Showing posts with label 1 Samuel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1 Samuel. Show all posts

Thursday, September 5, 2013

1 Samuel 27 - 31

Saul and the witch of Endor - William Sidney

Another Book Completed!
Good Morning,

We just completed the Book of I Samuel. So far, we completed 28.74% of chapters and 34.67% of verses in the Old Testament. I would lean towards saying, we are on track!

Added couple of sections - inspirational and a humor section (scroll down). Let's see if it helps anyone.

Thank you for making it a possibility!

Introduction
David is being pushed to the extreme, and is tested for his patience.

Executive Summary
Below is a chapter-by-chapter executive summary for those super busy individuals. To arrive at those individual chapters, you may either click on individual chapter headings or navigate via Archives located to the right.

1 Samuel Chapter 27
David went to the Philistine country and stays there as a refugee. The king of Gath, Achish, honored him and gave him an entire town of Ziklag as possession.

1 Samuel Chapter 28
Saul approached a witch to find out the future of his kingdom. He reached out to Samuel's spirit. Samuel told him that Saul and his children will die the following day and Israel will fall into the hands of Philistines.

1 Samuel Chapter 29
Philistines rallied their army to attack Israel. David was with Achish. The chiefs among Philistines sent David away.

1 Samuel Chapter 30
When David and his men arrive at Ziklag, the Amalekites have burned down the city and taken everyone prisoner. David fought Amalekites and took back the plunder

1 Samuel Chapter 31
Saul and his sons including Jonathan are killed in the battle against Philistines. Israel fell into the hands of Philistines.

The section 'My Thoughts' are notes for myself, related to that particular chapter, and you may ignore them completely to save time.

--

-----------------------BIBLE READING------------------
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this book are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.

:-)

:-)

:-)

-----------------------INSPIRATIONAL------------------


-------------------Food for Thought----------------

We don't change the message, the message changes us.

----------------------------Humor--------------------

Minister: Do you know what's in the Bible?
Little Girl: Yes. I think I know everything that's in it.
Minister: You do? Tell me.
Little Girl: OK. There's a picture of my brother's girlfriend, a ticket from the dry cleaners, one of my curls, and a Pizza Hut coupon.

--------------------Related Paintings----------------



www.flickr.com
sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset

The Art of Witchcraft


Here is a short description on the art of witchcraft.

Many texts describe witchcraft as pacts with the Devil in exchange for powers to do evil and harm others. Traditionally, the art of sorcery, considered 'wicked' was most commonly practiced by women. With the aid of python or divination conversed with the devil, women were able to bring up dead men and also foretell the future.

In 1 Samuel Chapter 28, When Saul met the witch of Endor, she was using Necromancy. What is it - you may wonder.

Necromancy is a form of magic involving communication with the deceased – either by summoning their spirit as an apparition or raising them bodily – for the purpose of divination, imparting the means to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge. The term may sometimes be used in a more general sense to refer to black magic or witchcraft. It had to be however performed within 12 months of the person being deceased.

The necromancers surround themselves with morbid aspects of death, which often included wearing the deceased's clothing and consuming foods that symbolized lifelessness and decay such as unleavened black bread and unfermented grape juice. Some necromancers even went so far as consumption of corpses - yuck!

They then hold certain ceremonies. These ceremonies could carry on for hours, days, or even weeks, leading up the eventual summoning of spirits toward the goal they set out to accomplish.

Three things a necromancer could accomplish are: Will manipulation, Illusions, and Knowledge.
(1) Will manipulation - affects the mind and will of another person, animal, or spirit. Demons are summoned to cause various afflictions on others, either to drive them mad, to inflame them to love or hatred, to gain their favor, or to constrain them to do or not do some deed.

(2) Illusions involve reanimation of the dead or conjuring food, entertainment, or a mode of transportation.

(3) Knowledge - discovered or learning through demons, who provide information about various things which include identifying criminals, finding items, or revealing future events.

The oldest literary account of necromancy is found in Homer’s Odyssey

One of the most popular modern day necromancer performs shows at the nightclub, Excalibur in Chicago. I just realized that the hotel I used to stay while I was in Chicago, was extremely close to this nighclub, Excalibur!

1 Samuel 31


Saul Takes His Life
This chapter reaches a climax when we arrive at Saul, who left the witch at Endor, and was raging another battle against the Philistines. This was the battle in which David was supposed to partake, on the Philistine side.

The Philistines killed all three sons of Saul - Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua and left Saul critically wounded. Meanwhile, the Israeli army had fled the battlefield. Saul requested his armor-bearer to do him a favor by killing him.
4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.”
The armor-bearer was terrified and did not obey his orders. Hence, Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. The wound was insufficient to kill him instantly. Saul then asked an Amalekite who happened to be near to kill him, and he did so. Seeing this, his armor-bearer killed himself as well.

The Philistines occupied the Israeli territory and cut off his head and placed it in their Asharath temple along with their idols, and praised their idols for victory. The bodies of Saul and his sons were hung on a wall at Beth Shan. Few brave and courageous men took down those bodies and buried them.

