1Samuel 16-18

Sunday Evening Bible Study

February 3, 2002


The people had wanted a change.  And so they cried out to Samuel to give them a king.  They wanted to be like all the other nations.  Samuel was bummed, but God told him that the people weren’t rejecting Samuel, they were rejecting God as being their true king.  In the end, God gave them a king, a man named Saul.  At first, things seemed to go well.  Saul seemed open to the things of the Lord.  Saul seemed truly humble.  God used Saul to bring about a great deliverance from the Ammonites.  But little by little things began to change.  Saul seemed to not be quite so humble any more.  When his son Jonathan had a success, Saul got the credit.  Then things got worse.

When Saul was supposed to wait for Samuel to show up and ask for God’s help before a battle, Saul got impatient and ordered the sacrifice himself.  God said to Saul,

(1 Sam 13:14 KJV)  But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

Then when Jonathan had been used to bring a great victory over the Philistines, Saul almost had Jonathan put to death because Jonathan hadn’t known about Saul’s stupid idea of people not eating anything during the battle (1 Sam. 14).

Then the final straw came when Saul had been commanded to wipe out the Amalekites, and not only did he not complete all that God told him to do, but he also made up a lot of excuses and was demanding that Samuel still give honor to him in front of the people.

(1 Sam 15:28 KJV)  And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

It was at this point that Samuel and Saul parted, and Samuel was bummed.  Very bummed.

1Samuel 16

:1  I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite

JesseYishay – “I possess”

Bethlehem is a small town, yet it sure seems that a lot of important stuff has happened around Bethlehem.

The Levite that led the tribe of Dan into idolatry was from Bethlehem (Judges 17-18)

The Levite that had a concubine who died in Gibeah was from Bethlehem.  Her death led to the judgment against the tribe of Benjamin (Judges 19-21)

Naomi brought her daughter-in-law Ruth, back to Bethlehem, where she met and married Boaz (Ruth 1-4).  Boaz and Ruth were the grandparents of Jesse.

Now a new king will be found in Bethlehem.

:1  How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go

The act of a prophet or priest pouring oil on a man made the man “anointed”.  The anointing of a king was the act that made the man “king”.

Though Saul is still alive and is still technically king, because of God’s rejecting of Saul, to Samuel he is practically dead.

Because of this, Samuel has been staying at home mourning the fact that the kingdom thing hasn’t seemed to work out.

God tells Samuel to get his king-anointing horn of oil and get moving.  God has a new king in mind.


Get back to it.

Samuel is grieving over what seems to be a failure.
I think that to a point it is good to grieve over our failures.
But I do believe we can get ourselves caught in a trap where we remove ourselves from doing the things that God wants us to be doing.

:2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me.

Samuel is afraid of where Saul has come to.  He sees Saul as a dangerous man.  Isn’t it interesting that Samuel is afraid?

:4  the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?

Samuel appears to be a person they are afraid of. 

Perhaps it is because he has not been afraid to say hard things to people in the past.  When Samuel had anointed Saul as king, there was the incident where Samuel had brought rain upon the wheat crop as a sign of God’s judgment on the people.  They seem to be wondering what kind of trouble they’re in.

:5  sanctify yourselves

This might entail washing their clothes:

Ex 19:14  And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.

Eliab ‘Eliy’ab – “my God is father” or “God is father”

Eliab is a tall, good looking man.  Sounds just like the last king.

(1 Sam 9:2 KJV)  And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.

(1 Sam 10:24 KJV)  And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.

Samuel is not a perfect person.  He is falling into thinking that since the Lord picked a tall, handsome man the last time, that this is what the Lord would do again.

Even though God was the one who picked Saul out to be king, I kind of get the idea that God wanted to teach the people a lesson by giving them a king that they would have picked out.

This next king will purely be one that God wants, all the way.

Has Samuel let Jesse and his boys know what he’s doing?

I kind of get the idea that he’s keeping most of this thing to himself.

:7  Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him

countenancemar’eh – sight, appearance, vision

refusedma’ac – to reject, despise, refuse

:7  the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.


God looks at hearts

In his book Modern Times, Paul Johnson notes that Stalin was short—just five feet, four inches tall. Furthermore, a childhood accident had left his left arm stiff and his hand slightly misshapen. So when the dictator commissioned his portrait, he instructed the artist to paint him from his best angle—from below, a perspective that made Stalin seem to tower over the artist.
To add to the image, Stalin folded his hands over his stomach, making them appear firm and powerful more like the pseudonym he had chosen: Stalin means “man of steel.”  It is human nature to put ourselves in the best possible light. But spiritual growth cannot come merely by adjusting the angle of view. God’s Word is a mirror that shows our true condition.

