Friday, September 29, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-29 [Lessons from Samuel] Another example of integrity

Another example of integrity

(This is a piece I wrote a while ago - it echoes the message from yesterday.)

6 David then asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, 'Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?' 'I'll go with you,' said Abishai. 7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him. 8 Abishai said to David, 'Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won't strike him twice.' 9 But David said to Abishai, 'Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the LORD lives,' he said, 'the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go.'       (1Samuel26:6-11)
Significance has to do with character, and character has to do with who we are when no-one is looking. Character is about choosing the road less travelled.

David had been anointed as King - he knew that Saul was simply keeping the throne warm for him. Saul however was insanely jealous of David and had hunted and pursued David, killing those who showed any kind of support for him. It was clear to almost everyone that Saul was clutching at straws and that David was God's choice.

As David and Abishai snuck into Saul's encampment, a golden opportunity presented itself: Everyone was asleep and Saul (who should have been protected and who himself should have been more careful) lay defenceless. Abishai, and we cannot blame him - Saul had made their lives miserable - saw this as an opportunity. He even saw it as God's hand. 'Kill him - and your problems are over, and you can become king in peace.'

David saw the temptation. Although he did not necessarily respect the man, he respected the office. He knew that to become King by treachery and bloodshed was not God's way. He made a character decision to wait and to skip the shortcut. In doing so he taught Abishai and all who would have heard the story ('We were in his tent - he was snoring away!') all about loyalty, uprightness, character, and dignity.

The temptation to take the easy road, or grab what looks like the most convenient solution, especially if it requires only a small compromise, is a very real issue. But it is our characters and our reputation that is at stake. It is easy to pass on a piece of gossip that will damage our competitors in the office. It is easy to piggyback on someone else's work and not acknowledge them. But our lack of respect for our own and other people's dignity will find us out.

David made the right call in a very tempting place - may we too!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-28 [Lessons from Samuel] Integrity


After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the Desert of En Gedi." 2 So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.' " Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe.
5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD."      (1Samuel24:1-6)
This is a powerful picture of David's integrity.

Let's not forget that David has been anointed as King by Samuel.
Samuel has already told Saul that God had rejected him as King and chosen another.

David could have justified killing Saul as expediting God's will.

But David has integrity:

  • Towards God - He trusts God's timing instead of creating his own.
  • Towards Saul - He respects the office of the king and even though the person has failed repeatedly David believes that God can still use him
  • Towards his men - He sets them a good example.
  • Towards himself - He refuses to take a short-cut.

This is a beautiful picture of mental and spiritual health, balance and coherence.
David's principles, motives and actions are aligned around God's will and glory and not his own.

We can learn a lot from him...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-27 [Lessons from Samuel] Asking for Guidance

Asking for Guidance

2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, 'Shall I go and attack these Philistines?' The LORD answered him, 'Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.' (Read the rest of the chapter when you get a chance...)      (1Samuel23:2-29)
In chapter 23 there are 5 occasions where David asks for guidance and help and gets it. How can we be guided by God and learn to hear him? There are some guidelines that we can pick up from David.
  1. Ask. David often asked for guidance. While this seems the obvious place to start, there is more to this than meets the eye. To ask for help is to be willing to give up one's own plans. To ask is to admit that we need help. To ask is to place our pride and self-sufficiency aside. And asking is an act of faith and trust.
  2. Remember God's faithfulness in the past. David when facing Goliath remembered how God had helped him face the lion and the bear. In his psalms asking for guidance David always remembered God's answers in the past. This serves two important purposes: It gave confidence that God would answer and there are often principles from the past that are applicable to the present.
    The Anglican Church uses three criteria for making decisions: Scripture, Reason, and Tradition. The Tradition or History of God's faithfulness is a good guide for the future.
  3. The ephod: David had the ephod (a priestly garment with gems that glowed when you asked yes-no questions) which helped him as he prayed. We don't have anything like the ephod today and so we have to ask ourselves what the ephod represented. The ephod was part of the regular disciplined structured corporate worship of the Hebrews. It also represented the corporate nature of the faith as it was studded with jewels that represented the 12 tribes.
    One of the best places to seek guidance is in the regular structured disciplined worship structures in our lives - our daily devotions, our fellowship group, and our worship in church. It seems clear that God often uses these contexts to guide us.
  4. Allow others to encourage and advise you. Later in ch.23 David is encouraged by Jonathan who ensures him that God will protect him.

