1 Samuel 17:31-40
31 Someone heard what David said and reported it to Saul. So Saul sent for David. 32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone lose hope because of that Philistine. I’ll go out and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You aren’t able to go out there and fight that Philistine. You are too young. He’s been a warrior ever since he was a boy.” 34 But David said to Saul, “I’ve been taking care of my father’s sheep. Sometimes a lion or a bear would come and carry off a sheep from the flock. 35 Then I would go after it and hit it. I would save the sheep it was carrying in its mouth. If it turned around to attack me, I would grab its hair. I would strike it down and kill it. 36 In fact, I’ve killed both a lion and a bear. I’ll do the same thing to this Philistine. He isn’t even circumcised. He has dared the armies of the living God to fight him. 37 The Lord saved me from the paw of the lion. He saved me from the paw of the bear. And he’ll save me from the powerful hand of this Philistine too.” Saul said to David, “Go. And may the Lord be with you.” 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own military clothes. He put a coat of armor on him. He put a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David put on Saul’s sword over his clothes. He walked around for a while in all that armor because he wasn’t used to it. “I can’t go out there in all this armor,” he said to Saul. “I’m not used to it.” So he took it off. 40 Then David picked up his wooden staff. He went down to a stream and chose five smooth stones. He put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag. Then he took his sling in his hand and approached Goliath.
Two broad lessons stand out from this early section of the David and Goliath saga, you may be familiar with them:
1) David’s many private trials with wild beasts when guarding the family sheep prepared him for his public encounter with the Philistine champion.
2) David did well not to trust the impersonation efforts of King Saul – the timid king’s tactic, “My Bronze Helmet and sword look good on you!”, would have undermined David’s success.
The image of the young hero David as a prototype Jesus draws me deeper into the significance of the story.
1) What private trials and quiet victories did Jesus experience during his life?
2) What temptations did Jesus encounter that offered a short-cut, impersonation of His otherwise unique calling?
The answer to both suppositions – many and majority unknown to us. Interestingly this deeper reading of David preparing for Goliath re-casts the Temptation story of Jesus as an epic encounter of goliath proportions (eg. Matthew 4).
Jesus, you are the High image of the victorious King. I want to overcome the private tests that life throws at me. I want to have victory over temptations. Where I have failed in the past – thank you for your forgiveness and second chances. Thank you Jesus that you have gone ahead of me. Thank you Jesus that you have defeated the powers, you have defeated the giants. Thank you Lord, you have secured the ultimate victory. I draw my confidence from you. Amen
Written by Sam Stewart