and thereof was a javelin in Saul’s hand.
11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. -1 Samuel 18
Knowing that the Spirit of Yahweh was taken from him and was given to David, Saul’s jealousy soon gave way to fear:
12 And Saul was afraid of David, because Yahweh was with him, and was departed from Saul. -1 Samuel 18
Fearing David, Saul sought to destroy him. David became a fugitive, running and hiding from the raging king. However, the more the evil spirit worked through Saul to destroy David, the more David turned to Yahweh for strength and protection. Through his struggles and trials, David wrote Psalm after Psalm, praising Yahweh and thanking Him for protecting and delivering him from those that sought his life:
17 The righteous cry, and Yahweh hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 Yahweh is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as are of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but Yahweh delivers him out of them all. -Psalms 34
Each trial brought David a new opportunity to cry out to Yahweh for help. Each victory increased his faith, giving him another reason to praise Him!
From the time that young David was anointed King in that private meeting between Samuel and Jesse’s family, David’s life was one of trials and struggles. He was essentially on the run until he finally became the King at the age of thirty, after the death of Saul. He began as the King of Judah and then, seven and a half years later, he became the King of the united Kingdom of Israel:
4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for forty years.
5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. -2 Samuel 5
As King, David still had battles, which he won by the power of the Spirit of God. However, not all of his battles were against foreign enemies. As David became comfortable is his position as the powerful King of Israel, the new battleground was in his family and within his heart.
David’s life was filled with trials, temptations, and tragedies, such as adultery, murder, and family problems, including the open rebellion by one of his sons to forcibly take the kingdom from him (see 2 Samuel). Even though trouble was all around him, David showed that he was overtaken with the pride of his position when he took the huge crown of a conquered king, which weighed "a talent of gold," and had it put upon his own head (see 1 Chronicles 20:2).
After another victory over Philistine giants, David’s pride increased even further, opening himself up to the work of Satan in his heart:
8 These were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.
1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. -1 Chronicles 20-21
Another account of the same numbering event, reveals that Yahweh used Satan for His purpose:
1 And again the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. -2 Samuel 24
By proudly trusting in his own power and might through his large army to win his battles, rather than in the Spirit of Yahweh, David had committed a great sin! Consequently, Yahweh brought a devastating plague upon Israel:
14 So Yahweh sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. -1 Chronicles 21
Finally, as he saw an angel of Yahweh with his sword drawn, ready to destroy Jerusalem, David finally saw the pride in his own heart. He and the elders clothed themselves in sackcloth and fell upon their faces in humble repentance:
16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Yahweh stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. -1 Chronicles 21
The angel of Yahweh instructed David to buy a threshingfloor from a Jebusite to set up an altar unto Yahweh:
18 Then the angel of Yahweh commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto Yahweh in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. -1 Chronicles 21
David obeyed. That threshingfloor was the location of the house of Yahweh that was to be built in Jerusalem:
1 Then Solomon began to build the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where Yahweh appeared to David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. -2 Chronicles 3
Whatever David went through, he loved Yahweh:
1 I will love you, O Yahweh, my strength. -Psalms 18
Over and over again, David’s troubles brought him to the repentance needed for Yahweh to accomplish His purpose through him. If we love God, as David did, then the struggles we endure through life’s journey will also somehow work together for the good purpose for which He calls us.
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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