9 July 1 Samuel 16:14-23

9 July.  David joins the royal court of King Saul at Gibeah

“But the LORD’s Spirit had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”

“Saul’s servants said to him, ‘See, an evil spirit from God is troubling you. Give us the command to look for someone who can play the harp. When the evil spirit from God troubles you, he will play, and you will feel better.’”

“So Saul said to his servants, ‘Find someone who can play well and bring him to me.’ One of the servants said, I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem play the harp. He is brave and courageous. He is a good speaker and handsome, and the LORD is with him.’ Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, ‘Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.’”

“So Jesse loaded a donkey with bread, a leather bag full of wine and a young goat, and he sent them with his son David to Saul. When David came to Saul, he began to serve him.’”

“Saul liked David and made him the officer who carried his armour. Saul sent a message to Jesse, saying, ‘Let David stay and serve me because I like him.’”

“When the evil spirit from God troubled Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then the evil spirit would leave him, and Saul would feel better.”

          (1 Samuel 16:14-23)



Having been rejected as king by God and condemned by Samuel, Saul – perhaps not surprisingly - rapidly slipped into a state of clinical depression, described in the Old Testament as “an evil spirit from God” (1 Samuel 16:14).

To ease his depression, Saul’s servants suggested he appointed someone to play soothing music to him when he felt down. One of the servants suggested a talented lyre player he had heard in Bethlehem – David, the youngest son of Jesse.

So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and David was sent to the royal court at Gibeah to play the lyre for Saul, who was feeling increasingly depressed (see 2 on the map on 8 July).

David was an amiable young man, and soon established himself as one of Saul’s favourites. Not long afterwards he was promoted to become one of Saul’s trusted armour bearers.

The photo shows David playing the lyre, from a 10th century Paris psalter. 

You can read more about David’s relationship with Saul @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/david-defeats-goliath-of-gath/

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