Mother Stories from the Bible – Playing on the Harp Before Saul

David playing on the harp before SaulWe are not told much in the Bible concerning the early life of David. He was born in Bethlehem. We have seen who his father was, but I do not find that his mother’s name is given. His own name means “beloved.” What a happy name! He must have been much loved by his parents, and we know he was loved by God.

Like many other youths in Canaan, he acted as a shepherd to his father’s flocks. He was a fair, open-faced boy; “ruddy, and of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at,” so the Scriptures say. He was a good musician, knew how to sling stones at a mark, and was so brave that when a lion and a bear came to attack the lambs of his flock he went after them and killed them both. One day a strange and most important event happened. Samuel, the prophet, came from Ramah, and pouring some very precious oil upon the head of David, anointed him to be the future King of Israel. Saul was then King, but on account of his wickedness God had rejected him, saying that another should reign in his stead.

Soon after this event Saul became very wretched. An evil spirit troubled him, we are told. His servants advised him to get a man that could play skillfully upon the harp, so that music might drive away his misery. Some one suggested David; and David was sent for. He brought sweet strains from his harp, and Saul was soothed. Saul was pleased with David. We are told that “he loved him greatly,” and that David became his armour-bearer. But he soon grew jealous, and twice threw a javelin at David, seeking to smite him to the wall and kill him. This, however, he was not able to do.