Embrace Godís Perspective

Explore the Bible Series

October 12, 2008


Background Passage: I Samuel 16:1-17:58

Lesson Passage: I Samuel 16:1-13




In some ways, David was an unlikely candidate for king of Israel.Of Jesseís eight sons, David was the youngest, and, in a society that valued birth order, Davidís family could have never imagined that this child would rise to Israelís throne.Furthermore, the young man did not evidence much military expertise.When he confronted Goliath, David felt greater comfort with a sling than with the customary armor and weaponry of a king.Unlike his older brothers, David had little military experience; rather, he tended the flocks of Jesse.Apparently, the young manís family did not identify any exceptional abilities in David.When Samuel came to anoint the new king, Jesse called all of his sons into Samuelís presence, but David was not included in his fatherís summons.Men could not see the remarkable leadership qualities the shepherd boy possessed, but God looked upon his heart.


As you study this lesson, prayerfully observe the godly characteristics of David.God looks upon the heart. What does the Lord see in your heart and mine?



Lesson Outline: †††††††††††


I.                   David Made the King of Israel (16:1-13)

A.    Godís confrontation with Samuel (vv. 1-3): Chapter Fifteen ends with an observation about Samuelís grief over the fall of King Saul. It reflects well on Samuelís character that he loved Saul; however, Samuelís grief became excessive, and the Lord urged the prophet to move forward with the anointing of a new king. God directed Samuel to take a horn of oil and go to the household of Jesse, in Bethlehem.Samuel feared that Saul would kill him if he anointed a new monarch, but God told the prophet to take a sacrificial heifer to Bethlehem.At first reading it may seem like Samuel engaged in a deliberate deception, but God did not tell Samuel to lie to Saul; rather, the Lord instructed the prophet to go to Bethlehem, and God would tell him what to do.

B.     Samuelís arrival at Bethlehem (vv. 4-13): The elders of Bethlehem trembled as they greeted Samuel to their city. Jesseís family was summoned to the sacrifice, and God promised that he would reveal the identity of the new king.Jesse had a large family, and he asked his sons to come before Samuel, one at a time, and the Lord would disclose his choice.Jesse reasoned that his oldest son, Eliab, would make the best candidate, but the Lord did not look in a personís social advantage, stature, talent, or age.One by one, Jesseís sons passed before Samuel, but the Lordís choice did not rest on any of the young men. Puzzled, Samuel asked if Jesse had any other sons, and, of course, Jesse told the prophet that he had a young boy who was tending the familyís flocks. David, a handsome young man, arrived in the presence of Samuel, and God revealed that this was the new king.Samuel immediately obeyed the Lord and anointed David as the new monarch.


II.                Davidís Service to King Saul (16:14-23)

A.    Saulís troubled spirit (vv. 13-18): The Bible says that the Holy Spirit departed from Saul, and an evil spirit, sent from God, troubled the king.This is a difficult passage.First, the departure of the Spirit from Saul raises important theological questions. Apparently, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as it related to Saulís kingship, was a temporary experience, unlike the indwelling of the Spirit in the New Testament.Second, the text recalls that God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul.The Reformation Study Bible implies that this may not refer to a demon; rather, it may denote a troubled heart.Whatever the case, I Samuel indicates that the Lord tormented Saul with this evil spirit.

B.     Saulís search for relief (vv. 19-23): Saul, having heard of Davidís musical abilities, summoned the young shepherd to comfort the king.David brought gifts to Saul and agreed to stay with the king as armor bearer.The shepherdís music provided a tranquil setting to soothe Saulís troubled mind.


III.             Davidís Confrontation with Goliath (17:1-58)

A.    The setting of the confrontation (vv. 1-3): I Samuel places his incident in South Judah, at Socoh.The armies gathered on two mountains, separated by the Valley of Elah.

B.     The Philistine champion (vv. 4-11): The Philistines threatened Israel in south Judah, near Socoh.The two armies gathered on two mountain sides, separated by the Valley of Elah, and the Philistines sent out a champion to intimidate Godís people.The ESV says that Goliath stood more than six cubits (about nine feet, nine inches), but some ancient manuscripts describe him as about six and a half feet tall.Whatever the case, Goliath was very tall, by the standards of the ancient world.Furthermore, he carried impressive weaponry to face any potential rival.For forty days Goliath challenged and humiliated the terrified Israelites, and no one volunteered to fight him.The giant was so confident of his military prowess that he assumed the full responsibility for the fortunes of the Philistines.

C.     Davidís arrival in Israelís camp (vv. 12-23): Three of Davidís older brothers served in Saulís army, and Jesse sent his youngest son to bring word of his brothersí wellbeing.As the shepherd boy visited with his siblings, Goliath emerged from the Philistine ranks and, as before, taunted Saulís army.For the first time, and last, David listened to the blasphemous words of the intimidating giant.

D.    Davidís response to Goliathís taunts (vv. 24-30): David was shocked by the cowardice of the Israelite army, and he spoke to several of Saulís soldiers about the situation.Eliab, Davidís eldest brother, scolded the boy for questioning the courage of the soldiers.

E.     Saulís conversation with David (vv. 31-40): Davidís comments sparked a report to King Saul. The young man told the king that he would face Goliath on the field of battle.Saul, incredulous at Davidís boldness, questioned Davidís military background, but the young man assured the king that he had killed lions and bears in his work as a shepherd.In all probability, David encountered a Syrian bear, as species that existed in the region until World War II. Lions are mentioned frequently in the Old Testament, they have not existed in the Holy Land for centuries.As the Lord had delivered David from the lion and bear, so David believed God would grant victory over the Philistine giant.Saul tried to fit David into the royal armor, but

F.      Davidís combat with Goliath (vv. 41-58): David went out to meet the giant, and Goliath met the Israelite champion with curses and derision.David answered the insults with a calm, clear statement of his faith in God, and predicted that he would kill Goliath with a sling and cut off is head with the Philistineís own sword.David understood that this battle did not center on two human combatants; instead, the battle was about the glory of the Lord.After a brief conversation with Goliath, David rushed the Philistine and sunk a stone deep into his forehead.Goliath fell dead, and David, seizing his enemyís sword, cut off the giantís head.Davidís victory stirred the hearts of the Israelite army, and they pursued the Philistines to the walls of Ekron.After the rout of the Philistines, Saul inquired about the ancestry of David, Israelís new hero.It seems strange that Saul had spent so much time with David; yet, he knew little about the ancestral background of the young man.