Short Clip


As we open to I Samuel 16 think with me what David must have felt: So much has happened so fast. First, he was “King for a day” in chapter 16 we met a young shepherd boy, minding his sheep when the greatest man in Israel comes and sits in his dad’s house waiting to meet him. There in front of his family, David is anointed the next King of Israel. Back to the sheep he goes, and off to the war go his brothers.
Then “Super Warrior” as we turn to I Samuel 17, and enter one of the greatest chapters of the Bible. Most people have heard of this event. David facing, fearlessly confronting, and miraculously defeating the biggest, strongest, and most feared warrior of the day is astonishing, and so encouraging. The lessons flow from this chapter.
Then, David becomes almost overnight, in I Samuel 18-20, a “National Hero”. In a short period of time he becomes a member of King Saul’s cabinet as a commander of the army. Plus he gets to marry into the Royal Family, while still keeping his job as the most visible musician of the day. Add to that the rage and death threats of a dark-hearted Saul, and the picture becomes cloudy. David sticks it out, faces abuse: both verbal, emotional, and physical. Then the moment of truth comes. Jonathan warns him that his worst nightmare is true. The King of Israel wants to use the entire resource of the nation to hunt, track down, and to kill his own son-in-law, David.
David is an unemployed young man, facing a bleak and unknown future with nowhere to go, and on the run. That is where I Samuel 20 ends.
If you’ve ever had to face sudden unemployment, you should be able to identify with how David felt as he was going through this very trying time.
David was always a hard worker.
Because he had been continuously employed since his earliest youth, David never had time to think about unemployment. Either he was tending the sheep or acting as a courier to run provisions to his brothers at the front lines. After defeating Goliath, King Saul hired him to work in various departments of the government. Although David got to sit at Saul’s table as his son-in-law, he had to earn his wife, Michal, by meeting a quota of killing 100 Philistines. However, as an “eager beaver” employee he went “the second mile” and killed 200.
Life sometimes throws us a curve.
David lived by King Saul: he worked for him, ate with him, sang and played the harp for him, and married his daughter. All of his financial and family security was wrapped up in that job. Then suddenly everything drastically changed. Isn’t that always what happens? Everything’s just rolling along, we’re up to our neck with an unbelievable workload, and then BOOM!—out of the blue we get to notice our services are no longer needed. When Saul threw a spear at David to kill him, that was the equivalent of today’s “pink slip.” (Getting fired was more direct and blunt 3,000 years ago.) Given that David had never felt the sting of a job loss, he was hard hit by the unexpected unemployment.
David’s job loss was a big surprise to everyone but God.
As David mulled over what had happened, he felt the immense pain of loneliness that usually accompanies the unanticipated loss of everything formerly relied upon. But God was in control and had allowed that unemployment for a refining purpose. So everything changed for David except what was most important—his growing relationship with God.
Here’s a key point: habits you’re forming now will determine your response to God when you’re caught off guard by a new heartache. If you’ve made a habit of turning to God in all circumstances, it will be natural to flee to Christ as your Refuge the moment trouble strikes. Should you lose your job, or face a different trauma, remember this: everything will change except for one thing—God, and His great love for you!
David reverted to his “default system.”
If you work with computers, you know that occasionally a malfunction causes a changed setting to revert back to its default, or original setting. When his unemployment malfunction occurred, David reverted back to his original settings, and that is reflected in the setting in I Samuel 21, a time David sang about:
When Life Hurts
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