The people fasted and mourned for seven days.





My Thoughts
This is one of those chapters where I and puzzled whether to be happy or sad. On one side, I am happy for David that he no longer has Saul's threat. On the other side, I feel sad for David because he must be feeling miserable due to all those loses.

Whenever we start hearing bad news, it actually starts pouring one after the other and culminates to a point we cannot handle it anymore. Here, we see David facing a string of issues one after the other. Who can comfort David?

Question to myself - Have I ever lost someone that I loved?






1 Samuel 30

War with Amalekites - Poussin

David Destroys the Amalekites
David and his men return to Ziklag, only to find that the town has razed to ground by the Amalekites. They took advantage of a defenseless situation. They have burnt the city and taken captive of women children and cattle, including two of David's wives. Only relief is that they have not killed anyone. David's strong men, who went along with him to wage war weep so badly that they had no more energy to weep. Moreover, the men had no proper meal for the past three days. Their sadness turned into anger and they even considered stoning David to death.

David found strength in the LORD. He consulted with the LORD whether he will be able to pursue the Amalekites. The answer was "YES".

David and his six hundred (600) men headed towards the Amalekites. Two hundred of them were exhausted and did not have any energy to cross the valley, and stayed back. With the aid of an Egyptian slave whom they found on the way, David's men were led towards the reveling crowd of Amaelekites, where they fought from dusk till dawn and recovered all their plunder including women and children without a single person missing.
1 Samuel 30:20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
On their way back, the two hundred men resting in the valley were fed and given their share of the plunder. There was sufficient plunder to share with everyone and even more. David sent the excess plunder as gifts to all those who helped him while he was in exile.

1 Samuel 30:27 David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir; 28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa 29 and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites; 30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak 31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed.





My Thoughts
What a nervous breakdown it would have been, to find the entire town burned down with everone taken as prisoners. What thoughts would be crossing through the minds of those hungry men. They were coming home to eat some food and take some rest. Instead, they find everything burned down. Whom can we turn to, other than the LORD, in such circumstances? Who on earth can understand our despair?

Notice the LORD'S hand behind nobody being killed. Typically, when such battles erupt in the absence of the males around, the fighting army has a heyday, looting everything, burning everything and even raping women. Those who object are usually put to death. Here, everyone is unharmed - which in itself is a blessing.

There comes a time when one's own people turn against them. This is the hardest part in any person's life. David had to endure the criticism of his own men. Notice there are evil minded men even within his own camp, who turn against him. Dealing with such personalities tactically requires a special skillset.

Sending gifts to those who helped David in the past speaks about his personality. David has a kind heart and does not forget them. It's not the value of a gift that matters; rather the thought. Proverbs 18:16 - A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.




1 Samuel 29

David' Army at Aphek

Achish Sends David Back to Ziklag
Philistine kings united in an effort to combat Israel at Aphek. David's men traveled with Achish and they lined up together with Achish. The Philistine chiefs, when they saw David's men, they became angry at Achish. Now Achish tried to convince the chiefs about David's loyalty. However, the chiefs did not want David in their army; they wanted to avoid any attempt of David turning towards their men on the battlefield.

That evening, Achish met with David and said,
1 Samuel 29:7 Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.” 
David returned to Ziklag with his men.





My Thoughts
To me, Achish seems to be a good man, even though he is a Philistine. Not only did he provide shelter to a refugee, but also in trusting David to be with him. Battlefield is a playground where dirty games are played, as they are playing with human lives. Apparently, Achish has no fear that David would turn against his men. This maybe because he had personally dealt with David. When we deal with someone in person, we can learn much more about that person than hearsay.

A certain man may be 'bad' or 'unjust' in the eyes of others and it maybe true to a certain crowd. Not necessarily that person behaves so with everyone.

One thing I can learn from Achish is to treat others as nicely as possible. I see LORD'S hands working in the background in leading David towards nice people like Achish.

I think if David had gone that far (to Aphek) to fight Israelites, he would have fought on the side of Philistines. I cannot think of David betraying Achish in the battlefield. After all, in 1 Samuel 13:14, Samuel says about David as 'a man after his own heart' which means 'a man every way agreeable to the will of God.'

Finally, one question to myself - "Am I being too naive here?"







1 Samuel 28

Saul and the witch of Endor - Benjamin West

Saul and the Witch of Endor
Earlier, Saul had expelled all those spiritists/witches who practiced sorcery in Israel. When Philistines came to wage war with Israel, he was afraid. He tried to inquire with LORD and did not get an answer. He then turned towards witchcraft and inquired if anyone practiced witchcraft. His men told him about a woman in Endor.

Saul went disguised to her, after sundown. The witch complaints about Saul to 'Saul' and expressed her fear. When she learns that it is Samul's spirit that needs to be 'brought up,' she realized this was Saul indeed. She proceeded to perform her 'art.'

Boooooooooo!!!!

