David - God’s Anointed Warrior

David cuts off the head of goliath-Tissot

In the 16th Chapter of 1st Samuel, begins the remarkable story of David - God’s Anointed Warrior. David was the youngest of the family of Jesse. He was a handsome, ruddy, lad; hardly the image of a king. Unlike King Saul who stood head and shoulders above the Israelites, David was not remarkable for his bearing. Samuel, in obedience to God’s will, anointed David and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. This was the first recorded instance in the Scriptures where God’s spirit was given to a man and remained with him permanently.

Not long after, David went to visit his brothers who had joined King Saul’s army to defend against the Philistines. The champion of the Philistines, a giant called Goliath, had defied and challenged any man of Israel to meet him in combat. The entire Israelite army was terrified. David, however, was not impressed, and rebuked the men for their fear of the pagan warrior who threatened the Army of the LORD. Saul heard of David and called him to his headquarters. David, full of the Spirit of the LORD, assured Saul that he would dispatch the Philistine as he had the lion and the bear that attacked his flocks.

David went out to meet Goliath in the Valley of Elah. Goliath ridiculed the handsome young man armed only with his shepherd's staff and sling. He cursed David and swore to kill him that day. David responded that he came in the name of the LORD, and that:


Now David had with him his sling and five smooth stones. As a shepherd, he was charged with protecting his flock from wild animals. The sling of that day was capable of delivering a projectile 180 yards at a maximum velocity of 160 miles per hour. That is quite a lethal weapon in the hands of a marksman. As the Philistine approached, David ran toward him, took the stone from his shepherd’s bag, loaded his sling, and cast the stone square between the eyes of the giant. With the stone buried in his forehead, the giant fell. David took Goliath’s sword and severed the giant’s head. The Philistines fled the field in terror, and the Israelites pursued and slew them.

David continued in the service of Saul as his servant and companion. Saul, possessed by an evil spirit, resented David’s success in all things, and tried to kill him on several occasions. Eventually Saul took his own life in battle, and David became king. He brought Israel from a loose group of tribes to a mighty nation. He, however, broke God’s Commandments by his adultery with Bathsheba, and by the murder of Bathsheba's husband Uriah. When confronted by the prophet Nathan, David confessed his sins. God removed David’s sin from him; however, David suffered the consequences of his actions. God struck the illegitimate son of David and Bathsheba, and David was faced with strife from within his house from that day forth.

A Hallelujah of David the Son of Jesse  

    1 Smaller was I than my brothers 
        and the youngest of the sons of my father, 
      Yet he made me shepherd of his flock 
        and ruler over his kids. 
    2 My hands have made an instrument 
        and my fingers a lyre; 
      And so have I rendered glory to the Lord, 
        thought I, within my soul.  
    3 The mountains do not witness to him, 
        nor do the hills proclaim; 
      The trees have cherished my words 
        and the flock my works. 
    4 For who can proclaim and who can bespeak 
        and who can recount the deeds of the Lord? 
      Everything has God seen, 
        everything has he heard and he has heeded. 
    5 He sent his prophet to anoint me, 
        Samuel to make me great; 
      My brothers went out to meet him, 
        handsome of figure and appearance. 
    6 Though they were tall of stature 
        and handsome by their hair, 
      The Lord God chose 
        them not. 
    7 But he sent and took me from behind the flock 
        and anointed me with holy oil, 
      And he made me leader of his people 
        and ruler over the people of his covenant. 

*Psalm 151, Most Greek manuscripts have this. Found in Codex Alexandrinus Septuagint. Found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Source NRSV