These are just some of the principles behind hearing God and being guided by Him. May we learn from David's example.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-26 [Lessons from Samuel] The Ragamuffin Community of Adullam

The Ragamuffin Community of Adullam

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
      (1Samuel22:1-2 )
After David killed Goliath his popularity grew and so did Saul's jealousy. Saul festered and plotted ways to expose David to as much danger as possible and get him killed. As his anger simmered he twice threw a javelin at David who managed to evade him. Eventually his rage erupted at a banquet where he accused his son Jonathan of being disloyal to his family because of his friendship with David.

David fled for his life and tried hiding out among the Philistines where he had to pretend that he was crazy because they were so threatened by him. Eventually it wasn't even safe among the enemies of his enemy and so David opted for a nomadic existence in the wilderness.

There, a group of people gather around him. His family and then a riff-raff of people - society's dropouts. This is a diverse and unexpected group of people.

They're a rag tag bunch. At one point they even wanted to kill David when their families had been abducted by the Amalekites because they blamed David for taking too many risks. But David leads them through all of this.

But strangely enough, they become a unit and a significant force.

Read through the pages of 1 and 2 Samuel and you will meet them:

  • Looking after a local farmer's flocks without stealing any
  • Pretending to fight Israel with the Philistines but raiding the Amalekites and keeping up the ruse.
  • Successfully evading Saul and obeying David's instructions to respect the King.
  • Performing heroic deeds - facing Goliath's kin and crossing enemy lines just to give David a drink of water.
  • Fighting loyally with David.

At the end of 2Samuel we have a few chapters that describe the exploits of David's mighty men. This is what the ragamuffins of Adullam have become!

This is a powerful image of the church. We don't have David, but we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit who will help us grow from a rag-tag bunch of ragamuffins to become a powerful force to accomplish justice and reconciliation in our world.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-21 [Lessons from Samuel] Why five stones?

I'm sorry for the sporadic EmmDevs - it has been a busy time....

Why five stones?

Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.      (1Samuel17:40)
Why did David pick up five stones?
It could be that he was naturally cautious...
  • Maybe he was worried that he might miss with his first shot.
  • Or that the first shot wouldn't kill Goliath...
  • Or that he wanted some extra ammunition in case the Philistines didn't stick to the deal of surrendering if he defeated Goliath.

But there is another interesting theory that comes from 2 Samuel 21.
(Please note that it is a theory and not a doctrine... There is a footnote to the passage that indicates that there was probably a scribal error in the copying of the text and so we cannot be dogmatic about our conclusions)

In 2 Samuel 21 we read the "descendants of Rapha" who were all giants. Goliath was one of five descendants of Rapha.
The other four are:

  1. Ishbi-Benob (v.16) was "one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David [by this time David was an old man]. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David's rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him."
  2. Saph (v.18) "In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha."
  3. Lahmi (v.19) "In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed [Lahmi the brother of]]Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod."
  4. An Unnamed Man(v.20) In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot--twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David's brother, killed him.

The passage concludes (v.22) "These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men."

It is not entirely clear whether these were siblings or other family members of Goliath, but they are descended from Rapha and at least one of them is named a brother to Goliath.

So the cool theory about David's five stones is that that David knew about the "giants of Rapha" and that he picked up one stone for Goliath and the rest for his kinsmen. This is a lovely expression of faith and trust in God: "Even if his kinsmen come to take revenge - with God's help I'll be ready."

I love that kind of "Bring it on!" faith.
May we also be courageous and forward looking and forward trusting in our faith.

Friday, September 15, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-15 [Lessons from Samuel] Facing Giants #5 - Run to the Battle

Facing Giants #5 - Run to the Battle

David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
Tactically David should have kept a safe distance between himself and Goliath. Goliath would have been using his "trash-talking" routine to get closer to David.

David is zealous. He is passionate. He is incensed at Goliath's arrogance. Not only does he move toward Goliath, but he runs!
He runs passionately and confidently.
He grabs a stone from his bag.
Loads it in His sling.
He's running fast - he's swinging.
He's passionate. He's focused. He's adamant.
His picture of God is so big that Goliath is small.
And when it's like that... You don't miss!

Some say that God made the stone fly straight and true...
And that may be...
But I think the real miracle was that David's heart was strong and true.
Fear would have bound and stunted the skill that was in him.
But with God in His heart David became all he could be!!!

David teaches us to stay true to what we are good at.
But we learn more from his heart...
- His eyes were on God.
- His ambition was God's glory.
- His confidence was God's victory.
And so his best was his very best and the giant fell!

What about us?
We need to play to our strengths and be authentically ourselves.
But our God-given skills and talents can be stunted by fear.
We need a big picture of God!
Our zealousness for God's honour is an indication of the significance we will achieve.
Will we sit still when God's honour is at stake?
I hope not!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-14 [Lessons from Samuel] Facing Giants #4 - Don't be intimidated

Facing Giants #4 - Don't be intimidated

40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 "Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"      (1Samuel17:40-44)
There is a key fact that many people overlook when they read this passage...
Are you ready for it?
Goliath was bringing a knife to a gunfight!