-- Lew Button Bedford, Pennsylvania.  Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 4.

God isn’t impressed with how we “pose”.  He can see right through our poses.  He knows how tall we really are.

:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel.

Abinadab ‘Abiynadab – “my father is noble” or “my father is willing”

:9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by.

ShammahShammah – “astonishment”

:10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel.


Don’t give up hope

I wonder what Samuel was thinking when they got to son number five, six, or seven?  I wonder if Samuel began to wonder if he heard God right.

:11  There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep.

David, being the youngest, had the least amount of clout in the family.  He was the one stuck with the job of watching the sheep while the rest of the family got to go to the feast.

The “youngest” wasn’t necessarily looked at as the “baby of the family”.  Instead, the “youngest” was the child with the least clout of all.


Take the place of the servant

Jesus said the “younger” was the better place to be:
(Luke 22:25-26 KJV)  And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. {26} But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
God is going to pick the “youngest” to be king.  He’s going to pick the son that has been raised to be a servant.
David is the king that no one expected.
His anointing didn’t come because of his father.  Jesse thought he could miss the feast and that he should be tending to the sheep. 
His anointing didn’t come because Samuel thought he was the most likely.  Samuel would have picked Eliab.
His anointing came because GOD picked him.

:11  And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

Samuel isn’t starting any feast until he sees the last son.

:12  he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to.

ruddy ‘admoniy – red, ruddy (of Esau as infant).  Could be red-haired, could be the idea of being “tan”.

beautifulyapheh – fair, beautiful, handsome

countenance ‘ayin – eye; of physical eye; as showing mental qualities; of mental and spiritual faculties (fig.).  NAS – “beautiful eyes”; NIV – “fine appearance”; NKJV – “bright eyes”

goodlytowb – good, pleasant, agreeable; becoming

to look atro’iy – looking, appearance, seeing, sight

Some say David was ten years old at this time.  Others say he was more like fifteen years old.

:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.

oilshemen – fat, oil; olive oil

I’m not too sure that Jesse and his sons realize just what Samuel is doing.

When Elisha sent a prophet-in-training to anoint Jehu as king over Israel (2Ki. 9), look at the response of Jehu’s friends:

(2 Ki 9:13 KJV)  Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.

But when you look at how Jesse and his sons treat David, I’m not too sure they have a clue why Samuel has just poured oil on young David.

Josephus records (Antiquities of the Jews, 6:8:165),
“he took oil in the presence of David, and anointed him, and whispered him in the ear, and acquainted him that God chose him to be their king”


Oil and the Holy Spirit

We often see oil being a picture of the Holy Spirit.
Here we see a tangible connection with the two.  David has oil poured on him, and God pours out the Holy Spirit on David.

:14 But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul,


Can the Holy Spirit leave me?

Though there is much that is the same about the working of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments, there are some things that are different.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us when we trust in Jesus.
The Holy Spirit has come to dwell inside of us because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross.  The Holy Spirit would not come upon the church until after Jesus had died for our sins and rose from the dead.

(John 16:7 KJV)  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Jesus said,

(John 14:16-17 KJV)  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; {17} Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

He said “forever”.

We cannot even become a Christian without the Holy Spirit coming and dwelling inside of us.

(Rom 8:9b KJV)  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Because of this, we see the Holy Spirit permanently dwelling inside of all true believers in Jesus.  When the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, it wasn’t just the twelve who experienced this, but the entire church.
In the Old Testament, we see the work of the Holy Spirit being much more limited to a few individuals.
The Spirit seems to have been reserved in the Old Testament for the purpose of empowering a certain few people to perform their ministry.

The greatest number that the Spirit came upon at one time was when the seventy elders under Moses had the Spirit put upon them, but even then, this was because they were the leaders of the entire nation, and the Spirit was to help them rule over all the people.  The Spirit didn’t come upon the entire nation. (Num. 11:16-17, 25)

Usually, the Spirit just came upon one person at a time.

Here, we see the Spirit departing from Saul at the same time that it comes upon David.

The point is that the “anointing” for being king has been transferred.  Saul is no longer God’s chosen king, instead another has been chosen.

