Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Mt Sinai (Law) and  Mt Zion (Grace)
Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

David - A Man After God's Heart- Part 2


Well, we are continuing with the story of David; shepherd, poet, musician, warrior, prophet, and king. And, a man after God's own heart. We left off where Saul had called David to come and play the harp to comfort him at the palace because an evil spirit tormented Saul after he had disobeyed the LORD God. David lived in the palace and was Saul's armor bearer. He had been anointed by Samuel to be king of Israel.

The Philistines once more came up against Israel. Saul and the armies of Israel were gathered in battle array against them in the valley of Elah. This is West of the Dead Sea. The Philistine army on one side and the Israeli army on the other.

Now the Philistines had a champion, Goliath of Gath, who was a giant of a man nearly twelve feet tall.

It is hard to imagine the size of this monster and the fear he instilled in his enemies, Israel. His coat of mail weighed 156 pounds and the head of his spear was 19 pounds. Goliath came out and challenged the armies of  Israel and shouted daily for them to send their champion, if he killed Goliath, then the Philistines would be the servants of Israel, but if Goliath killed the Israeli champion, Israel would be the servants of the Philistines.

Now most people have heard this story, and some doubt its authenticity. Gath was a real place, here is an excavation of Gath as reported in Time.

As far as giants, the Bible talks of other giants, like Og the King of Bashan from the time of the Exodus a few hundred years earlier, who had an iron bed that was 16 feet long, Deuteronomy 3:11. Goliath himself had 4 brothers, who were all giants like him from Gath, 2 Samuel 21:18-22. Here is a large human femur that was found in Iraq that shows how big the man would be it belonged to.


Goliath came out an would taunt the army of Israel morning and evening for 40 days. Saul and his army were frightened of him. Saul was a head taller than most and did not want to face this giant himself.

David had left Saul before this bout with the Philistines to go back and care for his father's sheep. However three of David's older brothers were at the battle site with Saul. Jesse, David's Dad, asked David to take some provisions to his sons and see how the battle was going. David loaded a wagon and got someone to keep the sheep and headed out for the battle ground. When he got close he left the wagon with the driver and went to see his brothers, for the two armies were on either side of the valley. As he talked with them, Goliath came out and issued his challenge defying the army of Israel and David heard it.

David asked, "What would be done to the man that killed this Philistine and would take away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
You see, David knew that Israel had a covenant with the King of the Universe and that the covenant mark was the circumcision as told to Abraham. They answered and said the king would give riches and his daughter to the man that killed Goliath and make his father's house free from taxes and service. David's oldest brother heard all this and got mad at David and said he should go back to the sheep and not just come down here to watch the battle. David said,"What have I now done? Is there not a cause?"

When Saul heard of David's words, he sent for him. David said, "Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine." Saul said that David was a youth (probably 18 or so) and that Goliath was a warrior from his youth. David told Saul how he had killed a lion and bear that had taken a lamb from his flock and when he took the lamb from his mouth, the lion turned on him and he grabbed him by the beard and killed him. This Philistine will be no different, for he has defied the armies of the living God.

David said moreover, "The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine." Saul said go and the Lord be with you. Saul put his own armor on David, but it was too big and not proven. David knew his own weapons, which were a sling and a staff.
David went down to the creek and picked up 5 smooth stones and put them in his bag and with sling in hand went to meet the giant. Remember Goliath had 4 brothers, David knew that he would have to deal with them sooner or later.

When Goliath came out he disdained David for he was a youth, ruddy and fair.

Goliath has a rather inflated opinion of himself and his abilities, after all, he had never had defeat. He said, "Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?" He saw David armed with his staff and sling. Then he cursed David by his gods and said, "Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field."

David answered, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied."

David said, "This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand: and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."


David said further, " And all this assembly shall know that the Lord slayeth not with a sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands." David knew and trusted God.

Now David was a crack shot with the sling and had used it to kill in defence of his sheep and to eat.

When David had finished proclaiming to the giant, he ran toward the Philistine and took a stone from his bag and loaded the sling.

