David’s Hands (Part 2)

Albert McShane

The Steadiness of His Hands

That David had a steady hand cannot be questioned for his feat in slaying the giant with a sling and stone, in the Valley of Elah proved him to be a master in the use of this primitive weapon. Although the story of David slaying the giant is often repeated, few consider the degree of accuracy required in slinging a stone so as to strike the only vulnerable spot in the giant’s head. Most who use a sling and stones could have hit Goliath, for he was large enough as a target, but to fire a stone so that it reached the exact target was a master feat of the highest degree. The hands of David were well trained in this field. He had not the slightest doubt in his mind that he would, by the Lord’s help, deliver the fatal blow without fail. None in Israel ever thought the day would come when a shepherd boy would be brought before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand (1 Sam. 17:57).

The giant is often viewed as a type of Satan, but he could also be seen as a type of the flesh. He was surely the greatest physical display ever seen by the Israelites. His height and muscular power were enough to frighten the army, and leave every man in despair. His boastful language expressed the pride of the flesh. Many who are overcomers of the power of Satan and of the world find the flesh much more terrifying, for it seems to them to gather strength as the days pass. Quite often when the flesh is involved, some limit this to the lusts of the body, but in the works of it listed in Galatians 5, the greater number of these have to do with the mind. The power of the Spirit is essential if it is to be overcome. Just as the stone from David’s sling was directed by the Lord, so often a word from the Lord will strike a blow at our fleshly minds and give us victory.

The Songs from His Hands

Although there was no provision in the Tabernacle for singers, when David was preparing for the Temple he made detailed arrangements for singers and their courses. He not only assembled the choir, but wrote with his own hand the words it would sing. Not all of the Book of Psalms was written by David, but at least seventy bear his name in their titles. Some of his psalms are followed by a twin psalm without a title, so most are agreed that these too were written by him. His pen was one of a ready writer, and from his hand has come words which not only give instruction, but express in sublime language the praises due to God. His extensive experience enabled him to search the depths of the human heart, and at the same time to apprehend the ways of God in His dealings with his own. His writings concerning the person of Christ are wonderful, for he tells of His birth, His sorrows, His death, His resurrection, and His coming kingdom. He was not only a poet, but also a prophet.

The Shepherd Care of His Hands

The closing words of Psalm 78 tells us that "He fed (shepherded) Israel according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands." In this passage the "hands" are used figuratively for that ability which was manifest in his directing the affairs of the nation. During his forty years reign a multitude of problems must have arisen in the nation which required wisdom and skill. In spite of failings in some cases, it must be acknowledged that he left the throne with his people more prosperous than they ever had been since they possessed the land. The hallmark of good kings which followed him was that they walked in the ways of David.

All who carry the burden of rule in assemblies meet with crises which can only be handled properly by wisdom given from God. Often said concerning matters, "they were handled badly," or "they were well handled." In the former case, that which should have been overcome with a minimum of trouble was made worse. In the later case, what could have turned out to be a major problem, was confined to its limits. When skilfulness of hands is mentioned, no thought of crafty manipulation is implied, but rather acting with knowledge and wisdom is in view.


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I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5

Each happy morn when I awake, this promise for the day I take: "I’ll never leave thee, nor forsake." "He faileth not." Along life’s road I’ll fear no ill, for Christ, my Lord is with me still; He never failed—He never will: "He faileth not." He has not failed me IN THE PAST, He will not fail WHILE LIFE SHALL LAST, or wheresoe’er my lot is cast; "HE FAILETH NOT!"

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
He cannot, He will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
He’ll never, no NEVER, no NEVER forsake!