:14  and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

evilra‘– disagreeable, malignant; unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery); sad, unhappy

spiritruwach – wind, breath, mind, spirit; disposition (as troubled, bitter, discontented); unaccountable or uncontrollable impulse

Since this is in direct contrast with the “Spirit of the LORD”, we seem to take this to mean a demonic spirit.  But to be honest, the Hebrew definition never listed this as a possibility.  This could be due to the fact that there is very little demonic activity recorded in the Old Testament in comparison to the New Testament (I don’t know the reason for this).

It’s possible that this could be an attitude problem, not a spiritual one.

This phrase is found in another passage:
Jud 9:23  Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

There it might be the idea that there was “bad blood” between Abimelech and the men of Shechem.

In our current passage, one commentary (JFB) states,
“His own gloomy reflections, the consciousness that he had not acted up to the character of an Israelitish king, the loss of his throne, and the extinction of his royal house, made him jealous, irritable, vindictive, and subject to fits of morbid melancholy.”


How can something evil come from the Lord?

God is much bigger than Satan.  This may be a difficult thing to receive, but the truth is that Satan performs a necessary function for God.  There is a sense in which Satan actually is accomplishing God’s will.
God wants man to choose to love and follow God, willingly.
Without Satan, man would have no choice.


Suppose I chain one of my sons to the post on our back patio and say, “Son, I’m going away for the day, be sure that you never leave this back yard”.  When I come home, I brag to my neighbors about how obedient my son is because he never left the back yard.  Before they call the police on me for chaining up my son, they might say to me, “But he never had a choice!  He had to obey you.”  God doesn’t chain us in the yard, He gives us free will to make a choice, and the only way to make a choice is to have an option other than Himself.  God uses Satan as that option.

God is permitting this evil spirit to torment Saul.  It will accomplish part of God’s will for Saul.


Can a Christian be demon-possessed?

No. If the Holy Spirit does not leave us, we cannot be possessed.
(1 John 4:4 KJV)  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
(1 John 5:18 KJV)  We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

(1 John 5:18 NLT)  We know that those who have become part of God's family do not make a practice of sinning, for God's Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them.

(1 Cor 10:21 KJV)  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.


Does this mean that a Christian can never be bothered by demons?

There may be a sense in which a Christian may open up their life to the outside influence of a demon.  A demon can’t come into a Christian, but he can hassle him from the outside.
Matthew gave a classification of the different kinds of things that Jesus healed:

(Mat 4:24 KJV)  And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Matthew classifies “possessed with devils” differently than “diseases and torments”.

Perhaps it may be possible for a Christian to be tormented by a demon.

What’s very sad is that a Christian has the authority to remove the demon.  There’s no reason for us to be tormented.
There is a story about two people who wanted to immigrate to America. They scraped up all their money to buy two tickets on an ocean liner headed for New York.  With their last bit of money, they were able to buy enough bread and cheese to live on for the two week journey across the ocean.  For the first couple of days, the bread and cheese were okay.  But by the tenth day, the bread was getting pretty hard and the cheese was starting to mould.
Every day they would take walks out on the deck and wander by the dining room where they would watch the other passengers lining up and the huge buffet tables filled with all sorts of incredible foods.
Finally, they approached one of the cabin stewards and begged if there was any way they could perhaps work to earn enough to buy maybe one meal up in the dining room.  But to their surprise, they found out that all their meals were paid for with the price of their tickets.  If they had paid attention when they bought their tickets, they could have spent the entire trip in the dining room feasting on roast beef instead of cheese and crackers.
I think there can be a sense in which we as believers do not fully realize all the authority and benefits that God gives us when we “bought our ticket”.  We have been given authority over the devil, and God wants us to use that authority.


Spiritual warfare

We have been given authority, just like Jesus’ twelve disciples.
(Luke 9:1 KJV)  Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
(Mark 16:17 KJV)  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
God wants us to resist the devil.
(James 4:7 KJV)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(1 Pet 5:8-9 KJV)  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: {9} Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Our strength comes from the Lord.
(Eph 6:10-13 KJV)  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. {11} Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. {13} Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We need to be careful that we don’t think that we are strong.  It’s only the Lord who is strong enough.

:15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

troublethba‘ath – to terrify, startle, fall upon, dismay, be overtaken by sudden terror

(1 Sam 16:15 NIV)  "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.

