David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17
We have to start with David before Goliath, then we understand David after Goliath.
David before Goliath
He was the least in his father’s house. He tended sheep.
He was busy doing that, when God called him and set him apart through Samuel. David learned a lot about handling people because he spent so much time with those sheep.
He also spent time playing a musical instrument enough that people who heard him play recognized his ability, and when the time was right, told Saul about him. It makes me wonder if David ever minimized what he was doing with those sheep, playing that music to them, and no other audience for so long.
Then the times he had some victories… he killed the lion and he killed a bear. We don’t know anything about that until later. In all the time he is playing for Saul, before Goliath, David never speaks about those victories, until he needed to use them as an illustration of God showing him what to do in the face of danger and adversity. What does this tell us about David’s character? He was not too proud to do menial tasks with consistency. He took even the task of being a shepherd very seriously, to the point that he was willing to risk his own life to guard his sheep.
When David was asked to go and play for King Saul,
he didn’t hesitate,
he didn’t excuse himself,
he didn’t say he was less than…. whatever…
he just went and did it.
It was the next thing to do.
Then the Bible says he went back to what he was doing, but also became an itinerant… traveling to minister to Saul when needed and going back home and tending his father’s flocks the rest of the time. He was divided between two places.
Whenever he was summoned, he did as he was bidden, quickly and efficiently while still making sure his flocks were taken care of at home.
When he got to the battle, even there, he methodically left his stuff with somebody to take care of while he went out to greet his brothers.
Even in the excitement of battle he was careful, methodical. Those habits had to have been built in before now.
He used his relational skills and went out to greet his brothers and talk with them. Knowing who he is from reading his Psalms, I am sure he was simply finding ways to encourage them.
David meets Goliath.
Then Goliath comes strutting his stuff. It says all Israel was fleeing and Afraid…
including his brothers.
David has a whole different assessment of the situation than they do.. Instantly.
It’s like what I’ve read often in Maxwell’s books “leaders see more and they see before other people.”
All the others could see was a big bad man who could defeat them.
David saw a big bad man who was nothing in the eyes of God and must be defeated because he was mocking God!
The men of Israel said. “Look at that guy!! He’s scary! He’s big!! He’s bad!!
But boy if you can kill him you’ll get riches and honor and all those kinds of wonderful things.
David, however, saw it differently. He asks, “What will be done for the man who takes away the dishonor of Israel?” His Focus was more on honor and righteousness than it was the man or on riches.
It is interesting how quickly his brother Eliab gets angry. Fear genders anger.
The individual, as a member of his family, who should have been supporting David, was the first person who attacked him.
David answered righteously, “What have I now done? Is there not a Cause?” Accusations harden the will, questions prick the conscience!
After he has to deal with that attack from family, he asked the others the same question and they all answered in fear. No one stood with David at this point. But some of them were brave enough to go and tell Saul what he was saying.
They recognized a leader and they put him before the king who could use him.
Saul sends for him.
David says he’ll take on the task.
Saul points out all the negatives.
David is not dissuaded. Instead, He remembers All the Way God has led him thus far and draws on it. At this point, David does speak up and mention other things that he was able to do in the strength of the Lord: killing The Lion and the Bear.
He knew he had taken on other challenges and God had given him the grace to overcome. He used these examples to show Saul that he knew he had an advantage. David focused on the victories in his life, not the defeats. David did not allow the fact that he was the youngest in his family and devalued by his brothers to prevent him from doing what God had called him to do. He simply focused on the task at hand and did it to the best of his ability.
When Saul agrees, David initially submits to Saul’s suggestion to try to use his armor. But then David clearly demonstrates that using that armor is not going to work, and steps out and does things the way he knows it will work for him.
Saul, a man in a powerful leadership position over him, gave David a suggestion that was not good and David had the courage to simply say “I can’t do this, because it’s not the way I have learned how to do things. I won’t be effective doing it your way.”
To Saul’s credit, he let David do things the way he knew how to do them. He had the foresight to recognize he had a competent man standing in front of him!
David had the confidence to say, “I appreciate your suggestion, but I have to do it the way I know I can.”
He picks up his slingshot. He picks five smooth stones. He was exhibiting some interesting foresight at that point because Goliath had four brothers. So if he was going to take down Goliath, he was also anticipating that he might have to take down his four brothers as well. It wasn’t just looking at the current obstacle, he was anticipating other obstacles that could come and prepared for them too.
When Goliath taunted him, David came back with truth because he knew he would win. He had the power of God with him so he spoke the truth and then he made it happen.
He RAN at that Philistine. No fear just action!… Knocked him out with the stone and then cut off his head.
David After Goliath
Once he demonstrated these strengths as a leader, Israel regained courage and took on the Philistines defeating them.
David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Saul so all Jerusalem could celebrate, but he did keep some important things as memorials in his tent. The sword or Goliath.
The thing that’s amazing to me is Saul has had David coming to play for him for a while now, but he still turns to his commander Abner and “says whose son is this kid?”
When David is brought by Abner, to the king and he stands before him with that head in his hands, he just quietly says, “My dad is Jessie your servant.”
No arrogance, just a simple statement of fact.
It is at this point that God gives David a friend for life who is the other side of his soul… Who goes to him in the wood when he is discouraged, who defends him before his father the king and who strengthens his hand in God.
What’s interesting here is even after this battle, David simply just continues to do what he supposed to do every single day, but he does start getting put into more challenges.
And very shortly after this, he is put on the run from Saul to a point of obscurity for a period of time to develop his maturity.
And I can’t help but think Israel was not ready to have David as their King yet either.