Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.
One of the most emotional moments I’ve experienced took place at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Erev Shabbat (Eve of Sabbath). Spontaneously, three or four men began energetically dancing the horah at the center of the Western Wall Plaza. Within seconds, the number grew to hundreds. In minutes there were several circles with thousands of men enthusiastically dancing and singing. . .The extreme joy of the participating throngs was palpable, invigorating and never to be forgotten.
Living in the capital city of Jerusalem, David reflected on his situation, “that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel” (1 Sam. 5:12). David humbly recognized his success was not proof of his own wisdom or ability; God was blessing His Chosen People, Israel, by exalting David’s kingdom.
Perched on a rock formation called the Ophel at 150 to 200 feet above the valley floor, Israel’s new capital provided a strategic view of the surrounding valleys; it was highly defensible; and, it had critical access to fresh water.
It didn’t happen overnight; but, at the set time God fulfilled his promise to David and made him King of Israel. When you’re tempted to think God isn’t doing anything in your life, remember what God did for David. It isn’t always easy to see what God is doing; but, at the right moment, the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose will be visible for all to see.
Over the past 100 years, more that 240 million trees have been planted in Israel. Israel is the only country in the world to have entered the 21st century with a net gain of trees. History, however, documents that not all have demonstrated love and concern for the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens. . .the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints.
Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works
which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered.
“Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD” (Ps. 31:23-24). Penned at one of the lowest points of David’s life, the extenuating circumstances are barely discernible in the 31st Psalm. Given the essential facts of David’s predicament in other passages, however, we can’t help but wonder why he didn’t succumb to despair.
Chosen by God and anointed king of Israel by Samuel, David knew God would ultimately vindicate him. He was convinced that in due time God would bring him to the throne of Israel as promised. David’s actions were not swayed by his circumstances. Even the threat of death didn’t alter his conduct—he continued to behave wisely.
When reading his life story, some Christians feel conflicted by God’s characterization of David as, “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22). He certainly wasn’t perfect. Isolated moments of failure are in plain view on the pages of the Bible. Yet, God praises David for one characteristic that set him apart from his brothers and his predecessor, King Saul—David had a heart for God and was willing to do all that God required of him.
Samuel may have been surprised by his first real look at Jesse’s youngest son. David was not only young, he is also described with the Hebrew adjective “admoni”— signifying a red head with a ruddy complexion—a sight seldom seen in Israel. David’s cheerful countenance and the sun-bronzed physique may have impressed Samuel; but, ultimately these external qualities were irrelevant.
Militarily, the situation should never have unfolded the way it did. The Philistines were moving toward the heartland of Israel from Gath on the coastal plane. Israel’s army blocked their advancement toward the population centers of Judea, but stopped short of engagement. The result was a grueling stalemate.
Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.