(1 Sam 16:15 NASB)  "Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you.

This seems to be the first time mentioned in Scripture where an “evil spirit” troubles an individual.

:16 to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp

The servants have this notion that music could soothe the torment that Saul was going through.

:18  cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.

cunningyada‘– to know; to perceive and see, find out and discern; to discriminate, distinguish; to know by experience; to know how, be skilful in

playingnagan – to play or strike strings, play a stringed instrument

David was a skilled guitar player.

mightygibbowr – strong, mighty

valiant manchayil – strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army

man of war – Apparently, when David will face Goliath, this wasn’t his first experience of battle.

comelyto’ar – shape, form, outline, figure, appearance

:19 Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

Isn’t it interesting how God puts things together?

Even though David had been “anointed” by Samuel, he’s still a shepherd boy.  He’s still the “younger” brother.  He won’t be finished tending sheep for a little while longer. 

Even when Goliath will begin to challenge Israel, David will have taken a break from his duties from Saul and guess where he is? 

Back tending sheep.
I don’t think this was because he thought it was good training for being a king.  I think it was because he was the younger brother and his dad and brothers required him to be the shepherd of the family.
Yet David learning to be a shepherd is EXACTLY what he needs to be doing to train to be a king.

:20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.

Though this might be some type of gift for Saul, I think it’s more practical.  I think this is Jesse’s way of paying for David’s room and board while he serves the king.

:21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.

loved ‘ahab – to love; human love for another.

You’re going to see that David must have been a very loveable kid.  Just about everyone will fall in love with David at some time or another.

armourbearer – literally, “carried his implements” or “carried his weapons”.

Last week we talked about how important it was to be an “armor-bearer”, to be supportive of others (1 Sam. 14).

David has now become Saul’s armor-bearer.

:23  David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed

David’s music brought help to Saul.  It seems that music has a great influence on people.

1Samuel 17

:1  Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle

The first major confrontation with the Philistines came during the time of Samson (Judges 13-16).  Though Samson had some victories over the Philistines, the Philistines were still pretty much in control.

The next time the Israelites faced the Philistines was in Samuel’s time, when they fought in Aphek.  This was when Israel lost the Ark, and the Philistines learned about hemorrhoids (1Sam. 4-5).

When Samuel led the nation in repentance, God gave them their first major victory over the Philistines at the battle of Mizpeh (1Sam. 6).

The next confrontation with the Philistines took place under Saul’s reign, when Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines (1Sam. 13:3), at first ending with the nation running for cover, but when Jonathan and his armor bearer took on the Philistines at Michmash by themselves (1Sam. 14), God gave Israel their second major victory over the Philistines.

It’s now been something like 27 years since that victory at Michmash.  The Philistines are finally ready to take on Israel again.

:1  were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.

Shochoh -  see map

Ephesdammim -  see map

Azekah -  see map


:2  pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.

Elahsee map

:3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side …

The setting is this – the Philistines are on one hill, and the Israelites are on another hill, with a little stream running down the middle of the valley between the two camps.  The stream is usually dry except in the rainy season.

:4  a champion … named Goliath …whose height was six cubits and a span.

champion – literally, “a man between two armies”.  This was a person who was willing to fight to represent the entire army.

GoliathGolyath – “splendour”

six cubits and a span – or, nine feet nine inches tall.

He’s HUGE.

:5  the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.

The armor weighed 125 pounds.

:6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.

greaves – kind of like shin guards, protection for his legs.

targetkiydown – javelin, short sword, dart

Josephus records (Antiquities, 6:9:171) that, “His spear was also such as was not carried like a light thing in his right hand, but he carried it as lying on his shoulders.”

:7  his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.

spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron – the head of the spear weighed about 15 pounds.  Think of the weight of a heavy bowling ball, shaped into the head of a spear.

one bearing a shield – he had his own armor-bearer, who carried his shield.

:9 If he be able to fight with me…

It’s winner take all.  Whoever wins in this contest will determine which army will win.  The losers become slaves.

:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

dismayedchathath – to be shattered, be broken, be afraid

afraidyare’ – to fear, revere, be afraid

:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.

DavidDavid – “beloved”

Ephrathite – a person from Ephrath, another name for Bethelehem (Gen. 35:19).

:14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul.

David was the youngest of eight brothers.

:15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

Because things were pretty serious, David had been sent home to tend his father’s sheep.

