Summary: Thr shaping of David from the young hero to the legendary king.
The Shaping of God's Hero
! Samuel 17:17-50
The shaping of the young hero to the legendary king;
Someone on any short list of God’s heroes is David. The apostle Paul called him “a man after God’s own heart. We met him first when the prophet Samuel was looking for the next king. He was the youngest son in his family and his father never considered him as a candidate to be king. When all of the older brothers failed to be selected, and Samuel felt he had been led by God to the home of Jesse in Bethlehem, he asked about a younger son. The prophet anointed him that day as the next king of Israel. Though David had been anointed king, nothing changed immediately.
David was still the “younger brother” who was the shepherd to the family flock of sheep. The older brothers went off to join the national army to fight the Philistines, the terrorist neighbors who resented the occupation of their land by these new people. This was their first major battle since Saul had been crowned the king. Saul was chosen primarily because he was tall and looked like someone who could build an army to protect their land. He failed in both expectations.
The battle plan was very unique. The Philistines had met Israel for the battle on a site where each army was poised on an opposing large hill with a valley and brook between them. The Philistines proposed that this would be won or lost by one soldier from each side fighting each other and the one winning the fight would claim victory for his nation. It seemed like a good plan because it would save the lives of other soldiers, be a brief battle and winner would take all.
However, the Philistines had for their one soldier a giant named Goliath. He was nine feet, nine inches tall and had 125 pounds of amour. His very appearance intimidated the Israelite army. Goliath would appear twice a day to strut his size and challenge Israel to send somebody to fight him. Goliath, a huge bully, had taunted the soldiers of Israel for forty days. Israel’s army was made of volunteer army soldiers who had no training or fighting experience, with no star warrior. When Goliath would appear to challenge and taunt, the soldiers of Israel would back away, turn their faces from Goliath and be paralyzed.
All of us have giants we fear to face. They may be created by financial problems, unemployment, relationship issued or personal weaknesses. They become our bully, forcing us to back up, turn away and become paralyzed. What are your bullies? What intimidates you? What are you fearful of confronting? These may be new to you, making you an inexperienced soldier in the battle of life. Let’s learn from David how we can face our giants.
David arrived at the battle ground to deliver food to his brothers and to their commander. He expected to see a battle and began to question why no one was fighting. He saw Goliath step forward and challenge Israel to battle. His brothers were embarrassed by David’s questions and demand that he be quiet. David continued to ask why no one would face the giant. David’s perspective was different. He saw that his God was being challenged and could provide an answer to the giant. He spoke of how he had killed wild animals to protect his sheep and would do the same thing to Goliath. He was willing to stand up and face the giant.
Heroes like David know that you need to stand up and face what seems like an impossible challenge. I Samuel 17:26-30
Challenges and hard jobs can make cowards of all of us. Not facing your giants allow evil to have its way. David’s focus was not on the size of the giant but on the power of his God. He questioned about the reason for not killing the giant. He stood up and spoke out about God. David’s faith told him that the giant must be confronted and must be defeated.
Based on his confidence in past experiences, David believed God would give the victory. I Samuel 17:32-37
When the king called him to the palace, David’s confidence was expressed in his past victories over bears and lions. King Saul, a desperate and weak king, was ready for challenge the giant but refused to do so himself. David’s belief was “the Lord will deliver me.” Faith and confidence grows from small things to larger victories. Our churches are paralyzed by today’s challenges. When challenges come, we either declare it is too small to be important or too large for us to tackle. When King Saul tried to outfit David in his armor, David chose to use his own weapons. His confidence was not in weapons or armor, but in God.