“And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house” (1 Samuel 18:2).
From the moment David defeated Goliath and brought victory over the Philistines, his life was no longer the same. He would never shepherd a flock of sheep in the field and never return to sleep under his father’s roof. These changes of circumstance were according to God’s plans and purposes for his life. For him, everything was moving very fast, but the Lord’s work is eternal and covers time from the beginning to the end.
In Saul’s service
King Saul must have recognised that God was with David, and since the Spirit of God had forsaken him, he may have thought that he was bringing himself back under the Lord’s protective care. Saul may have wanted David near him as someone holds on to lucky charms and other superstitious trinkets to ward off evil.
David dropped everything to serve Saul, including his job, family, and life itself. He proved himself to be as “dutiful as he was bold and courageous” (Matthew Henry). This is a good illustration for what is expected of those who enlist in Christ’s army. “And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead” (Matthew 8:19-22) … “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
Everyone knew of Saul’s mental and spiritual problems, but David was willing to serve him, for in doing so he was really serving the Lord. We have probably noticed as these studies have progressed, that David is at each incidence climbing higher towards the place where God wants him to be. We may well have a higher calling in our lives, but we will not reach it unless we are faithful and obedient in the menial tasks the Lord has prepared for us. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).
In God’s service
We might feel as though we are simply going around in circles year after year, or that we are in a dead-end job, but we need to keep our eyes upon the Lord. Each problem we face can equip us for greater service if we faithfully obey God no matter what comes our way. Sometimes it appears that the church is not going anywhere fast either, but patient endurance will result in blessing soon enough. “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11) … “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3). Let us continually remind ourselves that God has a plan and purpose for our lives too. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
If we are truly in the service of God, then we must be willing to lay everything down to obey His will at a moment’s notice. God might direct us to make drastic changes in our lives. Like David, we ought to step into God’s will without missing a heartbeat. This is something of what is meant by our being led by the Spirit of God. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).