We Need Another David

By Russ White Published on February 8, 2024

Those who doubt the Scriptures are relevant should take some time to read through the second half of the First Book of Samuel.

It begins with Saul’s jealousy over the people’s kind words about David, praising David for slaying “ten thousand” and Saul for slaying “thousands.” This ignites Saul’s anger.

While Saul chases David, Israel suffers.

When David takes Goliath’s sword from the tabernacle, Saul slays all the priests. Since there are no longer any priests, the regular sacrifices must stop, destroying Israel’s relationship with God.

David flees to one of Israel’s enemies and pretends to be mad. What kind of impression of Israel and Israel’s God would this leave?

Twice David finds himself in situations where he could have killed Saul — but he refuses. Saul repays these acts of kindness by driving David out of Israel altogether, and into the hands of the Philistines.

One of the Philistine kings gives David the village of Ziklag and takes David’s men into the Philistine army.

A Nation Weakened by Jealousy

Once David was safely settled in Ziklag, the Philistines took heart. Wasn’t one of Israel’s best fighting forces on their side? They gathered their forces and attacked Israel at Gilboa. This city is close to modern-day West Bank in central Israel. Enemy armies should never even reach this area, much less attack from there.

While Saul is focused on destroying David, Israel’s borders have become weak. Even its heartland is open to attack.

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Facing a strong external threat, Saul seeks a medium, through whom he contacts the late prophet Samuel, who prophesies that Saul will die in the coming battle. Speaking with the dead was forbidden by both the Mosaic Law and Saul’s very own command.

Saul cut a massive swath of destruction through Israel’s religious, financial, and military security, chasing an internal enemy. All out of jealousy.

How Does This Compare to Today?

No one today is David, but the ruling progressive elite’s hatred of anyone holding traditional values is parallel to Saul’s jealousy. Progressives have opened the borders of the United States, even suing states that try to close them. They have demeaned religious communities and harmed individual Christians through lawfare.

Efforts to use the military for social experiments have weakened our defense. Intelligence agencies have been turned against ordinary Americans. Can the military be far behind?

The Bible describes human nature and spiritual warfare. These things have not changed since the time of David — or even since the time of Cain and Abel.

The Bible, however, also hints at how to react to times like this.

David fled to Ziklag to survive. He led raids against Israel’s enemies, doing Saul’s job, even while lying to King Achish, one of the Philistine Kings, about his activities to preserve his life. Sometimes in the fog of war we must hide our actions and intentions, doing God’s work even in the face of extreme evil.

David gathered the outcasts of Israel society to himself, building a spiritual and physical fighting force that rivaled that of kingdoms. This fighting force eventually became the core of an army that defeated the Philistines and most of the other surrounding nations.

Christians need to build and find community in times of evil, even if it is among the “outcasts of society.” This community needs to undertake serious training and build alternate social structures to support their work.

Christians should react with wisdom and foresight, understanding the very nature of the battle lying before us.

But, most of all, Christians can pray for a new David to lead our nation in a revival — and ultimately for the return of the Son of David Himself.

 

Russ White is a well-known voice in the computer networking world, where he advocates for simplicity, privacy, and the decentralized Internet. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Southeast Baptist Theological Seminary, an MACM from Shepherds Theological Seminary, and an MSIT from Capella University. He is the author of Unintended Dystopia, Unfriending Dystopia, and Computer Networking Problems and Solutions. Russ is currently working on a book exploring progressivism and Christian thought.

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