David’s Anointing as King
Open Your Bible
1 Chronicles 10:1-14, 1 Chronicles 11:1-47, 1 Chronicles 12:1-40, Psalm 78:70-72
A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided to have a less-conventional date at a local dairy farm. Yes, you read that right—we saw one of those “Things to Do in _______” Instagram posts from our town’s account, and listed among the newly opened coffee shops and trendy boutiques was a local farm that allows visitors to take a tour and have a cheese board with cheeses made from the goat and sheep milk (that’s the part that convinced me).
After being filled to the brim with insanely creamy and delicious cheese, I decided to find out more about the sheep we had visited. I learned that because sheep are instinctively skittish animals, when a shepherd wants to calm them, they will lift the sheep’s head. In this position, its entire body relaxes, allowing its head to turn and look at the shepherd.
Many of the metaphors used to describe David in Scripture reference his upbringing as a shepherd. In 1 Chronicles 11:2, God tells David that he will shepherd the people of Israel. First Chronicles 10:13 says, “Saul died for his unfaithfulness to the LORD” and that God gave the kingdom over to its next king, David. Psalm 78 draws parallels between how David used to tend to ewes and how he used those skills to lead an entire nation (vv.70–72).
David was chosen to steward God’s people by the perfect shepherd, who was calling His people into a deeper relationship with Him. David knew about lifting a sheep’s head. As David followed God’s commands, mighty warriors from multiple tribes unified to follow him. As the number of soldiers following David grew, the rest of the nation also united to make David king (1Chronicles 12:38). Israel went from being led by an unfaithful king to God’s chosen shepherd.
While we know David didn’t perfectly follow God’s best throughout his life, his heart’s faithfulness was the thing that equipped him to lead God’s people. It’s comforting to remember that the best thing I can do as I clumsily follow Jesus is lift my head to Him, the true Good Shepherd, and continue to look to Him for everything I need.