:16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

Every morning and evening Goliath came out.  Every morning and evening the army of Israel was afraid.  Forty days.

Does forty days remind you of anything?  Like Noah’s flood?  There seems to be a hint of judgment here.

:18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.

Jesse is sending food for his boys in the army.

take their pledge – The idea was to bring home something like a lock of hair or a piece of nail to show that the boys were still alive and in good health.

Jesse is simply asking his baby to run an errand.  Little does he know that it would be his “baby” who would be used to bring deliverance for the nation.

:20 And David rose up early in the morning … he came to the trench…

It would be about a ten mile walk to get from Bethlehem to the battle in the valley of Elah.

trench – the area that where the army was gathered.

:22 And David left his carriage

carriagek@liy – article, vessel, implement, utensil.  He left his “stuff”, the supplies that he had carried from home with the guy in charge of keeping all the “stuff”.

:25  the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.

There will be great rewards for killing Goliath, including wealth, a girl, and no taxes.

It seems that this announcement is being made to the entire army, a general announcement that was probably repeated each time Goliath issued his challenge.

:26  for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

To Goliath, the Israelite army was made up of the “servants to Saul” (vs.8).

To David, they were the “armies of the living God”.


Who do you serve?

I believe very much that David’s victory stemmed from the fact that he had his facts straight about his relationship with God.
David wasn’t scared because he didn’t see himself just as a subject or King Saul, he saw himself as a part of God’s kingdom.

:28  I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart;

pridezadown – pride, insolence, presumptuousness, arrogance

naughtinessroa‘– badness, evil; wilfulness

Just like an older brother.

It could be that Eliab is just out to protect his little brother.  Perhaps he truly feels that David doesn’t belong there.

It could be that David was a little brash.  After all, he was a kid who could pick fights and have seven older brothers come to his rescue.


Be careful of what keeps you from the battle.

Sometimes some very good, loving people will try to keep you out of the battle.
Sometimes we can be those well-meaning people who might keep anointed people from their ministry.

:32  thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

David is not a stranger to Saul.

He has already worked for Saul for a little while as Saul’s armor-bearer and personal musician.

Saul already has developed a love for David (1Sam. 16:21).

:34 there came a lion, and a bear

David is talking about two separate incidents.  One time he faced a lion, another time he faced a bear.

:37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me… will deliver me


Victory in one area leads to victory in another

It’s not quite that the victory over a lion and a bear were “small victories”.  Anyone here want to take on a lion or a bear with just a sling and a club?


It’s all about God

David wasn’t confident in his own abilities.  He was confident in God’s abilities.

:39 I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them

I have not proved themnacah – to test, try, prove, put to the proof or test

We often get the picture that David is this little boy trying on a large man’s full suit of medieval armor, and that the little boy is lost in the huge suit.  I kind of wonder if this isn’t a little exaggerated.

We are told that David was the youngest (17:14), but we aren’t told how young he is.  We are told that he is “ruddy” and of a “beautiful countenance” and “goodly to look at” (16:12), but it doesn’t say he was small.


Be yourself

Don’t try to be someone else. 
What works for someone else may not work for you.

:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand

five smooth stones – Smooth stones come out of a sling better.  Why five?  Chuck Missler has suggested that he picked out one each for Goliath and his four brothers.

scripyalquwt – wallet, purse, pouch, bag, receptacle

The point is that David now is going to approach the Philistine not as a man equipped for war, but as a simple shepherd, which was what he was.  He’s using what he knows.

a sling – not a “slingshot”.  This was a little leather pouch with two leather straps attached.  You stick the stone in the pouch and whirl it around and when you let go of one of the straps, the stone flies out.  Probably was a good tool for a shepherd to keep the sheep in line as well as to frighten off predators.

:42 he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.

disdained himbazah – to despise, hold in contempt, disdain

youthna‘ar – a boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer

ruddy ‘admoniy – red, ruddy (of Esau as infant)

fairyapheh – fair, beautiful, handsome

countenancemar’eh – sight, appearance, vision

:43 Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?

stavesmaqqel – rod, staff; stick

:46 I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines

While Goliath threatened to feed David’s carcase to the birds, David threatened to feed the entire Philistine army to the birds.

:48  David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.


God needs to be leading you.

We can misunderstand the nature of the warfare around us and feel like we’re invincible and then go running into places where God doesn’t want us.
There were times when the apostles fled.