To make a long story short, Samuel appears wearing a robe.
1 Samuel 28:16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has departed from you and become your enemy? 17 The LORD has done what he predicted through me. The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey the LORDor carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today. 19 The LORD will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”
'tomorrow you and your sons will be with me' = means tomorrow Saul and his sons will join Samuel in the realm of death.

Samuel trembled with fear and fell down on the ground after hearing two things - his army will be delivered into the Philistines and the following day he and his sons will die. He had not eaten the past day and night.

The woman offered food which Saul first objected, but later accepted.




----------------------------------Additional Info
Witchcraft
I have posted a mini article on witchcraft as it relates to this chapter. Here is that link.






My Thoughts
If anyone asked me about black magic, I would say that it exists as it is in the realm of the devil. The way I believe is that there are numerous things in the universe that are invisible to the human eyes; yet they exist. Our visions fall within a narrow range of spectrum and all we 'see' are other human beings. Why - there are human beings who do not see or acknowledge the presence of the LORD. Do I have to be afraid of it, and can anyone cause harm to me? It is quite possible that I can be hurt by it; the way out would be to walk in the ways of LORD.

Interestingly, all such 'art' take shape under the veil of darkness. I spent did spend quite some time reading up more about this particular form of 'art'. It sure is scary - and opened up a whole another world of devil and his demons, which I do not want to be part of.

Earlier Saul put and end to all those practicing black magic maybe at the advice of Samuel as it was the law of Moses. When he received no answers from the LORD, he is desperate for some means of revelation and turned black magic - a practice which Saul himself had outlawed earlier.

Apparently, Samuel asked why he was 'disturbed,' and then gave out those answers.

The news about one's death will send cold chills through anyone. Saul is told that the following day he and his sons will die.

I feel bad for Jonathan, as he is going to be killed the next day as well. Poor David!

1 Samuel 27

David playing harp during some free time between battles 

David Among the Philistines
David decided to become a refugee in Philistine, as Saul was continuously on David's tail. He sought the help of Achish, king of Gath. Achish received him well and gave David the town of Ziklag as a possession. He lived with his men in Ziglag for sixteen months.

David then raided all those non-Israelites - the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites and killed everyone so that nobody lived to tell the story to anyone.
1 Samuel 27:11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” 
When Achish heard conflicting news about David's activities, he asked whom he raided. David would answer, "Negav or Judah of Israel." David continued this subterfuge not to raise any red flags.

Achish felt good thinking that David had become obnoxious towards the Israelites and he could keep David as a servant for life.

In chapter 28, we will see that Achish is asking David to join forces while he engages in fight against Israelites. Since this it is related, am adding it here.
1 Samuel 28:1 In those days the Philistines gathered their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”
2 David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.”
Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”




My Thoughts
Saul, in comparison to the Philistines was more dangerous and treacherous. Weighing both options, it fit well for David to stay in Philistine. It is safer for David to be a refugee, rather than stay in the land of Israel.

As far as the subterfuge David uses to cover up his deeds, I would not say with 100% confidence what he does is right. To me, Achish has given David an entire city as shelter to stay. During a time of need, Achish is sort of acting like a guardian. I should remain loyal, trustworthy and honest with those who helps me in times of need.

The benefit of doubt I would give David is since he is not attacking the Philistines, especially the men of Achish. Here, David is attacking Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites.

When Achish asked David to fight against Israel, David is certainly in a dilemma. But again, he is fighting against Saul and that could be the only reason for his agreement.

Admit that I did not get an appropriate painting related to this chapter and hence 'made up' the image's title.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

1 Samuel 20 - 26

David and Abigail

Introduction
Today we will be spending most of our time with David, while he is on the run for his life. We will see people in trouble coming to him as they have faith in him. Couple of times David has the opportunity to take Saul's life, but being righteous, he spares it. He also gets to meet and talk with his beloved friend Jonathan. All those are detailed in individual chapters.

To arrive at those individual chapters, you may either click on individual chapter headings or navigate via Archives located to the right. The section 'My Thoughts' are notes for myself, related to that particular chapter, and you may ignore them completely to save time.

1 Samuel Chapter 20
David shared his thoughts with Jonathan that Saul is suspecting to kill him. Jonathan promises to find out more about it and is disappointed when he found out his father's true intentions. He shared this with David and advised him to stay away.

1 Samuel Chapter 21
David reaches Nob and there he eats the consecrated bread from the priest. The priest hands over Goliath's sword. One of Saul's men observed this. David fled to Philistine country, and people recognized him. David acts like a mad man and they do not harm him.

1 Samuel Chapter 22
David is on the run and fled to a cave in Judah. He met his family there. About four hundred men joined him there. Saul starts a campaign to hunt down David. He learned about the priest giving him Goliath's sword and puts him and his family to sword. One boy fled to David with the high priest's ephod.

1 Samuel Chapter 23
When Philistines were stealing grains from Keilah, David and his men went and attacked them. Saul was chasing David and hence he fled Keilah. He later met his best friend Jonathan and poured out his heart.