He drew down and slug a stone and struck Goliath in the forehead and fractured his skull.


The giant was down, so David ran up to him and took Goliaths sword...

and with it he cut off his head....



When the Philistine army saw their champion was dead, they ran for their lives and the army of Israel pursued them and routed them that day.

David took the head as a trophy and brought it to Jerusalem which was customary with the defeat of an enemy. He put the armor in his tent.

Saul asked whose son this was? Abner, the Captain of the host brought David before Saul and he told him,   "I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite." Saul knew this but now took special note of this brave and valiant young man, 1 Samuel 17.

Johnathan, Saul's son,  and David had become very close and after David had finished talking with Saul, they made a blood covenant with each other that bonded them to each other. They traded weapons and clothes that represented themselves and who they were. Their blood was mingled by consensual wounds. This was the greatest bond that men could swear by. It was similar to the covenant with God and Abraham in Genesis 15, and this hesed love would last even after the death of Johnathan with David and Johnathan's son Mephibosheth as we see in 2 Samuel 9.



Saul took David that day and would not let him go home to his father Jesse's house. Saul set David over the men of war and David behaved with wisdom and went out where Saul would send him. God had exalted David and he was accepted by the people and the Servants of Saul.

The women from the towns and villages would come out and sing with instruments and tambourines after the slaughter of the Philistine,  and say, Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands. This caused Saul to be afraid of David and jealous that he would loose the kingdom. You see, the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul and was with David. Saul evilly kept his eye on David.

Now when David played the harp before Saul, it was different. When the evil spirit came on Saul he despised David.

Saul on the next day prophesied from the evil spirit and had a javelin next to him and threw it at David to pin him to the wall.

Twice did Saul try to kill David while he played for him.
But, no harm came to David and he escaped. God protected David. David had the highest respect, honor, and love for the Lord. He could not bring himself to come against Saul because he was anointed of the Lord (by Samuel the prophet).

Saul wanted David away from himself. He made him a Captain over a thousand men and told him to be valiant and fight the LORD's battles and he would give him his daughter, Merab. Saul figured that David would be killed by the Philistines. David said, who am I that I should be son-in-law to the King?

David was wise in his actions, no doubt led of the Lord. When the time came for Merab to wed David, Saul gave her to another man, Adriel. But, Saul's daughter Michal loved David. So Saul told David he could have Michal to wife and for a dowry he could bring Saul 100 Philistine foreskins. Again Saul was trying to get David killed by the enemy so that he would not have to kill David himself.

David and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines and he brought their foreskins to Saul. Saul gave him Michal to be his wife.
The Philistine Princes came out against Israel and David was wiser in battle than any of Saul's Captains and became greatly esteemed, 1 Samuel 18.

Again Saul's jealousy of David rose up and he told his servants and Jonathan to kill David. Jonathan loved David and told him to hide out and went to his father and told him to not be angry with David who was loyal. Saul said he would not kill him and David went back to the palace as before.

There was war again with the Philistines and David went to battle and had a great victory and slaughter of the enemy. Then the evil spirit was again on Saul and while David played, he tried to kill him with a javelin, but David escaped.

Saul sent messengers to David's house to kill him. David's wife, Michal, helped him to escape and put a dummy in his bed to fool Saul's men. When Saul questioned her as to why she deceived her father, she said that David had threatened her...this was not true.

David fled to Ramah to see Samuel and told him what Saul had done, so they went to Naioth in Ramah. Saul heard about it and sent messengers to get David. When they arrived where Samuel and the prophets were the Spirit of God came upon them and they prophesied. This happened three times. So Saul went down to Ramah himself. The Spirit of the Lord came on him and he prophesied too.

Saul could not go after David while the Spirit of the Lord was on him. He stripped off his clothes and lay down naked for a day and night while he prophesied. So a saying was started, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"

So David went to see his blood-brother, Jonathan and told him all. David was concerned for his life because of the madness of Saul. There was a new moon feast coming at the palace and David would be expected to be there (probably Rosh Hashana). Jonathan devised a plan to warn David in secret if Saul was still intent on killing him. They swore again and renewed their covenant with each other.


