I Samuel 17-20
We are in the Nation Stream today as we experience that classic story of David & Goliath. We are reading from the World English Bible.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord, thank you for David’s example here. We can shine with you and walk with you no matter who is against us, or how fierce the attitude is against us or how bleak the odds seem against us. You will always give us the human and spiritual comfort that we need. Amen.
David and Goliath – the battle seems to be a preview or a “trailer” of world history. We’ve heard of this reference in so many contests. Well the original story comes from here;
I Samuel 17. It is intriguing that historians of all stripes and creeds will confess that monotheism hung upon the outcome of this battle. Theologically, God is bigger than our perspectives, but for that assessment [the fate of montheism] to be attached to this David/Goliath showdown is impressive. David’s courage and confidence and skill; to be assured that he could drop this behemoth pagan goon in a single pop testifies to the fact that David was in touch with more than his dismissive brothers were aware of. Saul tried to dress David in Saul’s armor so that any victory would be associated with Saul. David doesn’t need it. If David can take on a several hundred pound lion and a several hundred pound bear, then he can take on a several hundred pound man who lacks claws and teeth. Pastor Chuck Swindoll once called Goliath a “cross-eyed discus thrower” – he didn’t have much talent or break many records, but he sure kept the spectators awake! We know the story of the five smooth stones. Goliath did have four other brothers so if the Philistines wanted to break contract and charge them in, David was ready to drop them too. Analyze this fascinating story from any angle and the discussion of it remains endless
18 – Saul’s character and paranoia are only further revealed in this string of stories. He treats David as an enemy AND has to hide that fact that he loathes him, is jealous, and scared of David. David becomes all the more entwined in the Kingdom as Jonathan [Saul’s son] and David become “friends for life”. The chanting about David’s prowess is making Saul crazy. Still, Saul wants him close (like Mafia thinking that is determined to keep enemies close-by). He throws spears at him after using music to make David vulnerable He mocks David in offering his daughter then revoking the deal. He sends David on a fool’s mission to kill Philistines … time and again Saul shows his vapid character and David shows his faithfulness.
19 – things only get worse for Saul as it turns out his own home is committed to David over Saul. Jonathan is caught in a duplicitous position in his sonship to the king and his friendship to the future king who is hated by the present king; his father. Jonathan becomes vital informant to David and is strangely yet secretly protected by Jonathan. Michal, Saul’s daughter is Davids’ wife and she is eventually protecting David against the king; her father. Saul might do well to read into the obvious but the LORD had left him and he is too crazed to see reality anymore. In his effort to apprehend David, the LORD God of Israel intercepts again and “slays” all Saul’s messengers through using them to prophecy. It’s certainly an odd scene. It seems to only prove the mangled hilarity of trying to fight God or anyone who is indeed on God’s side.
20 – Then there’s the dinner, and David’s failure to appear for saying he was going to meet his family in Bethlehem, [remember I Sam. 18:2; Saul had forbidden this]. Jonathan’s attempting to cover for David threw Saul into a manic rage and now he is throwing spears at Jonathan; his own son! The scene with Jonathan and David meeting, the part of the little boy present as a decoy and informant during the “arrows routine” – of which the young boy is oblivious – all this is nothing short of clever. It shows more of the same mind of David that would win him numerous other battles and verify why Jonathan and he are such dear friends. This would seem to be the benediction put upon their friendship as Jonathan is now starkly aware of his father’s hatred of David. Jonathan was a true hearted fellow and in his right mind, but he wasn’t going to trigger an open rebellion against his own father; the King. So Jonathan and David part company and it is a sad day for the both of them. Their final encounter is in ch. 23, but this one here in ch. 20 feels like they are both bracing themselves emotionally to part company. The friendship between them had become so costly. And this made it all the more dear.