So the first chapter looks at the life of David, a man after God's own heart, who faced serious rejection and persecution.
Rejection 1 - King Saul, who had treated him like his own son and given his daughter in marriage to David, turned against him in jealousy and pursued him for a decade to try to take his life.
Rejection 2 - David's own countrymen, who he had just saved from the Philistines, were ready to hand him over to Saul.
Rejection 3 - The Philistines, who had welcomed David into their territory and given him a city to live in, refused to let him and his men go into battle with them...they sent him back...rejected.
Rejection 4 - David's own men, all social outcasts themselves, upon learning that their city had been burned and all their families and possessions captured, turned on David and wanted to stone him.
When David stood alone, with the whole world against him, and his life threatened on all sides, what did he do? Who could he turn to? David's entire future, and his very life, depended on his reaction to this dire situation.
1 Samuel 30:6 records David's response: "But David strengthened himself in the Lord."
David didn't collapse in a heap of self-pity, or start casting blame, or even run away. Instead, he reached out to God...he clung to his Maker and he was strengthened. What was it that enabled David to keep his heart and faith in God steadfast, even in that darkest of days?
1. David had seen God deliver him from the paw of the lion and the bear, and from the giant Philistine Goliath, and those experiences had built a faith in him that enabled him to rely completely on God for the victory. We have to face the battles and see God win in order to grow in our faith.
2. David led a life of worship and praise long before he was anointed to be King of Israel. In the quiet of the countryside, tending his sheep, David poured his heart out to the Lord, and connected with Him heart to heart. We also need to connect heart to heart with God.
Those years of rejection and testing groomed David to handle the glory and responsibility of the Kingship that awaited him. It strengthened his ability to believe and walk in the Word over his life that he would become King of Israel, even when the circumstances seemed to completely oppose and deny his destiny.
Some questions I'm asking myself:
What challenges or tests am I facing that seem to threaten the calling God's put on my life?
How do I respond in the face of rejection, when there is no one left to encourage me but myself?