When the feast days arrived, Saul asked Jonathan about David. Jonathan told him that he had to go down to Bethlehem and could not be present. Saul got angry and threw a javelin at Jonathan but he escaped harm.

As Jonathan had planned, he warned David by an archery demonstration so that no one knew except him and David that Saul would kill him if he came back. Later, he met with David and they both wept over this situation. They swore by the LORD that their seed would be bound by the covenant they had made with each other, 1Samuel 20.

David and his men fled to Nob where Ahimelech the priest was. He told the head priest that he was on a mission for Saul, for Ahimelech was afraid. David asked for food and the priest gave him the shewbread. That was the only food available right then and he said it would be alright if the men had not been with women, which they had not for several days.

David asked if there was a spear or sword, because he had left on his mission so quickly that he had no weapons. So Ahimelech said he had the sword of Goliath and gave it to David. David said there was no other like it.

Now Doeg the Edomite was there and he was a herdsman for Saul. He saw what had happened.

For fear of Saul finding him, David fled to Gath and king Achish. Now Gath is in the land of the Philistines and was the place that Goliath was from. The Bible does not say that Achish was a giant, but David was afraid of him because his servants said, "Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?"
So David acted like he was insane and a mad man, scratching at the doors and drooling all over himself.

King Achish left him alone and said, why have you brought this man who is mad before me?, 1Samuel 21.

David left there and went to the cave of Adullam. His family came to him there. All that were in debt and discontented with Saul's rule also came and David  and he became their captain; there were about 400 men.

David then went to the king of Moab, and there made a place for his father and mother until he knew what God was going to do. The prophet, Gad told David to go to Judah and not stay in the hold (probably the cave) and he left and went to the forest of Hareth which is West of the Dead Sea.

Now Saul was in Gibeah and ready for a fight. He told all the Benjaminites with him that the son of Jesse would not give them what he had, and that he felt betrayed. Doeg was there and told him all he had seen of David getting food from the priests of Nob and Goliath's sword. Saul was very angry. He called the priests to him and questioned them. Ahimelech said that they had helped David, but that they knew that David was loyal to Saul. Saul told his troops to slay the priests, but they would not touch the men of God. But, Doeg would, and he slaughtered the priests that had helped David.

At Doeg's hand by Saul's order they killed 85 priests that day. Only Abiathar escaped to tell David. He was a son of Ahimelech. Now he was afraid for his life, but David said Saul was seeking both their lives, but he would be safe to stay with him.


David said that he knew that day that he and his men had eaten the shewbread that Doeg would betray him. Now, David trusted God for his protection and he told Abiathar that he would be protected also, and he stayed with David. So, David had a priest with him now. Saul's jealousy and fear of David had now caused a terrible sin in the murder of the priests of God, 1Samuel 22.

The Philistines came into Keilah in Israel and were robbing the grain from the threshing floors. Now David was still a patriot of Israel and enquired of the LORD through Abiathar the priest whether he should go against the Philistines. Here is an Egyptian record of Philistine headress.

The Lord said to go up against them. David had 600 men now and slaughtered the Philistines and took all their goods and livestock. David had become a warrior and had a formidable army.

Saul heard of these things and sent his army to trap David at Keilah. David again enquired of the LORD and knew that Saul was coming, so he escaped to the wilderness of Ziph where Saul looked for him every day. The priest Abiathar had a urim and thummin which were special stones used in the priesthood to contact God.

Jonathan came to the wilderness of Ziph and strengthened David in the Lord. They renewed their covenant with each other. Their friendship was very strong and would last beyond life.


The Ziphites told Saul where David was in the wilderness and Saul was going after him. But, the Philistines again invaded and Saul had to turn from his hunt for David and David escaped. 1Samuel 23.

