A classic tale of Dainty David and Grizzly Goliath, and how it applies you and me today!
So you may have seen in the last chapter that Saul is currently king, and not a great one at that. His heart is in the wrong place and Samuel, as a messenger from God, can’t stand to see this man in charge any longer. So God says to him that he’d may as well find a new king then! He guides Samuel to a family of men, where Jesse, the dad, shows off his strongest son to be king. He looks pretty good, seems alright, but God says no. So Samuel looks at the next son – nope. And then the next one – nope. None of these seemingly perfect sons are right, so finally God directs Samuel to the last son. David is a quiet boy who chills with the sheep and isn’t much of a fighter. Yet it’s him that God appoints to be king.
Now I’m sure you’d be aware of the story of David and Goliath. Goliath is this ginormous man. His height is six cubits and a span, his amour weighed five thousand shekels, his legs and head were covered with bronze, his spear shaft weighed six hundred shekels, and six cows played hockey on February 31st with roller skates on. None of this makes a lot of sense! So in English, Goliath was 9 foot tall, with an armour weighing almost 57kg, who carried a 7kg sword! He was a unit! And yet little David was able to defeat him with a stone, a sling, and a heck of a lot of faith in God!
So after David showed his strength, Saul thought he was pretty fantastic. Still being King at the time, Saul took David in as his own, and had a lot of respect for him. Until one day, a passing comment praising Saul for killing thousands also happened to mention that David had killed tens of thousands. Saul, being the jealous man that he was even before he was king was pretty mad. Jealous turned into anger, and anger turned into a chase, and Saul was intent on killing David. So as Saul chased, David ran.
A true show of the difference in who David and Saul were as men was seen next. Any opportunity Saul would have had to kill David, he would have taken it. However, now David was handed a perfect opportunity to finish off Saul. Saul slept in a cave, not aware that David knew he was there. David went in to kill Saul, saving his own life and stopping this ridiculous feud. But he couldn’t find it in himself to kill him, because he knew God wouldn’t be happy.
The next day he showed himself to Saul and basically poured out his heart, saying that he was only ever good to him, and asking for this fight to be over for good. Saul forgave him and David rejoiced, and praised the Lord.
David had, by human standards, done a lot. He’d conquered heaps of armies, he’d gained strength and status. And here was, finally breaking the fight between the jealous and hard King Saul. And yet David knew his roots – he was a shepherd in the past. His calling was not to him then, it was to care for and watch his flock. And his calling now is not to himself, it’s to care for and look after the people of God. God gave him strength, so God gets the glory. David knew this really well.
So they all made up and they lived happily ever after…
Except they didn’t.
Saul changed his mind and the fighting got worse, and eventually Saul died. If you look back to the chapter before, you’ll see that the way Saul’s life as king turned out was exactly what God had spoken over the people.
So it was David’s time to step up as King and God led him through that decision. He humbled him and promised to make a home over him. He corrected David and led him lovingly through being God’s messenger to the people, which just shows us the grace and love of God. David was a human, but at this stage of his life, he didn’t limit himself to just that, because he knew the power and the magnitude of his Lord.
So here’s some things to reflect on:
What made David so exalted in God’s eyes compared to the other, seemingly more equipped men around him? What was God looking for that he found in David? Do you think the qualities that God looks for in a strong leader are the same as the qualities humans look for?
What are your giants? Who is your Goliath? And do you believe that you could trust God to walk through with you, and help you defeat them, like he did with David?
And lastly, when David was given the choice to kill Saul – which would have been justified, as humans, and was basically handed to him on a platter – why do you think he chose to have mercy on a man who has tormented him? Would you be able to choice the path of love, forgiveness, and mercy on the people who have wronged you, when the choice to have revenge or anger is so much easier?