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Summary: Eighteen similarities between David and Goliath Jesus and Satan

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The Thirteenth Similarity

David remained under God’s authority, and Jesus remained under God’s authority.

Giving himself over to God, in spite of the various opportunities David had when his men told him that the Lord had delivered Saul into his hand, David refused to lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed. Instead, David trusted that as the Lord lives, the Lord would choose which way Saul would die.

Similarly, Jesus told Peter, after he had prophesied on him, that it was not Peter’s business to question how the apostle John would die.

As David fled from one place to the next, it appears that he was intent upon avoiding open confrontation with Saul. David seems to have been resolute that he would not touch King Saul, trusting that if the Lord had anointed him as king, the Lord would bring it to pass, in his good time, when he should be king.

Similarly, Jesus did nothing to raise his hand against his opponents or exploit his appeal amongst the multitudes. When they wanted to make him king by force (John 6:15), he withdrew to a mountain by himself. He constantly urged people to tell no one of the mighty things he did (e.g., Mark 1:44; 3:12). Jesus even urged people to do as the Pharisees said, “but not what they do” (Matt 23:3). When Jesus was arrested, he did not resist.

“When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued, entrusting himself to him who judges justly”

(1 Pet 2:23).

Jesus was confident that God’s plan was being worked out, and he declared to Pilate he had no more power over him than what was given to him from above (John 19:11).

The Fourteenth Similarity

David was the unexpected King.

Jesus was the unexpected King of kings.

Evidently, no one, not even Jesse, expected that David might be the one whom Samuel was sent to anoint. The Lord sent Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king (1 Sam 16:2). Jesse passed his sons before Samuel, and Samuel had to ask if all of Jesse’s sons were present. The youngest, David, was not even summoned from the flocks for this occasion. This youngest son later served as a servant in King Saul’s palace. He also played the harp for King Saul. These were not the conventional features of a king’s CV. Samuel seems to have been impressed with the stature and appearance of David’s older brother, Elias, Saul, on the other hand, expected his son to succeed him (e.g., 1 Samuel 20:31).

In a similar way, the Jewish establishment is hardly impressed by the circumstances of Jesus’ birth and the road he takes to the throne. John 7:27 indicates that Jesus was not perceived as the expected Messiah. His place of birth and the way in which he was raised, was also questioned. The suggestion that Jesus was a Samaritan (John 8:48) may reflect speculation on the circumstances resulting in the birth of Jesus. Just as Jesse did not expect his youngest son to be anointed by Samuel, so Jesus’ family apparently did not expect him to become the Messiah. They thought he was out of his mind, and did not believe in him (John 7:1–9). Just as the boy playing the harp was not expected to be king of Israel, so the carpenter from Nazareth was not expected to become King of kings of this world.


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