Israeli archaeologists believe they have unearthed a palace of King David in the ancient village of Shaaraim, a site about 20 miles from Jerusalem where the Bible reports that David slew Goliath. Yossi Garfinkel, a Hebrew University archaeologist, believes that the permanent palace in Jerusalem is still buried, and that David only visited Shaaraim and other palaces for short periods.
Two buildings were unearthed at the hilltop site. The first structure is the palace itself, covering about 11,000 square feet and fortified by a wall. Two impressive entrances were also found in the fortress ruins (Shaaraim means “Two Gates”). The other building, measuring about 50 feet long, is likely a royal storeroom where taxed oil and grain were stockpiled. Hundreds of artifacts have also been discovered at the site, including stone pots, seals, religious objects and tools typical of the 10th century BC, the era of King David. Another interesting fact is that no pig remains were found during the dig. The Law of God, found in the Torah of the Old Testament, strictly forbid Jews to consume pork.
A statement from Garfinkel and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority states that the find is “unequivocal evidence of a kingdom’s existence, which knew to establish administrative centers at strategic points.”
An amazing discovery, to be sure. But even more amazing is to discover the God whom David worshipped.
This is the God who chose the small and overlooked shepherd boy of Jesse to be anointed king of Israel.
This is the God who so captivated the heart of young David that he composed psalms about Him, songs so sublime that they were eventually recognized as Holy Scripture.
This is the God who filled David with the courage to face a giant and vanquish him with a single pebble from a river bed.
This is the God who protected David as he eluded the crazed and jealous Saul, the Lord who forged a ruddy rustic into a leader of men.
This is the God who saw that David was a “man after His own heart” (I Sam 13:14, Acts 13:22), even after the king committed adultery with Bathsheba. He is also the holy God who did not let the sin go unconfronted or unpunished.
This is the glorious God who used a fallible human ruler to produce the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the son of David, Jesus the Messiah (Matt 1:1).
It took an archaeological team seven years to excavate King David’s palace, but it only takes a moment to find the God of King David. Gaze at the stars and see that the Creator has set His glory in the heavens (Ps 8:1). Look inside to know that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” a work of art knitted by God Himself (Ps 139:14). Confess your sin and brokenness, and He will make Himself known by making your heart pure and your spirit right (Ps 51: 10).
David discovered all these things about God.
Anyone can. It’s a promise from the Lord Himself:
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13 NIV).
Photo from Hebrew University/Israel Antiquities Authority