Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him." - 1 Samuel 16:18
IT IS very rare that a man possesses all these attributes that describe David. Although all of these descriptions are accurate and not an exaggeration or a product of one's imagination, they all stand and fall in the last statement ‘The LORD is with him.’ David was not favored by God because he was handsome, brave and eloquent and talented... rather, he was handsome, brave, eloquent and talented because the Lord was with him. More than an achievement, the above-mentioned traits are favors from God. Favor is another word for grace. God's undeserved favor! Only God knows the perfect meaning and measure of grace. He grants it to whomever He wants and whenever He wishes. Receiving favor is one thing... understanding it and being transformed by it, is another.
In the life of David, we see God's early signs of favor. This was in preparation for his full reign as King of Israel. Let me highlight 3 favors from God to David. First, A God-sent crisis became an open door for his entrance to the palace. Saul's deep and dark depression, caused by a vexing evil spirit from God, made a way for the next king to see his throne. Secondly, a God-sent connection, a nameless young man became a credible bridge for David to be known. Sometimes, the connections sent by God are the ordinary nameless ones, while the connections we seek are the powerful. Indeed, God's ways are so different from our ways. Do not miss the third favor God granted David, a God-shaped character... this speaks of the attitude which David showed while in the portals of power ... even Saul liked him. Such attitude of excellence and grace was not inherent in David. Without him knowing it, God's favor had shaped a grace-filled attitude that made him a man with an excellent spirit. Do not forget that the pouring out of God's favor upon a nobody is designed to transform that man... making him or her, a model of gratitude and generosity.
David's favor from God did not only flow in good times, it was in the not-so-good times that God's grace was obvious. It was God's favor that called David, sustained David, especially in those times where most of his life was spent in reaping the hard and painful consequences of his sins. It was also God's favor by which David exited well, being known as a man after God's own heart. Remember, our main topic is the God who grants favor. Although David was a bible hero, do not glamorize him too much. The life of David was like our lives... a big mess. Only by the favor of God does it become a timely and timeless model of grace and transformation.
I write straight from my heart ... we are all in a big mess. Blessed are those who recognize God's favor and are transformed by it.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 24, 2017.
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