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O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. (Psalm 7:1)

Few Bible characters are as fascinating as David. God chose this simple shepherd boy to become Israel's greatest king. David was not a perfect man, but he had a tender heart toward God and walked humbly before Him. Let us look at his early life and see how God prepared him to be Israel's second king, succeeding King Saul.

King Saul began his reign well, but it ended in disaster. In short, Saul was disobedient and did not trust God. He grew insanely jealous of the young David, who became a hero after striking down the Philistine giant, Goliath, with a slingshot and stone. A skilled musician, David played the harp to soothe Saul's tormented spirit. Saul tried to kill him twice by hurling his spear, but David escaped. Saul's murderous plots continued for years, and David lived as a fugitive. Saul's life ended tragically when he took his life by falling on his sword.

David's long period of suffering trained him for righteous leadership and brought him to a deeper trust in God. During this dark season, he wrote beautiful psalms that reflected his fears, anguish, loneliness, as well as his praise and adoration to God. David's psalms touch our emotions and help us to express our feelings to God. In our own times of trial, suffering, or loss, let us draw close to God as David did.

Father, strengthen those who are facing lengthy trials and give them Your peace and joy. Bring good out of their suffering and use it for Your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

SUSAN FERGUSON

Susan Ferguson is a freelance writer who lives in Madison, Mississippi with her husband. She is an accountant by profession and works during the day and writes at night. She is a member of Faithwriters and participates in their daily devotional. She likes to read, travel, and cook for family and friends.