Letter To The Jews / Chapter 16

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16: David’s Suffering

David, who was the forerunner of a greater anointed one, did not receive his kingdom right away. YHWH became angry with King Saul, and the prophet Samuel said to Saul: “YHWH has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a fellow of yours, who is better than you.” 1

The prophet was then told to go to Bethlehem and anoint David, “and the spirit of YHWH empowered David from that day forward.” 2 David became mighty, and performed many mighty deeds, and Saul became jealous and sought to kill him many times, so that he had to hide from the face of Saul.

In those days, David felt his life was in danger, but he knew YHWH was able to raise him even from the dead, for he wrote: “You will not abandon my soul in the grave, neither will you allow your faithful one to see corruption.” 3

At times, he even wrote like he was as good as dead: “My strength is dried up like a piece of pottery, and my tongue sticks to my palate; and you lay me in the dust of death.” 4 And again: “I can count all of my bones, while they look and stare at me. They divide up my garments among them, and they cast lots over my clothing.” 5

And he felt despised: “But I am a worm, and not a man; a reproach of men and despised by people. All those seeing me mock me. They sneer, they shake their heads: 'He trusted in YHWH, let him rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.'” 6

But he writes that he was despised for no reason: “The mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me. They have spoken about me with a lying tongue, and they surround me with words of hatred, and attack me without cause. In return for my love, they become my accusers; but I pray. They have laid upon me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, he will be condemned, and his prayer will be sin. His days will be few, and another will take his office.’” 7

And again: “I have become a reproach to them. When they look upon me, they shake their heads.” And yet this was the anointed of YHWH!

But he continues: “Help me, YHWH my God, save me by your mercy, so they will know that this is your hand; you, YHWH, have done it. Let them curse, but you will bless. They rise up, but will be ashamed; and your servant will rejoice. My enemies will be clothed with confusion, and will be covered as with a robe of shame.” 8

He wrote many other words like these, which show that even though he was anointed as YHWH’s servant, he was not recognized for who he was, but was first despised and mistreated. It was only many years later, when Saul died, that David was anointed king over Israel by the people.

Now, in these three examples – Joseph, Moses and David - we see a similar pattern; that YHWH prepares a form of salvation for Israel, but this salvation is first of all rejected and despised, and not treated with respect.

Nevertheless, by being humbled before being exalted, each of YHWH’s means of salvation were able to become more compassionate leaders when their time came. And YHWH's salvation ultimately had success, even though it took time, and was not recognized at first.

1 1 Samuel 15:28. 2 1 Samuel 16:13. 3 Psalm 16:10. 4 Psalm 22:16 (22:15). 5 Psalm 22:18,19 (22:17,18). 6 Psalm 22:7-9 (22:6-8). 7 Psalm 109:2-8. 8 Psalm 109:25-29.

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