And He Played the Harp Too

To quote Admiral Boom from Mary Poppins, “A word of advice, young man. Storm signals are up at number 17. Bit of heavy weather brewing there.” Number 17, in my reading this morning, was anywhere Saul was. The ego-driven king had spared the sheep, disobeyed the command, and rejected His God. Thus God had rejected Him from being king, determined the throne would be removed, and the Spirit had departed. Storm signals were up. And a “harmful spirit” came upon on the king-to-no-longer-be and tormented him. Dark clouds hung over the rebellious king.

But music has a way of soothing the troubled soul and so Saul’s servants encouraged him to bring in a capable musician so that when the clouds of depression descended, the music of the heart might lift the heaviness. Saul agrees and a musician is identified.

One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”

(1Samuel 16:18-19 ESV)

David’s resume caught my eye as I read it this morning. Not only did he meet the minimum qualifications of being skillful with an instrument, but he was also known to be a man of courage and a brave warrior, as well. What’s more, he was articulate and well-spoken. And even his looks were fit for the courts of a king. But beyond his capability, his character, and his comeliness, David had something else that set him apart–Jehovah.

The LORD, the self-existing One, was with David. The presence of the Creator was especially found on His chosen creation. The Spirit of heaven’s glory had come upon the soon to be sovereign of Israel’s throne.

And as I chew on it, that’s what really mattered. The LORD was with him.

No matter how much talent someone has, there’ll always be someone a bit more skillful. No matter how brave, someone else braver. No matter how well-spoken, someone else more eloquent. And looks? Well they’re pretty fleeting. Today’s beauty becoming tomorrow’s wrinkles. The 6-pack abs we work so hard for now, looking more like a keg before we know it. But a man or woman whose constant companion is the LORD? That’s eternal.

Sure David’s playing would sooth Saul’s troubled soul. And the fact that he could handle a sword and debate a Rhodes scholar couldn’t hurt. But what the son of Jesse really brought to the house of Saul was the presence of the LORD.

And isn’t that the x-factor any believer should bring into the house of their employer? Beyond their skill, they’re also accompanied by the Spirit. The job get’s done and something of Jehovah is made manifest. While they may be employed by their boss, they ultimately work for their Master.

. . . but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me . . . For in these things I delight, declares the LORD. 

(Jeremiah 9:24 ESV)

David was a man known for the LORD’s presence with him . . . and he played the harp too.

All because of grace. All for God’s glory.

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