April 15 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul.”
~1 Samuel 18:12

It appears that David is the least likely of Jesse’s sons to become king. Even his own father seems surprised by God’s choice. To borrow from a longstanding modern royal comparison, this isn’t serious Prince William, the heir apparent to the throne. David, young, handsome, and ruddy, is more Prince Henry, reddish-brown hair, boyish, brave, a beau sabreur who loves outdoor adventures. He is probably the kind of young man everyone wants along for a fun time but no one thinks is mature enough to be king! But God sees David’s heart, and in there are qualities that would prove essential for a great leader. David is genuinely humble, he loves God deeply, he is loyal to friends and family, he is completely trustworthy, and he is passionate about God’s glory.

The showdown between David and Goliath is not what made David king, although it did propel him onto the national stage. When this boyish adventurer stands over his enemy having won a battle for God and country, he is already anointed as the next king. The fight with Goliath serves to reveal David as a young man of courage and conviction, a warrior who prizes both fealty to country and faith in God. Over and over in today’s reading the writer tells us that the Lord is with David. Even when Saul, whose claim to the throne has been rejected, casts jealous eyes on the young shepherd turned warrior, the Lord is with him. He wins the friendship of the king’s son, the love of the king’s daughter, and the adoration of the people. His enemies, on the other hand, fear him.

For all that David’s story is one of a king who follows God, it is more the story of a man who follows God. We can’t all be king, but we can be the kind of people God wants us to be. Let us seek God’s help to become men and women, boys and girls who please Him from the inside out. What inner virtues need to be developed in your heart? Do you love God wholeheartedly? Are you genuinely humble? Are you loyal to family and friends? Are you passionate about God’s glory and angered when others reproach His name? Are you willing to act when it is the right thing to do, even when the odds are against you?

Giants will come our way, and in those conflicts, our true self is revealed. What God saw in a ruddy shepherd’s heart is on display for a whole nation to see in this section. Before David’s story was done, Israel would see the entire contents, good and bad. We should long to be the kind of people God wants us to be deep down inside. And we should all long for God to be with us so that what we do will succeed.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.