Lessons Learned from David By: Kathleen Dew

I have been reading about the life of David in 1 Samuel and I’m learning SO much! I think David’s whole life, before and after he became king, is a very accurate description of what following Jesus looks like.

David was a humble, shepherd boy. The youngest of 7 brothers. The least likely to become king. Yet God didn’t look at his appearance or height, but rather his heart. He was chosen and anointed to be king over Israel. But it didn’t happen immediately. In fact, right after his anointing, Saul hired him as an armor bearer. He SERVED the king instead of BECOMING king. He did everything with humility and excellence. He didn’t assume his role as king or proudly deny serving the king.

After his anointing, you would think his life would be pretty awesome from then on out. Instead, Saul became jealous of him and tried to kill him multiple times. He had to flee, hide in caves, and literally run for his life. Men betrayed him and tried to turn him into Saul. 1 Samuel 23:14 says, “Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.” If I were David, I would be thinking, “What in the world God? Did you call be to be king or to be killed BY the king?” But NONE of this changed his calling or the anointing on his life. Sure, opposition came. But that didn’t defeat or discourage him from what God had called him to.

A few takeaways from the life of David:

  1. Be excellent in everything - In the in-between season, after he was called to be king and before he actually became king, David did everything with excellence. From playing the harp for Saul, to being his armor bearer, to leading his army, to following God, he did everything well. Because he stewarded the small things well, God could trust him to steward a kingdom well. Don’t just be excellent in your calling, but in EVERYTHING you do.

2. Sometimes, God’s calling on our lives doesn’t happen right away - In the meantime, humbly serve. David’s greatness began as a servant. Be humble, no matter your calling or status.

3. Don’t forsake your calling in the face of opposition - David had to fight the Philistines, lead his men into battles, and run for his life from Saul. Yet 1 Samuel 18:14 says, “David continued to succeed in every thing he did, for the Lord was with him.” Opposition WILL come, but God WILL not forsake you. He will provide and protect you.

4. Surround yourself with good friends in the faith - Jonathan and David’s friendship was a huge blessing, especially during times of opposition. We need people who can speak life and encouragement into our lives. 1 Samuel 23:16 says, “Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” He reminded him of his calling and encouraged him to stay faithful to the Lord.

Following Jesus won’t always be easy. There will be opposition and hard days. Yet, we can rest assured that He’s with us always, and that if He’s called us to something, He will be faithful to see it though. Be patient, humble, and hard working in the process. Trust Him in the hard times and praise Him in the good. He loves you, has a calling on your life, and will see it through.