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Journey to Jerusalem Day 26

Sunday, March 22 1 Samuel 16:1-5
1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

Thus begins the story of David, the son of Jesse. We all love success stories. David was a huge success. He was the shepherd boy who killed the giant Goliath. Later, he become king over the greatest power of the time, Israel.
One cannot overstate the importance of David in the history of Israel. Imagine George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Billy Graham rolled into one. David was a political and religious superhero.
Was David perfect? No. But whenever David failed God, he was broken-hearted and repented. Read Psalm 51. David wrote it about his own failing, but it is there for us, too.
As important as these are, the highlight of David’s life is this promise from God, “When your days are fulfilled…, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.” (1 Chronicles 17:11-12).
It sounded like the beginning of a dynasty. Alas, that was not to be. Within two generations, Israel began to break apart. Disaster followed disaster. People longed for a king like David.
Jesus was that king. Matthew says, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David…” (Matthew 1:1). Yes, Jesus was David’s long awaited descendent.
But the kingdom Jesus initiated was different than anyone anticipated. His kingdom is not geographic but interior. The kingdom of God exists wherever a human heart is ruled by God. Obedience to the king results in personal transformation and in works of righteousness. When God is king, we are changed and, in turn, empowered to change the world.
Powerful stuff. And to think, it all began with a shepherd boy.

Thank you, Father, for your servant David. Amen.