When Saul returned he went after David again with 3000 men. While in the wilderness of Engedi, which is close to the West side of the Dead Sea, Saul went into a cave to go to the bathroom. He had no idea that David and some of his men were in the cave.

David's men said to him in a whisper, God has delivered your enemy into your hand. David would not hurt Saul, for he had a great respect for God and Saul was anointed to be the king. So David sneaked up next to Saul and cut the fringe off of his garment. This was probably the tassel from his prayer shawl or Tallit. Saul never was aware of David.

David called to Saul after he left the cave and asked why he chased him, what wrong had he done? He said check your garment, I have the fringe and it could have been your life. Saul wept and said, you are more righteous than I my son David, and will surely be king. He had David promise that he would not kill his offspring when he did become king. This was common when one took the kingship so that there would be no heirs to the throne. Saul went home and left pursuing David. 1Samuel 24.

Samuel the prophet died and all Israel mourned him and buried him at Ramah. David went down to the wilderness of Paran. There was a wealthy man named Nabal that lived in Maon near Carmel.

Nabal had a beautiful wife who had understanding and honored God, Abigail.

David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep in Carmel so, he sent men there to ask for provisions. You see David had protected that area and Nabal had lost nothing. The men of David went with utmost respect. However, Nabal answered the men roughly and said, who is this David son of Jesse that I should give him anything?

David was very angry at this and assembled his men to go and kill Nabal. One of the young men that heard this went to Abigail and told her that as long as David and his men were around they had never lost anything and how Nabal had refused to help them. Abigail realized the great danger her husband had put them in and immediately loaded some mules with provisions and went out to meet David.

She bowed before David and said not to pay attention to Nabal for he is as his name (fool), and that she brought the food and wanted to help David and his men for he was doing that which was right for the Lord and would be king. She said to remember her when he became king as the Lord had blessed him.

And David said, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand." David told her to go in peace, he had accepted her person and gifts.
Abigail went home and found Nabal drunk and having a feast, she told him what she had done and adverted his death. When he heard his heart died within him and the Lord smote him and he died a few days later.

When David heard, he sent for Abigail and asked her to marry him. "And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife."

David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Saul had given his daughter, Michal, David's wife to Phalti of Gallim.
1Samuel 25.

Saul went down to the wilderness of Ziph to get David after the locals had told Saul he was there. But David had spies and a good knowledge of the area and knew Saul's every move. At night and when Saul and his men were asleep, David said to his men, who will go down to Saul's camp with me? Abishai (Joab's nephew) said he would go-- brave men. All were fast asleep as David and Abishai entered the camp.

Abishai said to David, the Lord has delivered your enemy into your hand, let me pin him to the ground with my spear. But, David said no, we will not lay a hand on the anointed of the Lord. God will take care him, he will die in battle or the Lord smite him, but who can be guiltless of putting their hand forth on the Lord's anointed? So David took his spear and canteen and left Saul's camp.

When David was up on the hill far from the camp, he called to Abner the captain of the host and said that he was not very faithful to his master. He taunted him and told Saul to check his spear and canteen. Saul knew he was wrong and admitted his sin against David and told him to return. David knew better. 1Samuel 26.

David did not trust Saul and knew that he would continue to try and kill him. So he went to Gath and king Achish and dwelt with him. Saul did not follow him into Philistine lands. David stayed in that land for 1 year and 4 months. Achish gave David and his 600 men the town of Ziklag. David had his wives with him, Ahinoam and Abigail, and their handmaids.


David invaded the lands around Israel; Gesurites, Gezrites, and Amakelites. He took all the spoils and killed everyone so that word would not come back to king Achish. David led him to believe that he had invaded parts of Israel so Achish thought that Israel was David's enemy and that he would be with him forever.
1Samuel 27.

Here is a map that shows the areas that David went while he was fleeing from Saul.


The Philistines gathered a great army to come against Israel. All of the Lord's of the Philistines were joining together.

Here is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph of Philistine prisoners that authenticates their attire.

King Achish told David that he would have to go with him to battle against Israel. David said, you know what I can do.