1 Samuel Chapter 24
David spared the life of Saul while he was sleeping in the same cave where David was. He then told Saul that he meant no harm. Saul dropped the plan temporarily and went home

1 Samuel Chapter 25
Prophet Samuel died around this time. David's men approached Nabal, for provisions, whose sheep and goats were under David's care. He refused to help, instead his wife Abigail provided assistance to David. Nabil died soon and David married Abigail.

1 Samuel Chapter 26
Saul came out again to kill David with three thousand men. This time David went into Saul's tent while he was sleeping and took away his spear and water jug. David later confirmed that he meant no harm to Saul. Saul blessed David and returned home.

-----------------------BIBLE READING------------------
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this book are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.

:-)


:-)

:-)

-----------------------Food for Thought------------------

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.


--------------------------------------Related Paintings



www.flickr.com
sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset

1 Samuel 26

David spares the life of Saul

David Again Spares Saul’s Life
One night, Saul had camped with his three thousand (3,000) men in pursuit of David, on the hill of Hakilah. David carefully watched where Saul and his commander Abner, were sleeping. Under the cover of darkness, when it was calm and quiet, David attempted a valiant act, along with his sister's son, Abishai.
1 Samuel 26:7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
When they arrived at the tent, Abishai urged David to kill Saul. David rebuked him softly, saying Saul was anointed king of Israel by the LORD and none other than LORD should strike him.

1 Samuel 26:12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep.
When David and Abishai reaching other side of the hill, he called out to Abner, the commander and said he did not do his job of guarding his master as someone came so close to them and took away the spear and water jug. Saul recognized David's voice and asked if it was him. David responded with respect.
1 Samuel 26:18 And he added, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of
21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.”
23 The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD'S anointed.
25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.”
The two men parted their ways - Saul went home and David went on his way.







My Thoughts
Saul continues to pursue David, and this time around, there are three thousand men with him. He did not muster so much men while fighting the Philistines. We are talking about a hunt for just one person. I can imagine those sleepless nights Saul is having. Being jealous and angry can lead us to do awful things - just like how Saul is acting.

David is getting dangerously close to Saul, who's sole aim is to kill David. However, all David does is steal something from Saul, just to prove that he poses no threat to Saul. I think Saul is more worried about David's existence which remains a threat to his sons becoming future kings.

David has faith in LORD'S promise, and is undergoing all these troubles, while waiting for LORD'S appointed time. Man's time is certainly not LORD'S time, and all we can do is just wait.

Abishai is urging David to kill Saul, but David is able to see the 'big picture' about LORD'S anointment and does not attempt it. Here I am learning from David how to possess that superior level of righteousness. Am sure Abishai and scores of others made fun of David for not killing Saul with such a wonderful opportunity.

Do I ever laugh or make fun of others, when they do the right thing?





Image Credit: hadrian6.tumblr.com

1 Samuel 25

Meeting of David and Abigail - Ruben

Death of Samuel
If we were to follow the Jewish literature, it is recorded that around this time, the great prophet of Israel ascended to his heavenly abode. He was spending a life of retirement in his hometown. Samuel lived from 931 - 877 BC, and was the last judge of Israel and led a Nazirite life travelling all over Israel. The Talmud records many examples of Samuel's proficiency in the field of economics, medicine, zoology, astronomy and calendric science.

May the soul of Prophet Samuel live in peace!

David, Nabal and Abigail
In a manner to insult David and sever relationship with him, Saul had given away Michal, David's wife to someone else in marriage.

David and his men were camping around Carmel. At a nearby location lived a man named Nabal. He was a wealthy, miser, foolish and a hardhearted man. Conversely, his wife Abigail was a beautiful, charitable and intelligent woman. Nabal's sheep and goats were protected by David and his men as they grazed in the surrounding pastures. Sheep-shearing was a season of great feasting and merry-making in the household. During that time, David sent ten of his followers to Nabal asking for some food, in return for the protection services they had rendered to Nabal's shepherds. However, Nabal refused the request and further insulted them.
1 Samuel 25:10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.
When the men returned and told David everything, he charged out with four hundred men to go meet Nabal. Meanwhile, Abigail, Nabal's wife learned about this incident.
1 Samuel 25:14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.
Abigail could not justify her husband's conduct and acted soon. Without the knowledge of her husband, she loaded food upon donkeys and sent them towards David. The donkeys carried two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs. She met David's convoy heading Nabil's way near Caramel and bowed down. Then she apologized for the rude behavior of her husband and thanked them for their help guarding the sheep and goats.
1 Samuel 25:36 When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. 

When she explained her deeds to Nabal the following morning, he had a heart attack. Few days later, he died. When David heard this, he asked Abigail if she was willing to be his wife, to which Abigail willingly agreed.

Earlier, David had married Ahinoam of Jezreel.










My Thoughts
Prophet Samuel is one of those wonderful personalities in the Bible, who was instrumental in anointing the first two monarchs of Israel - Saul and David.