When Peter was arrested by Herod, and then an angel released him from prison, Peter didn’t stay around and challenge the soldiers.

(Acts 12:17 KJV)  But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

When Paul had been arrested at Philippi, he and Silas were beaten and put into prison.  When an earthquake brought about their release,

(Acts 16:40 KJV)  And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

Why didn’t they just “rebuke” Satan or “bind” the enemy?  You have to have the Lord’s leading.

There were times when the apostles stayed the course, were arrested, and sometimes put to death.  Paul knew that he needed to go to Jerusalem:

(Acts 20:22-24 KJV)  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: {23} Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. {24} But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

:51 when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.


What’s a giant?

Something huge.
It’s 9’9” huge.  It’s 125-pound armor huge.  It’s 15-pound spear-head huge. It’s everything impossibly huge.
Something that terrifies you.
One of Satan’s greatest weapons against us is fear.

A certain man was troubled with dizzy spells. He went from one doctor to another and none could tell him what the problem was. He tried everything, it seemed. Finally, it was bothering him so much he started to lose weight, and he couldn’t sleep at night. He became a nervous wreck and his health began to deteriorate. He had lost hope that he would ever recover. So he decided to prepare for the worst. He made out his will, bought a cemetery plot, and even made arrangements with the local undertaker for what he was convinced was his soon demise. He even decided to buy a new suit of clothes to be buried in. When he went into the haberdasher’s he was measured for everything and picked out shoes, socks, coat, pants—and he asked for a size 15 shirt as well. The clerk said, “But, sir, you need a size 161/2 shirt, not 15.” But the man insisted he wore a size 15. Finally, in exasperation the clerk said, “But if you wear a size 15 you’ll get dizzy spells.”

It’s fun to laugh at silly things we might do out of fear, but when you are surrounded by the terror itself, you can be paralyzed.  Giants are the things that paralyze you with fear.
It could be an actual person who hassles you, a difficult assignment at work or school, a temptation for a particular sin in your life, even Satan himself.


What qualifies you to be a giant-killer?

1. You need to be David – you need to be “beloved” (the meaning of his name) by God.  You need to know God loves you.
You may not feel like God loves you, but He does.

(Jer 31:3 KJV)  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

(1 John 4:9-10 NLT)  God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. {10} This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

(Rom 8:35-39 NLT)  Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? {36} (Even the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") {37} No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. {38} And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. {39} Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I think that in a sense, we could all call each other “Dave”.
2. You need a Big God
David wasn’t just going to feed Goliath’s body to the birds, but the entire Philistine army!
(Isa 40:10-12 KJV)  Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. {11} He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. {12} Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
The movie angle – If I were to shoot the movie of David and Goliath, I’d have the camera at Goliath’s feet, looking up as he spouts his stupid taunts.  But as David begins to speak, I’d swing the camera up on the boom, and then switch to a helicopter shot and pull away to show how Goliath seems kind of tiny when you see the entire valley.  Then I’d switch to a satellite shot of the Asian continent, then zoom out to see the entire planet, perhaps even the entire Solar System in God’s hand.
God is really, really big.  And you are in His hand.  No matter WHAT you are facing, God is bigger.
3. You need a little bit of experience.  But only a little.
David was only a youth.  Goliath had much more experience.

David had never conquered a giant before.

But he had seen God help him with lions and bears

(1 Sam 17:37 KJV)  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.

It’s not quite that the victory over a lion and a bear were “teeny victories”.  Anyone here want to take on a lion or a bear with just a sling and a club?

Part of the process of becoming a giant-killer is learning to face the challenges of life as they come.


How to conquer a giant

1. Faith
David said (vs. 37)

The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine

David wasn’t confident in his own abilities.  He was confident in God’s abilities.

Victory in spiritual battles requires faith.  It requires that we trust that God will indeed help us.

(Mat 17:14-21 KJV)  And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, {15} Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. {16} And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. {17} Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

I don’t think Jesus is saying this to the man or his son.  He is saying this to the disciples for their lack of faith.

{18} And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. {19} Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? {20} And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. {21} Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

They didn’t have victory because they didn’t have faith.  I think the mention of prayer and fasting is that these are things that can strengthen our faith.

Do you believe that God wants to help you?  Do you think He can help you?
2.  Use unusual weapons
David didn’t face Goliath with the kinds of weapons others thought he should have.