Even today in Palestine you can watch shepherd boys sling stones at lamp-poles at 100m and hit them everytime.

Goliath had close range weapons, he couldn't throw his javelin as far as David could sling a stone. David presented a very dangerous threat to Goliath. Goliath was prepared for a traditional enemy - a soldier with spear, sword and shield. In that kind of fight Goliath had the size and the experience.

But David was a curved stone, I mean ball!

So Goliath had to rattle David. He had to scare him, shake him, intimidate him and do everything he could to get David on the back foot because if David was on the back foot, David would miss...

And so Goliath insults him, undermines him and intimidates him.
Look at Goliath's approach:
- He despised him
- He ridiculed him (You come at me with sticks)
- He cursed David by the Philistine gods, implying their superiority
- He threatens David (I'll feed you to the birds)

This is what Bullies do.
The band, Casting Crowns sing about this:
But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again "boy, you'll never win!
"You'll never win"

Look at David's awesome reply... David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

I can't say it better!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-12 [Lessons from Samuel] Facing Giants #3 - Simplicity

Facing Giants #3 - Simplicity

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
"I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
For David to use Saul's armour was a threefold temptation:
  1. Claim to the kingship. By wearing the King's armour, David would, in the mind of the people, have a claim to royalty
  2. Look professional and take a shortcut to soldier status. David was too young to be a soldier, but if he looked like one and defeated the giant, it would be very hard to take the soldier status away
  3. To rely on external tools and gimmicks.

But Saul's armour hinders him - it is clutter that slows him down.

Is there clutter in your life?
- The temptation to grab at status?
- An overdeveloped image awareness?
- Too much reliance on tricks of the trade?

David ended up being true to himself and true to the path that God brought him on. God doesn't waste any of our life-experiences. We learn and grow from everything that happens to us. (Whether they be good experiences or bad ones...)

David could have been enamoured with the new and the fancy. He could have relied on looking impressive and relying on the weapons because they were Saul's. In the end he trusts his experiences and he remains true to himself.

We spend a lot of time trying to be impressive, to be like society's heroes and to rely on what is trendy or cool and to do what it takes to be taken seriously.

David realises these are not a true fit.
He realises he needs to be himself.
He goes back to basics. He stays true to himself and trusts the lessons he has learnt in the past.

So should we....

Friday, September 8, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-08 [Lessons from Samuel] Facing Giants #2 - Be passionate for God's renown

Facing Giants #2 - Be passionate for God's renown

David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"      (1Samuel17:26)
Why did God honour David? I think it is because David was so utterly passionate for the glory of His God! Whilst the rest of the Israelites looked at the size of the giant, David looked at the size of the insult. While the rest of the Israelites saw the size of Goliath's weapons, David saw the size of His God! While the Israelites quaked in fear at Goliath's intimidating threats, David shook with anger at the giant's disrespect.

David was passionate for the honour of his God! David was zealous for God. He would not sit still - he would not remain silent!

David achieved significance because he would not sit still when others mocked his God. David made a difference because he wanted God to be glorified. David had a life which counted because he lived that life to honour His God.

Later in the chapter we read that Goliath cursed David by his gods. In response to the threat of Goliath's gods, David says (shouts - I think) "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!"
Then David runs to the battle-line and slings his stone.

When God saw this faithful passion, he delighted in this shepherd boy and honoured him, the stone was given wings, and the giant fell!

What about us? Our zealousness for God's honour is an indication of the significance we will achieve. Will we sit still when God's honour is at stake? I hope not!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-07 [Lessons from Samuel] Facing Giants #1 - Remember God's Faithfulness

Facing Giants #1 - Remember God's Faithfulness

BACKGROUND: David is a young man delivering provisions to his brothers. He hears one of Goliath's daily taunts and is incensed. Disparagingly he asks "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
32 David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."
33 Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."
34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."      (1Samuel17:31-37)
Saul doesn't want some young shepherd boy giving his troops false hope. When David's "dissing" of Goliath comes to his ears, Saul summons him and puts him in his place: "You are only a boy, this guy is a tank - He's a giant and he's been fighting from his youth."

But Saul has made the same mistake everyone else has.
He has forgotten that whoever fights Goliath doesn't fight alone!

David is crystal clear. Goliath may be an experienced fighting giant, and David may be a boy, but God, who has been with David to fight the lion and the bear, will be with him.