Sad to hear that both his sons became corrupted. Is it possible that Samuel was unable to pay attention to his children while they were growing up - he had to travel all over Israel to perform his duties.

People like Nabil are around us during every generation. On top of their stubborn and churlish behavior, some of these men get drunk too. Wonder what caused him the heart attack - such people get shock waves when they hear so much of their wealth was given away, in this case food?

Not entirely sure how women take it to their heart, when their husbands get drunk. It's not just at home but during social gatherings as well. These days, women seem to be the ones encouraging their husbands to drink alcohol.

The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame - Proverbs 3: 35. Like Abigail, there are quite a few intelligent women who take matters into their own hands, while their husbands remain drunk almost all the time, conducting business foolishly and living in a state of ephemeral, alcohol-induced bliss.

David upon being insulted sets out to pacify his vengeance by killing Nabil. Suppose Abigail did not show up, he would have murdered him. Would such a slaughter be justified in the eyes of the LORD?

Saul had snatched away his daughter Michal from David. Now, David seems to be acquiring wives for himself. He was already married to Ahinoam of Jezreel, when he met Abigail. He was impressed by Abigail's wisdom and showed interest in her, and finally ended up marrying her.






Image Credits: stock-illustration-11120765-drunk-man

1 Samuel 24

 David spares Saul in the cave

David Spares Saul's Life
Israel is such a small country and David has been moving his hideout from one location to another with his six hundred men, which was not that easy. Saul was on his tail with a large army.

It so turned out that once Saul was pursuing David and being tired, Saul decided to take a nap inside a cave. David and few of his men were deep inside the very same cave. When Saul dozed off, David's men urged him to kill Saul as LORD delivered his enemy into his hands. David however went near Saul, and regretfully tore off a small portion of his royal robe. David had respect for Saul, and his belongings (including his robe) as he was consecrated by the LORD.

When Saul came out of the cave, David came out and stayed far from Saul's reach.
1 Samuel 24:11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 
Saul was sorrow-laden and realized how far above David stood when it came to righteousness. He called out David, addressing "My son,"
1 Samuel 24:17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 
Further Saul said that he knew David would become the king of Israel one day, and asked him to take an oath that he would not harm Saul's family. David did so and stayed back, while Saul returned home.








My Thoughts
You have to be inside a real cave to appreciate the natural wonder. David, as a shepherd was used to the caves as one has to get the sheep into caves to protect them from the midday heat.

When we have the ammunition in our hands and a perfect opportunity to kill our enemy, only the righteous will hold it back and leave that matter to the LORD. This is when one behaves in a godly manner. It is so tempting to use that ammunition against the enemy, while it takes enormous amount of patience coupled with LORD'S amazing grace not to use it. Such actions will be questioned by our fellow men around us and blame us for not using an opportunity, and possibly evoke their wrath.

LORD is the only one who can read our hearts. He sees our original intentions and weighs our hearts. For that reason, it is extremely hard for me to even control my thoughts. How do I let ONLY righteous and positive things come to my mind?

After committing a sin, I cannot simply go to the LORD and say, "LORD, As you know, I am just a human being and I did it as part of my human weakness" - it is a totally absurd excuse. LORD has created us with the ability to pick right and wrong. He expects me to always think right.

Saul seems like a venomous snake who is treacherous and is changing his mind quite often. He has terrible 'mood swings' which oscillates between two extremes. One moment he is about to kill David, and in the next he displays his piety. I need to be extremely careful of those who possess such 'snake-in-the-grass' personality.


1 Samuel 23

Saul Pursues David

David Saves Keilah
One day, David heard that the Philistines were looting grain from the threshing floors of Keilah a border city of Philistine. David inquired with LORD whether he should go. The answer was - Yes. The people were bit scared to get out of their hiding and go fight the Philistines.
1 Samuel 23:4 Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.”
They followed the LORD'S direction and fought the Philistines by causing heavy damage. In the process they carried away their livestock and saved the people of Keilah.

Saul Pursues David
Saul caught wind about David being at Keilah and decided to attack him as it was a fortified city. David heard about Saul's plans and checked with the LORD.
1 Samuel 23:11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? LORD, God of Israel, tell your servant.”
And the LORD said, “He will.”
David checked once again to be double sure and received the same answer. He then fled Keilah and was on the run. By now, he has six hundred (600) followers. While in Horesh, David held a secret meeting with his beloved friend Jonathan.
1 Samuel 23:17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
Saul later happened to hear that David was in Horesh, and decided to pursue him. While at Maon, they came quite close to David's men; just then a messenger arrived with the news of a Philistine attack and Saul changed his plans.






My Thoughts
Looting grain from the threshing floor was quite common, I suppose. Few generations ago, Boaz was sleeping on the threshing floor to prevent thieves when Ruth came and lay at his feet. The practice of looting from threshing floor continues to this day.

