David and Samuel—by Faith
Time would fail me to tell . . . also of David and Samuel. (Heb_11:32)
Our divinely inspired author sensed that time was running out in his epistle to elaborate upon the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah. He was also impressed to record that time was not sufficient to include specific testimony about the faith of David and Samuel. This is surprising, since they would be viewed by many as likely candidates for extensive consideration.
David was such a notable man of faith. He faced the giant Goliath by faith. “Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts’ ” (1Sa_17:45). When Saul wanted to destroy him, David entrusted the King into the hands of the Lord. “Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you” (1Sa_24:12). He confidently confessed the Lord as his strength, his joy, and his comprehensive salvation. “The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation” (Psa_118:14). He even turned to the Lord in humble dependence at the lowest spiritual point in his life (after he sinned tragically in adultery and murder). “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psa_51:1-2).
Samuel was another notable man of faith. He began to trust in the Lord as a young boy. “Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears’ ” (1Sa_3:10). Then, he grew spiritually and faithfully served the Lord throughout the nation of Israel. “So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD” (1Sa_3:19-20). Also, he courageously rebuked King Saul for not fully carrying out his instructions from God to destroy the Amalekites. “Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king” (1Sa_15:23).
David and Samuel were outstanding servants of the Lord. However, the noteworthy distinctive in their lives was the same spiritual factor that caused some men of lesser renown to be listed here as well—faith. “For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah” (Heb_11:32).
Lord God of the “likely servant,” in many ways, I can identify with Barak and Jephthah more readily than with David and Samuel. Yet, I am encouraged to see that what pleases You in any person is always the same—faith. Teach me to trust You, Lord.