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The Neglected Child
An example of how God turns the tables on circumstance!
It was such an important event! The spiritual leader of their nation was coming to their home, to lead them in a special time of worship!
elderly Jesse called his seven older sons together to receive their national leader, Samuel the great prophet of God,
by whom even their first king, Saul, had been appointed. It was such an important occasion!
They lived
in the area of Bethlehem, which, although it was named for its wheat harvests as the 'house of bread', was also known for its sheep farming. Life was very different then to now, for lions roamed from the jungle of the Jordan valley, and bears sometimes took advantage to steal lambs, so good shepherding needed real vigilance.
before they ate together, Samuel was introduced to Jesse's family, yet he seemed uncomfortable as he looked around. He asked if all Jesse's sons were present, and Jesse explained that the youngest was away looking after sheep.
     Strangely then, Samuel said –
"Send and bring him, for we will not sit until he comes here."
1 Samuel 16:11 ESV.
David walked into the home, Samuel stood up. Taking his horn of oil, he poured it on David's head, and something changed –
"Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers.
And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.
1 Samuel 16:13 ESV.
the following months a crisis developed.
The Philistine army from the coast moved into their area and Jesse's sons did their national duty as part of Israel's military.
Teenage David was not old enough for that, but he was useful to help take food supplies (bread and cheese) to his brothers in Israel's army camp on one side of the valley of Elah.
There, he heard the giant's belittling challenge to Israel's army, in which he mocked Israel's God.
hurt David to the core, for in his lonely nights with only sheep for company he had come into a personal worship-relationship with God Most High, singing songs to Him with his harp, and thus the Lord had become the pivot of his emotional life.
David's questioning reaction to the giant's challenge annoyed David's oldest brother Eliab, for its seemed that his upstart teenage brother was opening his mouth about something he had no knowledge of, and then even dared to query their response to it.
1 Samuel 17:28-29.
of course, king Saul needed a pawn to escape the public image of fear being generated. So hearing of David's daring query, he sent for him, for he could be useful, offering to equip him if he was willing to follow through on his view that the giant's challenge should be answered.
David felt uncomfortable in Saul's armour for his past victories in caring for his father's sheep were from a childlike trust in God, and only so would he feel secure. So, armour-less he steps out ahead of Israel's army.
the Philistine giant saw David he felt insulted, that a child should be sent against him –
"'Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?'
And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David,
'Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field'.
1 Samuel 17:43-44 ESV.
statement of faith!
David responds from his trust in God saying –
"You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin,
but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.
And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth,
that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,
and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear.
For the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hand.
1 Samuel 17:45-47 ESV.
sling stone penetrates the giant's forehead. Then, as his troops run, David takes the giant's own sword, decapitates him, and, strangely, the Bible tells us that David then took the giant's head to Jerusalem even though it was still a Canaanite city,
for David understood God's faithfulness to that godly Amorite king Melchizedek,
to whom Abraham had shown allegiance, even referring to God using his terminology
and by giving him a tithe of all the battle loot from when Abraham had rescued Lot.

1 Samuel 17:54.

Genesis 14:17-24.
This crisis event turned David's life around, and, even though Saul came to see him as a competitor which caused further stress for David,
it was the beginning of a new direction – beyond shepherding sheep – as king and as ancestor to the Messiah of his people.
In principle, this is the way of the Lord toward all those who, through worship, learn to trust Him beyond themselves and face every situation within that frame of mind!

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