- Most are familiar with the stumbling of
David, particularly his “mid-life crises” and the very poor way he
dealt with it. Many have trouble understanding how he could be put forth as
such a positive example. Of course, never is David lauded for these things.
In fact, God dealt with David out of His displeasure and David suffered many
awful consequences for his sins. It was God that David forsook and betrayed.
An important lesson in this is that even the most faithful of us can fall,
and therefore need to let our commitment, faith and love for God be at the
forefront of our actions and words and thoughts everyday through all the
stages of our lives.
But let us notice what David had as a young man that is laudable, and what
probably ultimately saved him later when he got into deep, deep trouble. He
remembered what he had been and what he once had, and wanted it back.
The Door Opens For The Young
Because of the sins of Saul, God instructed Samuel to anoint a new king.
David was the man "after God's own heart", the one who would replace
Saul as king of Israel. David proved himself to be a courageous and faithful
man. He respected and trusted God.
David Anointed King (1 Samuel 16)
Because or Saul's sins, he was rejected by the Lord from reigning over
Israel (1 Samuel 16:1). Samuel was sent by God to the house of Jesse, who
lived in Judah, in a little town called Bethlehem.
Samuel did not think Saul would allow this, for obvious reasons. He feared
the wrath of Saul. The Lord told Samuel to take a heifer and go to sacrifice
it in Bethlehem, inviting Jesse and his sons. (1 Samuel 16:2). This way,
Saul would only know the prophet went to offer a sacrifice, and would not be
informed of the other purpose; that of anointing Saul's replacement.
Samuel thought Jesse's son, Eliab was the obvious choice, but God was
looking for something else; not mere outward appearance. The Lord was
searching the hearts of Jesse's sons (1 Samuel 16:6,7). Seven sons passed
before Samuel, but none of them was God's choice (1 Samuel 16:10,11). Jesse
called his youngest son, who was keeping the sheep. That would be David. He
was God's choice and Samuel anointed David in the presence of his brothers,
and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (1 Samuel 16:12, 13).
Saul lost his position as king because of His disobedience. Obedience has
always been a part of faith and something the Lord requires of His people,
then and now (Matthew 7:21-23). Additionally, God sees and judges the heart
(Acts 1:24; Revelation 2:23; Luke 16:14-15). It would still be some time
before the young boy would, as an adult, become the second king of Israel.
David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
The armies of the Israelites and the Philistines were arrayed against each
other (1 Samuel 17:1-3). Goliath was the champion of the Philistines. His
height was 6 cubits and a span - about 9 ½ feet tall (1 Samuel 17:4).
Goliath challenged the Israelites to send a man against him, and they would
fight, and the side of the loser would become the servants of the winning
side (1 Samuel 17:8-10). Saul and his soldiers were dismayed and greatly
afraid. No one would dare confront Goliath. His taunts ringing in their ears
was demoralizing (1 Samuel 17:11).
About this time, David was sent by his father to deliver supplies to his
brothers who served in the army and had followed Saul to battle (1 Samuel
David, upon hearing the challenges issued, displayed courage and faith.
David's God would give him victory (1 Samuel 17:25-35). David sought for
permission from King Saul to face the Philistine champion. Saul was somewhat
reluctant to send a young shepherd to face a seasoned warrior. To convince
Saul, David said "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and
from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this
Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and may the LORD be with you."
(1 Samuel 17:37). One wonders if Saul would have been as willing to give
permission if not for the fact he was very desperate. Desperate times call
for desperate measures. Ironically, unknown to Saul, David has already been
declared to be the next king of Israel.
David rejected Saul's armor, which was probably a wise tactical decision. If
Goliath got that close, David's armor probably would not have been much
help. David took his staff and five smooth stones for his sling. Saul
continued his taunts, what people in sports today call “trashtalking” their
opponents. David replied, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a
javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the
armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” (1 Samuel 17:45; cf. vss.
Of course, with his sling David won that battle, and the Philistine army was
routed. Defying God brings sure defeat, ultimately there will be no other
conclusion (Revelation 6:12-17). The battle is the Lord's.
David Spares Saul (1 Samuel 24)
Enmity between Saul and David developed (1 Samuel 18-23). Saul became
extremely jealous of David's status as a hero and popularity with the
people. In fact, even Saul's own son, Jonathan, became best friends with
David married Michal, Saul's oldest daughter. But the rift became greater
between Saul and David. Saul persecuted David, and David fled for his life.
Saul pursued David. The king was becoming more and more deranged with
paranoia and madness. He became obsessed with jealousy (1 Samuel 24:1,2).
During one pursuit in the wilderness, Saul entered a cave without knowing
that David was inside. David restrained his servants from killing Saul
because Saul was God's anointed. The Lord would take Saul when He was ready.
(1 Samuel 24:4-7). David proved to Saul that he meant him no harm, and Saul
admitted David's righteousness and asked David to forgive him (1 Samuel
In this, we see that jealousy is a destructive emotion (Galatians 5:13-15;
20,21; 1 Corinthians 3:3). It creates problems, but never solves any.
We also see that David had a deep respect for things that God has appointed.
God had made Saul king, so David would not kill Saul. We need to have
similar respect for the things God has appointed (1 Peter 2:4-10) .
Closing question: Why did Saul think David was unqualified to meet Goliath?
Because he was just a youth. But Saul was wrong about the good that a youth
could accomplish for his God; with his God. Young people; do not
under-estimate the power of God in yourselves, if it be so that Christ
dwells in you (1 Timothy 4:12).