So nice to note that David and Jonathan met and had a chat, while a full fledged man-hunt was in progress. If there is a strong will to meet someone, there is always a way. Out minds work in miraculous ways and will always lead us towards the person we are seeking within our heart.






1 Samuel 22


Saul Kills the priests at Nob

David at Adullam and Mizpah
David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam, the plains of Judah, back in Israel. There his parents and brothers came to meet him. Those who were in distress, or had other issues in lives, came to David as they trusted in his valor. Four hundred (400) people joined him. David was viewed like an outlaw. Since he had his aged parents, he approached the king of Moab if he could stay in his land, which he obliged. David stayed there until prophet Gad told David to move to the forest of Hereth.

Saul Kills the Priests of Nob
When Saul heard that David was with four hundred (400) men, he addressed them asking if David can provide the level of comfort what he is currently providing them. He also complained that nobody has provided him the whereabouts of David.
9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials, said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelek inquired of the Lord for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
As a result, Ahimelek, the priest of Nob, was summoned and charged with conspiracy.

18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.
20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 
David agreed to protect Abiathar. He had brought the ephod down with him when he fled.






My Thoughts
David is slowly gaining ground with the help of LORD. People who have troubles join camp with David. In this life, the best job we could do is help others in trouble, with the help of LORD. It takes a higher state of mind to view everyone as LORD'S creation, regardless of their social status.

Saul has started to become restless and is now inflicting terror within the minds of people. Killing those priests and their families was all Saul could think about. This was meant to be a warning for others not to shelter David.

Who will show the courage to help someone in trouble? Will I risk my own life and provide shelter to someone in danger? Would I show even a slight difference in such care, based on his/her social standing?  Am I ever planning to do such things it expecting any benefits or favors in return?

I like Abiathar, because he carried the ephod with him even while he fled for his life. A person would carry only the most precious things with him while running for his/her life. Well done, Abiathar!



1 Samuel 21

David receiving sword of Goliath from Ahimelek

David at Nob
Being in exile, David, fled to Nob which was the spiritual city at that time. He was now in exile, away from and Saul's palace, on the run. In order to sustain and to protect himself, he now needed food and weapons. Hence he approached the priest Ahimelek, who knew who David was. When he saw David alone, he trembled with fear - for a person with David's stature would not be moving around alone, but with a band of people around him. David said he was on a secret mission and had to leave in a hurry. Ahimelek the priest gave David some consecrated bread. The only weapon available in the House of the LORD was the sword with which David slew Goliath.

Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd saw David meeting with Ahimelek.

David at Gath
David feared that Doeg may mention Saul about meeting David at Nob. Such was David's fear, he fled Israel into Philistine country of Gath, the hometown of Goliath, about twenty four miles away. David's plan was to stay there as a stranger. Achish, king of Gath (also called Abimelech) was ruling at that time. David was spotted in their land and brought before the king.

David was scared to meet him as he was carrying Goliath's sword and people knew him as a superior warrior. This, in David's mind, caused fear as this was one reason Saul became jealous. David decided to pretend insane and drooled saliva. A mad man received piety, even though he was a condemned enemy aide and David acted so.








--------------------Additional Info
Psalms 56 
Sung by David when he was seized by Philistines at Gath.

Psalms 34
Composed by David when he escaped from Gath after pretending to be insane.





My Thoughts
David is on the run, and he has his faith and trust in the LORD.

At the House of the LORD, he consumed the bread meant for the priests, which is not seen in any negative light.

Acting as a mad man might is not quite easy, and he feared for his life so much. Even though these two sections do not speak a lot about David, the two psalms do. I could understand the situation David was in, after reading the two psalms in conjunction with this chapter.


1 Samuel 20




David and Jonathan
Introduction
True friendship is a rare flower upon this sinful earth. When discovered and proved, it should be greatly prized. It is an element of the original likeness of God. True friendship can never exist in a heart where selfishness reigns; for the moment self-interest is crossed, the false and fickle friendship begins to decline or proves treacherous.

What we see in the case of David and Jonathan is a soul-friendship, which involved deep faith in the LORD and sustaining prayers for each other.

David and Jonathan
David approached Jonathan in despair and inquired why Saul wanted to kill him.
1 Samuel 20:2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”
David tried explaining to him, and being best friends, Jonathan believed him. He comforted David saying that he'll find out his father's intentions. The king was holding a feast in which David usually a part of. David was planning to go hide for the next two days. If Saul asked Jonathan, he was to say that David went home to offer annual sacrifices. If Saul became angry and furious, it was a sign that Saul intended to harm David.

Jonathan agreed to it, and further hatched a plan that they will have a code word between them to convey the situation after the feast. He would come towards the hiding place with a boy and shoot arrows. If he said, "Look, the arrows are on this side of you" then it meant 'all clear;' else if said, "Look, the arrows are beyond you," it meant your life is in danger.


