1 Samuel 16:11-18
11 So he [Samuel] asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil a spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.” 17 So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” 19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.”
1 Samuel 17:15; 20-37
15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear. 25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” 26 David asked the men standing near him, “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?” 27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” 28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
There is so much richness in these scriptures, so much of God’s character, and how he operates can be found in these scriptures. God searched for a heart that was upright before him to replace Saul as king, and His eyes landed on David. (2 Chronicles 16:9 9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.)
God anointed David in the presence of his brothers, whom God had just rejected, and gave David His Spirit. After that, David had a reputation of being a brave, good looking warrior, who spoke well, and who, it was evident, had the Lord on his side. His reputation proceeded him and brought him into the presence of King Saul. He split his time between tending his father’s sheep and playing music to calm Saul’s spirit. I wonder how many of the songs he played for Saul were precursors to the Psalms that he would eventually write.
David spent time with the Father. David spent time while tending sheep meditating on the promises of God. He spent time thinking about the Torah and experiencing the blessing. He was delivered from the lion and the bear. His sheep were well tended. He spent time singing and worshipping God. The Torah let David know who he was as a member of people who had a covenant with God.
During this time, Israel and the Philistines were at war. David happened to come into camp at the same time that Goliath is insulting and taunting Israel. David is insulted on behalf of God and Israel. He recognizes that not only is there a God over Israel but that the God over Israel was with him and would deliver Goliath into his hands. David didn’t wait, he confirmed what would be given to the person who defeated Goliath, brushed off his brothers’ insults, and affirmed his belief that he could defeat Goliath. He reaffirmed that belief in the face of Saul’s doubt.
1 Samuel 17: 38-47 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So, he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield-bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David almost got tripped up by going after Goliath outside of how he saw his victory. He took off the borrowed armor and picked up his slingshot. Then when David approached Goliath, he got vocal. He acknowledged that he wasn’t relying on his strength – it wasn’t a battle of strength. It was the Lord’s battle. The Philistines were defying the Lord, coming against Israel.
David defeated Goliath. He acknowledged that the fight was the Lord and that it was the Lord who would defeat Goliath, and that ultimately, he was the Lord’s instrument. David persevered through fear, through intimidation, through other people’s doubt and condemnation. He relied on who he knew God to be for and to him. David knew that the God of covenants was with him. David saw Goliath’s defeat in his mind’s eye and executed what he saw, and God did the rest.
God has not changed. He still fights our battles and has guaranteed our victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord. We are now His covenant people through Jesus Christ. We are people in whom God has placed His Spirit. People who have been enabled to defeat all enemies because of what God has done and provided through Jesus Christ, our Lord. We are people to whom He has shows Himself strong. What’s required of us is to consider God as greater than any enemy we face.