How to deal with a bully -- part 2
17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp of thy brethren;
18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
Training is over so Jesse gives David an excuse to go to the battlefield. Jesse is in charge of the timing, that is important. He makes sure David arrives in time to hear Goliath's challenge to the army. This is one example of why I think Jesse is the one with the plan. If a kid is going to go and challenge Goliath he will think everyone will cheer him and welcome him. Jesse understands that David's older brothers will not view this favorably. He also knows that the best time for David to get to see Saul will be after Goliath has challenged the army and no one has responded. These are things that an adult, an elder, and a father will understand but David wouldn't.
19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.
21 For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.
22 And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.
26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
I believe David knew about Goliath, he told Jesse about Goliath and they trained on how to defeat Goliath for forty days. That does not mean that David knew about the reward that Saul had offered to the man who kills Goliath. The third rule is you must scout out your opponent, well rule #6 is you must be very attentive to everything that is going on during the battle.
27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
Do not ignore what people say even if you don't agree with it. Who in this situation knows David better than Eliab? In a previous chapter Samuel came to Bethlehem, ate with David's family and anointed David as the new King. What Eliab calls "pride" would be seen by others as courage, or faith. Eliab knows that David is planning to take on Goliath. David doesn't deny any of this, instead he points out "is there not a cause". He is saying, hey this isn't my ego, this is a need for the nation. The rule to learn here is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. You can see into the heart of people based on the words they speak.
31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
32 And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
37 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. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
You don't step straight into the championship fight without having trained. David makes it clear, he has won a few very big fights. He killed a lion and a bear. Those are formidable opponents. When my kids came to the US from China I knew they would stick out in Queens and Brooklyn. So I had them study Karate for three years and become black belts. As a result they never had any trouble with bullies in high school. You don't need to worry that the bully is bigger than you, the focus should simply be on being trained. Teddy Roosevelt said it was very important to learn how to fight because so few bullies actually know how to fight.
38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
When David says he has not yet proved them he is saying he hasn't trained with them. This tells you he has trained with the gear he does go into this battle with. It also tells you that he is comparing Goliath to a lion and a bear and has fashioned his strategy based on what has worked in the past. Now who trained David to take on a lion and a bear? Do you think Jesse just put a little kid out in the field to fend off lions and bears without any training? Prior to this battle David was brought into the house of Saul to play music because he was one of the most talented musicians in the country. Who trained him to play the instrument? Playing a musical instrument requires training just like fighting requires training. From this verse we can see that this is David's attitude. He isn't going to play a piece of music unless he has practiced it, and he won't go into battle with armor that he hasn't trained with.
40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
In the Art of War by Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist, we are told to never despise your opponent. To come out looking like a harmless shepherd boy with a staff (what Goliath calls a stave) is definitely part of Jesse's plan. He wants Goliath surprised, confused, and to completely despise David. In a minute you will see how brilliant this plan is, but let this picture sink in, a youth of fair countenance with a shepherds staff, appearing to totally disrespect Goliath.