David said, “the LORD saveth not with sword and spear” (vs.45)

We too have unusual weapons, spiritual weapons.

(2 Cor 10:4-5 KJV)  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) {5} Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

One of our weapons is prayer.

When Peter had been arrested by Herod and was about to be put to death, the church responded by being in an all-night prayer meeting  (Acts 12).  God responded to their prayers by sending an angel to release Peter.

Another or our weapons is the Word of God.

(Heb 4:12 KJV)  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Jesus answered Satan’s temptations (Mat. 4) by quoting Scripture.

Another weapon is the name of Jesus.

David said, “I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts …”

(Acts 3:6 KJV)  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

(Acts 16:18 KJV)  But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

Not exactly the kinds of things we normally reach for in a battle, or do we?
3.  Go
vs.48  David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
If God is leading, then run to the battle, not from it.

:52  even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.

Gath is about eight miles west of the battlefield.

:53 And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.

They came back to the camp of the Philistines that they had abandoned at Shochoh, and took all of the Philistines’ stuff.

:55 whose son is this youth?

This will sound confusing at first.  It sounds as if Saul doesn’t know who David is.  And this doesn’t make sense if David has been Saul’s armor-bearer and the one who plays the harp for Saul.

But pay attention to the actual question Saul is asking.  Saul is wanting to know who David’s father is.  Why does he want to know the name of David’s father?

Because David’s whole family is now going to be able to live “tax-free” in Israel.  Remember the reward promised for killing Goliath:

(1 Sam 17:25 KJV)  And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.

Even though Saul knows who David is, he can’t remember the name of David’s father.

:56 And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.

stripling ‘elem – young man

:57 brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.

It seems that David keeps Goliath’s head as a sort of trophy.

1Samuel 18

:1  the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him

was knitqashar – to bind, tie, bind together, league together, conspire

loved him ‘ahab – to love; human love for another; act of being a friend

There is nothing impure here.  Homosexuals like to point to this verse, but this is so far from the truth it’s not even funny.

Can you understand why Jonathan would love David?

David is just like Jonathan, but younger.


Good friends

I think it’s a great thing to have a friend who not only loves you, but with whom you can do “exploits” for the Lord together.
Friends who will challenge you to be brave for the Lord.  Friends who will challenge you to go farther with the Lord.  Friends who will encourage you to serve the Lord.

:2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.

He’s in the army now.

:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant

covenantb@riyth – covenant, alliance, pledge

:4 gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

(1 Sam 18:4 NIV)  Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

At one time, Saul and Jonathan were the only two who own swords in all of Israel (1Sam. 13:22).  Though there may be more swords now that they’ve had some victories over the Philistines, Jonathan has just given his away.


Humility and giving

I think there are a couple of things going on.
Jonathan is demonstrating his love for David by giving him his own badges of honor.  Jonathan is the crown prince of Israel, yet he has no problem with giving his own robe to this young man.
David is also a poor shepherd boy and was ill-equipped for what was ahead of him.  Jonathan is equipping David for being a military leader.

:5 he was accepted in the sight of all the people

There’s something likeable about this kid.  Even though Saul puts him over the army, they don’t seem to have a problem with that.  Hey, he’s a giant killer.

:6 the women came out …singing and dancing…with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music.

tabretstoph – timbrel, tambourine

:7 Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

This became one of the “top forty” tunes of the day.  Saul was known for killing “thousands”, but David was known for killing “ten thousands”.

In reality, this was a bit of a stretch.  Scripture doesn’t say how many Philistines were killed, though Josephus tells us that there were 30,000 killed.  Yet if you include Saul’s wars on the Ammonites, the Philistines, and the Amalekites, Saul has been responsible for killing far more than this.

:8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him



How do you feel when God blesses … someone else?
John the Baptist had been used by God to impact lots of people.  But there came a day when the crowds began to follow someone else.
(John 3:25-30 KJV)  Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. {26} And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. {27} John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. {28} Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. {29} He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. {30} He must increase, but I must decrease.
In reality, we need to be in the place where the good of God’s kingdom is what’s important to us.
If God begins to work in the life of someone else, we need to be glad for them, not jealous.
We need to be willing to be more like Jonathan, and load the other person up with whatever we can to help, rather than be like Saul and stand in the back and throw javelins.

:10  the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house

evilra‘– disagreeable, malignant; unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery); sad, unhappy

he prophesiednaba’ – to prophesy; under influence of divine spirit; of false prophets

(1 Sam 18:10 NLT)  The very next day, in fact, a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave like a madman.