At the feast, Saul noticed David's absence the first day and did not say anything. On the second day when David was missing again, Saul inquired about him. To this, Jonathan said that David had gone to offer sacrifices after seeking his permission. This roused Saul's wrath, both at David and Jonathan.
1 Samuel 20:30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”
Jonathan had verbal exchanges with Saul and left the feast and grieved his father's intentions. Next day he went to the field with a boy where David was hiding and shot arrows. When the boy was picking up arrows, he shot one beyond the boy and uttered, "Look, the arrows are beyond you" - which meant David's life was in danger.

David did not run for his life. He instead waited to bid farewell to Jonathan.

After sending the boy away, Jonathan met David. The two did not speak for a long time. The two kissed each other and wept utterly; David wept the most.
1 Samuel 20:42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.






My Thoughts
Notice how Jonathan believed what David said, even though it was about his father's cruel intentions. Their friendship was so deep that they completely believe each other 100%. Being brutally honest is the ground rule in any great friendship. However bad the situation is, thick friends share it with each other as if they are talking to themselves.

Verse 17 says that Jonathan loved David as if he loved himself.

This chapter has a wonderful long conversation between two best friends - David and Jonathan, but am trying to summarize it. As it is, the length of my postings are getting longer. I am doing my best not make it any longer! This section is anyway for me to read up later on. I guess nobody would mind my own notes here.

One proverb about friendship that I keep recalling:
"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
Meeting that one friend who sticks closer is the biggest challenge in one's life. Having hundreds of friends over a period of time is quite easy and it simply grows with time, without any nurture. The way I look at it is, as time progresses, we tend to have a breadth of friends wherein relationship is just an inch deep, but seldom has any depth.

The way David and Jonathan discuss about chalking out plans and signalling each other show how innocently they are thinking and communicating - just like those young children! That is the beauty of friendship, as we get into a state of innocence and start to think and act like innocent children with a pure mind. These are simple, yet powerful signals - all because of trust and faith in each other.

I liked the wordings on this friendship day wallpaper.


Notice David weeping near his beloved friend Jonathan. We all weep for various reasons. We weep the death of one of our nearest or dearest ones. Even harder and prolonged is the loss of a beloved one who is alive, and has moved away from our life due to a recent job, into another community, or even another circle of friends that we are unable to be with them. Here, I guess David is weeping due to a similar reason as he cannot be with Jonathan anymore, the way they used to hang around together mainly because of the ill fate that has fallen upon him. Due to this, he cannot even see or spend time with his dearest friend Jonathan. All they can do is pray for the welfare of each other.






Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1 Samuel 14 - 19

David Bearing Goliath's Head -  Jacob Van

Welcome back, and let me earnestly hope that you had a refreshing holiday!

Introduction
Today's 'guided tour' introduces a popular Biblical hero - David. Today's stories are filled with numerous stories such as Jonathan nearly losing his life at the hands of Saul, LORD disapproving Saul as the king, the action packed 'adrenaline and hair raising' story of David and Goliath as they rally in the valley, the proverbial friendship between David and Jonathan, David's marriage to Saul's daughter, Saul's attempt for David's life and more! The transition of power from Saul to David is recorded in great detail.

To arrive at those individual chapters, you may either click on individual chapter headings or navigate via Archives located to the right. The section 'My Thoughts' are notes for myself, related to that particular chapter, and you may ignore them to save time.

1 Samuel Chapter 14
Jonathan, in his bravado of youth, decided to take up the Philistine outpost with the aid of his armor-bearer. He demonstrated his bravery by trusting in the strength of LORD, rather than his own. Jonathan had a narrow escape with his life for breaking an oath.

1 Samuel Chapter 15
In this chapter we see that the LORD rejected Saul as the king. Saul did not follow LORD'S instruction while battling the Amalkites; he spared their king and let his army keep the best sheep and cattle for themselves. LORD became upset with Saul. Samuel went and inexorably rebuked Saul and pointed out his disobedience. He conveyed the message to Saul that LORD has rejected him as the king. Samuel, in an effort to please LORD, killed the captured king. After this meeting, both Samuel and Saul never met anymore.

1 Samuel Chapter 16
Samuel, sets out to Jesse's house in search of the next king of Israel, per LORD's command. When Samuel sees the tall elder son, he thought he was the chosen one. LORD said, to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” One by one all of Jesse's sons were brought in. David was missing and was called in. Upon seeing David, Samuel knew he was the one and anointed him.

1 Samuel Chapter 17
This chapter narrates the epic story of David and Goliath. Goliath, a 9 ft 9 inch tall monster had been challenging the Israelites for forty days. A young and fearless shepherd boy, David took up the challenge. While Goliath was a 'fully loaded' Philistine soldier, David had his trust and faith in the LORD. Thousands held their breath while the two battled in the valley. While everyone knows the outcome, it is interesting to re-read such a story which depicts faith and trust in the LORD, while many of us to this day will remain mere spectators.