Saul saw the magnitude of the Philistine army gathering and was afraid. He tried to get advice from God, but God would not answer by Urim or the prophets... and, Samuel was dead. So Saul said to his servants to find him a woman with a familiar spirit. They said there was such a woman in Endor. So Saul disguised himself and went to her. She said that King Saul had killed all the witches and wizards in the land and why would she risk her life? Saul guaranteed her safety in this matter. She asked whom do you want me to bring up? Saul said, bring up Samuel. She saw into the void and screamed.

She cried, you have deceived me! You are Saul! Saul said, don't be afraid. What do you see? She said a man in a mantle. Saul perceived this was Samuel and bowed himself.
Samuel said why did you bring me up? Saul told him that God would not speak to him and the situation with the Philistines and he wanted Samuel's advice. Samuel said that Saul had made the LORD his enemy because of his disobedience in not executing God's fierce wrath on Amalek, and that He had departed from him and went to David. As far as the battle, Israel would be defeated and Saul and his sons would be with Samuel tomorrow.

At this news, Saul fell to the ground for he was weak and afraid. He had not eaten for a day and night. The woman compelled him to eat. She killed a fat calf and made some unleavened cakes for him and his men with him. 1Samuel 28.

David went with Achish to meet with other lords of the Philistines to get ready for the coming battle. When they saw David they were upset and said, Is this not the one who they sang, Saul slew his 1000's and David his 10,000's? They did not want an Israelite there, so Achish sent David and his men back to Ziklag.  1Samuel 29.

Now Ziklag was 3 days away. When the men got close they saw their city had been attacked.

The Amalekites had came and burned the city and took all the women and children, and all their stuff. David and the men wept until they could not weep anymore. David was really distressed, some wanted to stone David for blame. But David strengthened himself in the LORD. He called for Abiathar the priest and asked God if he should pursue the Amalekites. God said yes to pursue and you will recover all. David and his men saddled up and went after them and recovered all their families and goods as God had said.
David had led this campaign with 400 of his men, because 200 were to weak to travel and stayed with their stuff. When they came back they wanted to leave the 200 out of sharing the spoils, but David would not have that and they shared all and sent some of the spoil to several cities of Israel. 1Samuel 30.

The battle with the Philistines and Israel went really bad for Saul. Three of his sons were killed including Jonathan.

Saul was wounded and did not want to be captured by the Philistines and tortured. He asked his armor bearer to kill him with his sword.

He would not. So Saul took his sword and fell on it and the armor bearer did the same.

The prophecy of Samuel had come to pass. When the people of the area saw the army defeated and their king dead, they fled and the Philistines came in and dwelt in those cities. The Philistines came and decapitated Saul and took his armor to the house of Ashteroth and hung the bodies of Saul and his sons on the wall of Bethshan.
When the men of Jabashgillead heard about Saul, some valiant men went and got their bodies and brought them back to Jabash and burned them and buried their bones under an oak. 1Samuel 31.

Well, the king is dead and David is next in line. It has been a hard row to hoe for David since his anointing to be king. I will continue this story in the next blog as we go into 2Samuel.

We have seen that David was a great man who honored and trusted God. He wrote the majority of the Psalms. He was valiant in battle and would not come against Saul, even though his life was in danger because of Saul's madness. He respected God, and Saul had been anointed to be king by the prophet, Samuel. When things looked really bad at Ziklag, he strengthened himself in the Lord.  He believed what God said and acted on it.


David is an important ancestor of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

We are starting to see how he was a man after God's heart. David wrote Psalms 18 when he was delivered from Saul, " I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies."

Other Psalms written in this time when Saul was pursuing David:
Ps 57 and 142- When David was in the cave.
Ps 59- When Saul watched David's house to kill him.
Ps 34- When David was before Achish and feigned madness to escape. The forward lists Abimelech which is probably a title. Achish was the son of a king, an inherited royality. 1Sam 21.

All pictures and art found on Internet. Credit given if known in HTML. All quotes from the KJV.

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