(1 Sam 18:10 NIV)  The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house …

(1 Sam 18:10 NASB)  Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house

Saul is acting under the influence of this evil spirit.

I wonder if Saul’s own jealousy wasn’t something that was now stirring up this demonic oppression.

It’s interesting to see the word “prophesied” in conjunction with an evil spirit.

John wrote,
(1 John 4:1-4 KJV)  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. {2} Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: {3} And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. {4} Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

We are to “test” to see if a person is truly speaking for the Lord or not.


Fleshly footholds for the enemy to work

I think that when we allow certain fleshly, sinful attitudes to take hold in our life, we can open up a door for the enemy to influence us through.
Here we see the influence of fleshly jealousy.  Before, Saul would simply go nutty when he was troubled by this spirit, but now there is a new focus, now Saul is trying to kill David.  Why focus on David?  Because of jealousy.
I think we can see a similar thing happen in the New Testament.
In the very beginning of the church, people were overcome with love for each other and were moved by God to sell pieces of property and give the proceeds to the church so the church could in turn meet the needs of others in the church.  It seems that these acts of charity brought recognition to those who were giving to the church.  One couple took note of this recognition and decided they wanted some.  In a sense, they were “jealous” for recognition.
(Acts 5:1-4 KJV)  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, {2} And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it, at the apostles' feet. {3} But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? {4} Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Their sin wasn’t in keeping back some of the money for themselves.  Their sin was in pretending to give everything to the church when in fact they weren’t.  Satan used this desire for recognition to “fill their heart” and lie.

Another area to be careful of seems to be anger.
(Eph 4:26-27 KJV)  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: {27} Neither give place to the devil.
(Eph 4:30-32 KJV)  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. {31} Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: {32} And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

It could be that Paul was just by coincidence putting these verses together contrasting the work of the devil, the Holy Spirit, and anger together, but I don’t think so.  I think that when we harbor anger against someone, we not only grieve the Holy Spirit, but we are giving the devil a foothold in our life.

:11 David avoided out of his presence twice.

avoided – escaped

:13 Saul removed him  … made him his captain over a thousand

Because Saul was afraid of David, he puts him in a position to take him away from Saul.  Going out and coming in speaks of taking his troops out and returning from the city.

:14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways

behaved himself wiselysakal – to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper

:17 Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife

MerabMerab – “increase”

Part of the reward for killing Goliath was supposed to be the marriage to Saul’s daughter.  Saul now decides that he could use this to his advantage and work things around so that the Philistines kill David.

:18 Who am I? and what is my life

Even though David is being exalted by the people, and Saul is now intensely jealous of David, David doesn’t see himself as being worthy of marrying a king’s daughter.


:19 she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.

Because David seemed to balk at the idea of marrying into the king’s family, Merab is given to another man.

:20 Michal …loved David

MichalMiykal – “who is like God”

loved ‘ahab – to love; human love for another

:21  Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.

(1 Sam 18:21 NIV)  "Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law."

:23 I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed

poorruwsh – to be poor, be in want, lack. 

David does not have the money to pay a proper dowry to marry the daughter of a king.

A dowry was money paid to the father-in-law in case the marriage doesn’t work out.  It’s kind of like alimony in advance.

lightly esteemedqalah – to disgrace, dishonour, be lightly esteemed, be dishonoured, be despised

David’s reasons for turning this down are the same.

:25 The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines

an hundred foreskins of the Philistines – there are only two ways this could happen.  Either a Philistine would need to willingly be circumcised (which ain’t gonna happen), or he would have to be killed.  Saul is hoping that along the way one of the Philistines will succeed in killing David instead.

:26  the days were not expired.

There must have been some sort of a time limit on this proposition, such as, “As long as you bring me a hundred foreskins in the next two months …”

:27  two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale

two hundred – David wasn’t satisfied to just meet the minimum requirement.  He brought twice as much.

Not only will this show that David is serious about marrying Michal, but it is also going to leave no room for Saul to back out.

in full tale – the full number

:29 And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David's enemy continually.

Not only is God with David, but Saul’s own daughter (and son, Jonathan) love him as well.  And now, with marrying his daughter, David even has an outside sort of claim to the throne as well.

:30 so that his name was much set by

(1 Sam 18:30 NKJV)  so that his name became highly esteemed.