King David: the Role Model for Success

            October 2013    
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King David, King Saul and Michal, the daughter of King Saul and wife of King David

By Avi Lazerson

What is it that makes the difference between people? What is it that causes one person to be elevated above his peers and another to be demoted?

The answer to these questions can be found in the Book of Samuel in the story of King David. Allow me to first present a brief historic summary that we may understand an important lesson in life.

It is difficult to find a person in all of Jewish thought that is as well loved, respected and looked up to as King David. From King David comes not only the dynasty of Jewish kings but also many great rabbis from ancient times until now; add to this the tradition that the righteous messiah will be from the descendants of David and you can see that David was definitely a person of a stature that in some aspects supercedes that of Moses whose children did not continue the leadership role of their father.

The Book of Samuel deals with the rise of David and the fall of King Saul. The Jews desired to have a king that could save them from their enemies, the Palestinians, and Samuel, the prophet, was told by G-d to anoint Saul as king. Saul became king and is valiant and very successful in his wars. But when he was instructed by Samuel the prophet to kill out the people of Amalek, he decides to spare the king temporarily and bring him and several animals back for a public execution.

God's wrath on Saul for not following divine instruction was expressed to him through the prophet Samuel who told him that his monarchy would not continue.

Samuel is instructed by G-d to go to Yishai in the area of Judah and there he will find the person that will become the next king. After looking over all of Yishai's sons and each one being a person of great statue but yet rejected by God, Samuel finds the last son, David, who is tending the sheep. God instructs Samuel to anoint him to be king which he does. Samuel then leaves David to himself and returns to his own house. David did not automatically become king at that time, rather Saul continued to reign as the king.

At this point in time the Philistines assemble at the Eula Valley to battle the Jews. The Philistines are on one side of the valley and the Jews on the other. The giant Philistine, Goliath appears and begins to mock the Jews requesting them to send out one person who can battle him personally. The Jews are afraid of this giant.

Assembled there with King Saul's army are several of Yishai's sons. Yishai sends David to bring food to the sons who are assembled with King Saul. When David arrives on the scene...



from the October 2013 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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