Very often giants come along and intimidate us. They try to dominate our field of vision so that we think only of them and it paralyses us. David uses the powerful tool of memory to remember how God has delivered him.

Lions and Bears are powerful and frightening enemies. Especially if you are a young shepherd boy surrounded by sheep. David would have had to trust God more than he feared these very primal enemies and when God delivered him, he must have been very aware of the help he received.

David's memories are clear and solid.
(Maybe he's told this story many times...)
He trusted God in the past and it turned out well.
He would do the same again!

What enemies have you faced in the past?
How has God delivered you?
What "songs of deliverance" can you sing?

Don't let a giant fill your vision!
Use your rear-view mirror to recognise that the God who has brought you thus far will carry you further still!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-06 [Lessons from Samuel] The trouble with giants

The trouble with giants

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armour of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 10 Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." 11 On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified....
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.      (1Samuel17:4-16)
(We're going to spend a week or two looking at the story of David and Goliath...)

Giants can come into our lives at any point.

In Israel's case it was a literal giant soldier named Goliath. But giants can be spiritual or emotional problems. Giants can be systems, peer-groups or tough circumstances. Giants can be temptations or past failures. Setbacks or obstacles can become giants in our lives. The curved balls that life throws our way can be giants.

At some point you and I will face or have faced a giant!

There are some things we can learn from Goliath. These are "tricks of the trade" in the giant handbook of "how to intimidate God's people":

  1. They are big and well equipped. Goliath set out to make a massive first impression. Not only was his physical size phenomenal, but He had armed himself with incredible weaponry. He seemed insurmountable, impregnable and invulnerable.
    Many of our giants are the same - they seem larger than life. They same to have powerful weapons and impenetrable defences.
  2. They come offering compelling deals often too good to be true. "Send someone to fight me - winner takes all." Sometimes we have to question the deal. In the Biblical account David takes the deal and overturns it by winning against long odds.
    We should, however, be careful - sometimes the deal offered is a smokescreen and leads to compromise. But don't be afraid of being the underdog. With God on their side, underdogs win!
  3. He calls them servants of Saul. There are two aspects to this: Firstly, Saul has already started imploding and so their loyalty to him is waning. But secondly Israel are actually servants of God. But Goliath doesn't want them to remember that....
    Today's giants will try to make us forget who we are as children of the king. They will have us focus on heroes with clay feet or our own clay feet, crumbling from our failures.
  4. Giants keep coming. Goliath wore the Israelites down - morning and evening for 40 days. Each time he yelled at them the more they feared him. And fear was the object of the exercise.
    Modern day giants also fight wars of attrition. They will wear us down through repeated threats and many voices.

These are just some of the tactics of giants.
We should be on the alert...
If you see these tactics, you're facing a goliath!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-05 [Lessons from Samuel] Peace-full

My apologies for the gap in EmmDevs - it has been a bit hectic....


Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
15 Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better."
17 So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me."
18 One of the servants answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him."
... 23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.      (1Samuel16:14-23)
One of the fruits of the Spirit is peace.
This passage is a lovely picture of how a Godly leader who lives in the presence of the Lord can bring peace to those around him...

This is a difficult passage. It describes Saul's ongoing spiritual and emotional decline. God's Spirit has left Saul and now an evil spirit besets him.

What is difficult about this passage is that it indicates that the evil spirit is from God. This does not mean that God is the author of evil, but simply that He allows it - It is a reminder that God is still sovereign over evil. The best example we have of this is when Satan has to go to God to get permission to torment Job.

Although God allows the evil spirit to come, it is Saul who has rebelled against God. It is Saul who does not heed Samuel's warnings and Saul who would rather keep up appearances than repent. God's Spirit departs from Saul and, as he feeds himself on insecurity and jealousy, he opens himself up to evil influence.

Saul's servants recognise the presence of evil and they recognise that music (presumably hymns of praise to God) will banish the darkness. They recommend David. Look at the criteria they mention:

  • Plays the harp. Skilled musician (and, judging by his success in soothing Saul, a true worshipper)
  • Brave man and a Warrior: Someone who would not be intimidated by the evil spirit in Saul and the melancholic mood swings he was prone to. (We know that Saul twice tried to make a sosaatie out of David with his spear.)
  • Speaks well and is a fine-looking man. One can only assume that David's refinement would give Saul an anchor - to inspire him toward better things. Beauty is a powerful antidote to darkness.
  • And the Lord is with him: David lived in the presence of the Lord and could therefore exude God's presence.

Godly leaders, like David, will carry God's peace with them. The OT word for peace is Shalom (wholeness, blessing and harmony) - I believe that peace-bringing is a significant criteria of Godly leaders.