David - God’s Anointed Warrior
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:
THIS DAY WILL THE LORD DELIVER THEE INTO MINE HAND
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. The stone was buried in the Goliath's forehead and he fell. David took Goliath’s sword and severed his 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.
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