What’s Next for David?

Searching His Word
  Seeking His Heart

David pleased King Saul with the soothing sounds of his harp. (See Preparation Put to Use) David made frequent trips to the palace to ease Saul’s tormented mind.

Later, Saul and his soldiers have moved about fifteen miles west near the Philistine border. Israel has had constant contentions with the Philistines and they certainly have big time trouble brewing now. The Philistines are on one hill and the Israelites on another hill with a wide valley between them.

Each morning, both sides come out ready to do battle, when a nine foot man named Goliath struts out with his bronze helmet and coat of bronze scale armor weighing 5,000 shekels (about 125 pounds.) Picture this massive man with bronze greaves on his legs, a bronze javelin slung on his back, and a spear. The iron point of his spear alone weighs 15 pounds.

He shouts to the ranks of Israel,

“Why do you come out and line up for battle? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” I Samuel 17:8-9

Saul and his men are “dismayed and terrified.” Everyday they listen to the pompous rhetoric from this giant of a man, but no one is brave enough to challenge him.

Now among the soldiers are David’s three oldest brothers. Remember them? Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah. Meanwhile, David still attends his father’s sheep. From time to time, Jesse sends David to the battle lines to take food for his brothers and bring back word on how things are going.

During one of these visits, David leaves the food with the keeper of supplies and runs over to where the men have lined up for battle. Just then, Goliath steps forward as he has done for forty days and shouts his usual defiance. The soldiers suddenly retreat because they are all afraid of Goliath.

David is appalled. He asks,

“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Samuel 17:26

Do you remember that I told you to watch later for oldest brother, Eliab, to appear again? Well, here he is. He’s been watching David talking to the soldiers and nosing around. Eliab “burns with anger” at David.

“Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” I Samuel 17:28

Can’t you hear the jealousy, bitterness, even hatred in Eliab’s words? Likewise, can’t you see the roll of David’s eyes and an accented huff as he responds?

“Now what have I done? Can’t I even speak?” I Samuel 17:29

Next week, we’ll see that David is not to be deterred by a jealous brother’s comments nor the haughty words of a Philistine giant.

~ Joyce ~

 

David – Slaying the Giant

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Now, the story we know so well. David is up for fighting Goliath and Saul has given the go-ahead.

“Go, and the Lord be with you.” I Samuel 17:37b

We can picture young—and not so tall—David putting on six-foot-plus Saul’s armor. Perhaps the helmet partially covers David’s face. The armor hangs heavy, down to his knees instead of below his waist. He walks around in this clunky adornment and feels cumbersome and weighted down. 

David does away with these unfamiliar garments, finds five smooth stones, puts them in his shepherd’s bag, and grabs his staff. He’s ready to go.

But I wonder, did David actually take a good look at this giant of a man? From my five-foot vantage point, our 6′ 5″ pastor feels something close to a giant. But add about three more feet to that and we’re talking truly a giant! Yes, Goliath proportions. 

Goliath wore a bronze helmet and a 125-pound coat of armor, bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung over his back. He carried a giant spear with a 15-pound iron point (just the point!) 

When Goliath saw David coming, he was insulted and used the gutsy language of an uncouth soldier.

“Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” I Samuel 17:43-44

David doesn’t show any signs of backing down.

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me and I will strike you down. I Samuel 17:45-46

Such faith as David draws closer to the giant. I must give the whole story though. Unlike your 2nd grade Sunday School teacher’s version, I must remind you that David also said he would cut off Goliath’s head and give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the beasts. Bold talk from this young shepherd boy!

So, David reaches in his bag for the first of his five stones. One is all it takes. While on the run, he swings his sling with power and accurately aims toward the one small, vulnerable spot left on the heavily-clad giant—his forehead. With his practiced marksmanship, David sinks the stone  deep in Goliath’s head and brings him to the ground.

Consider a giant in your life. It could be an antagonistic person, or maybe an un-reached goal, a terrible disease, or a problem with no foreseeable solution. Satan adorns and magnifies the giant and the giant tries to beat you down. Can you stand firm with David and say, “What is this giant that he (or it) should defy the power of God?” Is it possible that He has a solution as small as a stone?

Let us overcome the fear and walk by faith and not by sight.

~ Joyce ~

David – Up for the Challenge

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

We left David playing soothing tunes for King Saul’s troubled soul. (Last week’s blog.) David didn’t stay at the palace, however, he went back and forth from shepherding in the hills to playing in the palace only on occasion, because Saul was often out leading a battle.

David’s three older brothers were away in one of these battles. Jesse, David’s father, worried about the sons and told David to take grain, bread, and cheese to his brothers and see how things were going.

David follows his father’s directions and off he goes to the Valley of Elah. He finds the Israelite army cowering on one side of the valley and the Philistine army on the other side. David chats with the soldiers and discovers that one very large Philistine has been in the valley, shouting challenges to Saul’s army.

David asks, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Samuel 17:6

While the experienced soldiers shudder at the daily challenge from this giant of a man, David is asking, “Who dares to defy God?” 

Meanwhile, the angry, jealous brothers find David. (Remember, they were not chosen by Samuel to be anointed as the next king.) The oldest brother plows into him.  

“Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is: you came down only to watch the battle.”

“Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” I Samuel 17:28-29

Kind of reminds me of Joseph’s brothers. Well, word gets back to Saul about what David has said and Saul calls him in. David declares,

“Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” I Samuel 17:32

Saul protests that David is only a boy and this Philistine has been a fighting man for a long time, not to mention his tremendous height!

David assures Saul that he has killed a bear and a lion to save his sheep and this Philistine will be like one of them because he has defied the living God. And so we have the reason David has no fear.

“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” I Samuel 17:37

David has learned to trust God. He has seen God at work in His life and trusts that He will provide again—a great example for us.

Every third Sunday, I teach our Sunday School class. There are times I wonder how it will go, then I lean on the Lord for guidance and to give me words. I’ve seen Him do it over and over again, which lessens the fear of failure. How does the Lord prepare you so you can trust Him with your fears?

~ Joyce ~