I would love to know what was going through David’s mind when Samuel anointed him king in front of his father and all his brothers. We are not told much in Scripture about this event other than it happened, and we aren’t told much about David’s life prior to this anointing. We can certainly assume, however, that most of his days were consumed with the monotony of watching sheep.
1 Samuel 16 records the event. Samuel comes to town on a mission from the Lord to anoint the next king, and he is told by the Lord to find a man named Jesse. One of Jesse’s sons is the chosen one. Verse 5 states that Samuel then invites Jesse and his sons to a sacrifice, performing a purification ceremony for them first in preparation.
Now, I think it is safe to assume that when Samuel found Jesse that he asked him to bring his sons to this ceremony and sacrifice. It is interesting that Jesse did not think to call for David. David was watching the sheep. Maybe Jesse was worried that his sheep wouldn’t be cared for if David came. Maybe it was a temporary lapse of judgment since such an honored guest as Samuel was in town. You would think, though, that a father would want all of his sons to experience this event. You would think he would send someone else to watch the sheep so David could also participate. David, however, was not thought of. He was not invited. I can’t help but wonder if this was a common occurrence in his life since he was the youngest and seeing how easily Jesse did not think to call for him.
I am not sure when David wrote Psalm 37 in relation to this event, but it is out of life experience that David writes:
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
As David watched his father’s sheep day after day, maybe he wondered if the Lord really had a plan for his life. Maybe this non-invite was one in a long line of others. Maybe this is where you find yourself today — someone who is overlooked and uninvited, wanting to be faithful to the Lord, but having a hard time believing that he has a plan. David would encourage each of us who feel this way to make our highest delight the Lord himself, to be still in his presence and wait patiently for him to act.
On an ordinary day in David’s life, he got up just like he ordinarily did and watched his father’s sheep as an ordinary shepherd. Then, out of the blue, he went from shepherd to king. I bet David had to be thinking, “My heart’s desire could never have dreamed this big.”
– Jay LeBlanc