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10. David’s Rise in Stature

December 17, 2009

Text:    I Samuel 16:14-17:58

Key Verses:    I Samuel 17:45-47

Outline:            I. David, the Musician      I Samuel 16:14-22

II. Israel’s Fearful Army      I Samuel 17:1-28

III. David, the Fearless Warrior      I Samuel 17:29-58

Context/Discussion/Comments:

One can question how chronological chapters 16 and 17 are in that Saul does not know who David is after David defeated Goliath even though David played the harp for him. David was anointed to be king at a young age, perhaps 10-12 years old; played for Saul anonymously during his early teens, and slew Goliath in his later teens because David was not in Israel’s army and an Israeli soldier was usually between 20 and 50 years of age. In addition, Saul was not interested in who David was until he was to become Saul’s son-in-law for slaying Goliath.

Samuel left Saul and so has God because of Saul’s pride, his disobedience, and his hypocrisy. With God’s Spirit gone, Saul’s heart is filled with an evil spirit who torments him, leaving Saul despondent, depressed, and insecure. Saul has become an incompetent ruler. Saul’s attendants receive approval to find someone who has musical ability to play the harp and sooth Saul’s demeanor. One of Saul’s servants knows of David and his ability so he is brought into Saul’s service to play the harp and bear his arms [perhaps this happened later] when needed. Because of Bethlehem’s close proximity to Saul’s headquarters at Gibeah, David would continue tending sheep and be “on call” to serve Saul. In fact David probably lived in a tent between Bethlehem and Jerusalem when tending sheep [I Samuel 17:54].

The Philistines threaten to conquer Israel again and the Philistine forces and Israel meet on opposite sides of the Elah valley. A Philistine giant named Goliath comes out every day to challenge an Israelite to fight him. The loser’s nation then must serve the winner’s nation. All in Israel’s army feared Goliath, even Saul.

Jesse’s three older sons are in Saul’s army fighting the Philistines but David tended sheep and/or tended Saul. No fighting has commenced in 40 days and Jesse decides to send David to his brothers with a family care package and return with information concerning his sons. David leaves and arrives at Israel’s camp when the daily taunting takes place. David sees his brother’s fear and the overall fear throughout Israel’s army. He also hears of Saul’s reward for the man who will challenge and defeat Goliath [personal wealth, a daughter to marry, and no more family taxes]. David’s older brother hears him talking to the other soldiers and becomes angry thinking David is baiting Israel to fight so he can see them lose.

Word gets back to Saul that David is volunteering to fight Goliath. Saul tries to discourage him [Saul too is afraid] but David tells of his exploits tending sheep and of his faith in the Lord God of Israel. Saul gives David his armor but David refuses it saying it is too cumbersome. Instead, he takes his sling and stones, walks toward Goliath saying he is coming in the Name of the Lord Almighty to slay him. And he does just that with his sling and stones. David takes Goliath’s sword and cuts off his head. The Philistines run and Israel’s army pursued them to Gath and Ekron, killing many. David takes Goliath’s head and weapons, meets Saul who inquires specifically about his family, and returns to his tent near Jerusalem.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Wherever or whatever God vacates, Satan will infiltrate. God is sovereign but His sovereignty rarely interferes with our free will. Therefore, never take your eyes off Jesus and never leave your place as a servant before His throne. We may be a king here on earth but we are to serve the King of Creation and of Eternity.

2. Music was created to affect our spirit. Choose your music wisely. It should glorify God and/or righteous behavior. It should sooth the soul and bring peace. It should express the power and majesty of God. Do not associate or listen to music that degrades God or humanity in any way.

3. Taunting is a favorite activity of Satan. Note the ways in which Christians are being taunted today. For instance; there is no one true God, religion is a crutch, evolution not creation, me first, hell and heaven do not exist, education will solve all man’s problems etc. These are just a few of the “Goliath’s” sent to persecute we who believe in Jesus. We must stand firm and place our trust in the Lord. That is the only way to defeat the evil in our culture. Failure to do so will cause God to discipline His Church, to bring us back to our senses and to Him. We are His soldiers and we must be firm in our faith and bold in confronting wrong.

4. All it takes is for one Christian to stand firm and tall, trusting God for victory. One Christian standing tall and strong will empower others to follow. Are you standing tall? God doesn’t need a highly trained army. All He needs is one faithful person willing to trust Him.

5. God protects His servants who trust Him when fighting God’s enemies. Trusting God is the only way victory can be assured.

6. The smallest of God’s servants are capable of slaying the largest of God’s enemies because they have faith in God Almighty.

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