Memorial of Saint Agnes, virgin and martyr

Daily Devotions

1Sm 16:1-13; Ps 89:20-22,27,28; Mk 2:23-28

King David was a man after God’s own heart.  From his boyhood days of tending his father’s flocks, David praised the Name of the LORD who was his constant companion in the wilderness.  The songs of David, as the psalms are often called, reveal the heart of a man at home with the holy.  David was found by the LORD and claimed by God to be his servant.  The LORD spoke in a vision to Samuel to reveal that the crown of Israel was taken away from Saul and given to David a mere youth.  The prophet was commanded to anoint the youth, the son of Jesse, with holy oil.  From that moment on David felt the hand of the LORD upon him and God’s own arm made David strong.  In his prayer-filled heart David called to God, “You are my Father, the Rock, my Savior.”  Such total surrender, such delightful intimacy with the LORD brought David into a wonderful affirmation from the LORD; He said of David, “I will make him the first-born, highest of the kings of the earth.”  King David’s deepest desire was that all kings and all peoples would acknowledge the LORD as God and worship his majesty on Zion his Holy Mountain.  The very universal salvific will of God captivated David’s heart and shaped his life and witness to the LORD.  From the day Samuel anointed him, things changes for David the shepherd.  Indeed, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David; and he grew greater while King Saul diminished.  The Lord Jesus, the true Son of David, recalled that his ancestor was at home in the house of the LORD; he and his army ate the holy bread in their hunger.  Indeed, we too are hungry and we need to consume the one who consumes our every hesitation and fear.  So that like our ancestor, King David, we might dance with abandon before the ark of his presence.

 

The Prophet had no need or desire to linger after anointing David to replace Saul as king of Israel.  Samuel took his leave quickly and went to Ramah.  Samuel left David to work out the details of his future ministry without growing in dependence upon the prophet.  It was difficult enough for Samuel to anoint Saul as King; he didn’t want to stick around and make David as dependant upon him as Saul had become over the years.  The LORD had to challenge Samuel, “How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel?”  This prophet was reluctant to anoint another king lest Saul hear of it and react out of his usual insecurity.  Samuel was ingenious in disguising the purpose of his visit to the family of Jesse.  He assured Jesse and the neighborhood that he had come only to offer a sacrifice; he came in peace and wanted to leave in peace.  The Elders of Jerusalem came to Samuel trembling; they were afraid of his purpose.  Often the presence of a prophet causes fear because he comes in the Name of The LORD to do his will and accomplish his purpose.  The people knew that King Saul was an insecure man and any decision of God to replace him as king would split the fragile union of tribes wide open.  They knew a bloody revolution would erupt.   Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the LORD chose a youth like David so that there would be plenty of time for the transition from King Saul to King David.  Like Samuel and all our ancestors in the faith, we too, are slow to understand and even slower to do His Will.

 

This kind of hesitancy is understandable, but not excusable.  The Lord Jesus did not hesitate to stand up to those who condemned his disciples for “doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath”.  The Lord made reference to King David and his being at home in the Lord’s House to the point of using the bread of offering to feed his hungry soldiers.  After this historical reference, the Lord Jesus, the true Son of David, made a claim that would follow him to his crucifixion.  Without any effort to be politically correct, the Lord Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”