I was reading Psalm 27 the other day and these two verses jumped out at me:
“Hide not Your face from me; turn not Your servant away in anger, You Who have been my help! Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation! Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].” (amplified)
I went back to 1 Samuel 16 and read about when David’s story began in Scripture. We learn in 1 Samuel 16 that David was the youngest of 8 children of Jesse and his wife, whose name is not given. Samuel is God’s prophet to Israel at the time of 1 Sam 16 and is mourning over Saul – Israel’s first king – because he had not been a good king and God told Samuel that He would anoint another to be king in place of Saul. God told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse to anoint another king, but not to look at the outward appearance of Jesse’s sons but that God was looking at the heart. Jesse shows Samuel 7 of his 8 sons thinking surely one of them would be anointed the king. Here’s the text:
10 “Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, The Lord has not chosen any of these.11 Then [he] said to Jesse, Are all your sons here? [Jesse] said, There is yet the youngest; he is tending the sheep. Samuel said to Jesse, Send for him; for we will not sit down to eat until he is here.12 Jesse sent and brought him. David had a healthy reddish complexion and beautiful eyes and was fine-looking. The Lord said [to Samuel], Arise, anoint him; this is he.13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.”
Right after that event, Saul had an evil spirit come on him and David, also being a musician, was asked to play for Saul and soothe his troubled heart. After this job was given to David to play for Saul, the Goliath event occurs. I won’t go into the whole story except to say that Jesse sent David to the battle lines to bring food for his 3 older brothers who were in Saul’s army. In 1 Samuel 17, when David brought them food and saw the giant taunting the army of Israel, he stood up to the Philistines and David’s brothers got angry with him. Sound familiar? I think of Joseph telling his brothers about his dreams and all his brothers were angry enough with him to sell him as a slave and pretend he was killed. Jealousy produces wicked actions.
I believe that David’s life was a troubled one from his youth up. Think about it: his own father didn’t count him worthy to parade before Samuel to be anointed as king. David was almost an afterthought when Samuel asked if there was another son. Yes, Jesse could have been protecting his youngest from service, but then Jesse sent him to the battle lines alone, without protection, to help feed the other brothers. He also allowed David to play for Saul when he had an evil spirit. After David killed Goliath he was taken into Saul’s service and we don’t hear about David’s family again (that I know of).
Back to Psalm 27…there is a reason David tells us that his father and mother had forsaken him because I believe that sadly was David’s experience. We don’t know the details but I believe God’s word is true and it’s written there in PS 27:10. Imagine yourself being a teenager (which David most likely was when he killed Goliath), and you have to leave home, leave your gentle job tending sheep, and are thrust into the king’s service and then shortly after that you are running for your life from the king himself who wants to kill you out of jealousy. I believe David experienced much abandonment in his early life. He had to depend on the Lord alone because his home life wasn’t such that he could depend on his parents or his siblings. The Psalms David wrote are full of expressions of fear, loneliness, feeling forsaken and abandoned. David had to have experienced those first hand to write about them with such clarity.
I believe his writings are divinely written and placed in Scripture “so that” we would know we are not alone. Have you been rejected, abandoned, or forsaken? Read through the Psalms and find comfort knowing that God placed David’s words there for you. In fact, Jesus knew exactly how David felt. Jesus Himself was extremely rejected, persecuted, spit upon and killed – all because He loved us! Jesus knows how it feels when family rejects you even though you love them. Take comfort – God knows how to comfort you with His love. He is our real Father, our Savior, and Redeemer. The key is, “Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].” As hard as it is to really believe that, it’s the truth. May you truly see God taking you up in His arms, as His child, as His son and daughter in whom He delights!