1 Samuel Chapter 18
The proverbial friendship between David and Jonathan takes root in this chapter. Jonathan, when he learned about David, "loved him as himself." Jonathan further took off his off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. Anyone and everyone who has a friend should learn more about the strength of their friendship, and those challenges they had to face. Nothing could shake their relationship. Saul's jealousy has grown and he is spreading the net to kill David. With that that intention, Saul gave his daughter, Michal, to David as his wife.

1 Samuel Chapter 19
This chapter reaches a climax with numerous failed attempts by Saul to kill David. Further, we see Jonathan's loyalty to David being displayed, Saul making few attempts to kill David, Michal's deception, David escapes with his cleverness etc.. Finally the Holy Spirit thwarted Saul from causing any harm upon David. 


-----------------------BIBLE READING------------------
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this book are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.

:-)

:-)

:-)

-----------------------Food for Thought------------------

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.


--------------------------------------Related Paintings



www.flickr.com
sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset sapjacob's 1 Samuel photoset

1 Samuel 19

David Escaping Saul - Guercino 1646

Saul Tries to Kill David
Saul still remembered the words Samuel spoke and he is not willing to give up the throne. He noticed David's military triumphs and brilliance. Saul's jealousy now grew into hatred.

Saul told Jonathan and his officials to kill David. Jonathan went and shared the news with David that his father was planning to kill David and advised to go into hiding. David trusted the advice of his best friend and did so. Meanwhile, Jonathan tried talking to Saul, and he agreed not to cause any harm. Saul had cooled down for the moment and listened to Jonathan.

David then led another battle against the Philistines and they fled before him. After the battle, Saul tried throwing his spear at David he was playing his harp, but he ducked it (again)!

Next, Saul sent men to kill him at his house. Hearing this, Michal, David's wife, out of love for her husband, warned him and let him out of the window; David escaped. She dressed up a large idol, put goat hair on the head and made it look as if David was ill and was sleeping in his bed. When Saul asked his men to bring him in the bed, the cat was out of the bag! He scolded his daughter for letting him escape.


David then went and stayed with Samuel. When news reached Saul's ears, he sent groups of men after men to kill him. When they arrived at Samuel's place, they forgot their orders and instead were singing hymns with Samuel. This was due to the Holy Spirit working.

Finally, Saul decided to go do the task himself. When he arrived, the Holy Spirit came upon him and he took of his clothes, became naked and started singing hymns all day and night.






My Thoughts
Giving up power is an extremely difficult task for almost everyone. We all have witnessed people becoming 'power hungry' after tasting the benefits of their position and the ease with which they could control and manipulate masses. In the process, they become corrupt officials. Talking about power, Lord Acton's quote comes to my mind “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I should know better not to hold on to any position for long - at work, or elsewhere; do my duty with LORD's help and get out at the earliest; let the next person come take up that role and I should have an open mind to help that individual succeed in that role by providing my sincere advice. In every role that I take up, I need to remember that I am doing LORD's work and my role is just temporal.

It is noteworthy to mention how the Holy Spirit worked miraculously in those men and Saul. When someone has the blessings of Holy Spirit, that in itself is the superlative armor one can ever wear, which can even withstand a nuclear missile. A remarkable gift which I should aspire and aim for, during this lifetime, is to receive such blessings from the Holy Spirit.




1 Samuel 18


David and Jonathan - Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano

Introduction

Jonathan meets David and their friendship blossoms into a wonderful relationship. The friendship between the two is "itched in golden letters" throughout Bible and human history.

Saul’s Growing Fear of David
Saul had promised to give his daughter in marriage to anyone who killed Goliath. Saul and David spoke at length and Saul came to know a great deal about him. Jonathan was listening to their conversation. When David shared his trust and faith in the LORD, it attracted Jonathan. It was as if he met his mirror image
1 Samuel 18:3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

David took up other military assignments under Saul and emerged successful in all, and his ranks went up. When David returned after slaying Goliath, the women were singing on the streets:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens of thousands.”

Saul had become jealous of David, as he was not in the limelight anymore. He further knew what the Holy Spirit was with David. He kept a close watch on David, and wanted to kill him.

Saul threw his spear couple of times at David, but he dodged it. Next, he thought of sending David to war so that his end would be by the hands of Philistines. When it was time to marry Saul's daughter, David said that he was not qualified to marry her; instead she was given to Adriel of Meholah. Saul learned that his second daughter was in love with David and gave him a challenge to kill one hundred (100) Philistines.
1 Samuel 18:21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.”
David killed more than two hundred (200) Philistines, but he refused and did his best to avoid the conversation. Finally, David gave in and married Saul's daughter, Michal. David continued to win battles and became popular among the people; and thus the arch enemy of Saul.






My Thoughts
The friendship of David and Jonathan, recorded in the Bible is so special that there are no parallels. The truth about friendship is that we literally become whom we spend time with. The very fabric of friendship determines our character with whom we are knit together. In friendship, more is caught, that taught. In certain cases, it's the one with whom we hang out who hang us. Regardless of age, whether we are young or adults, we all are impressionable, and subject to peer pressure. It is true as daylight that at this very moment you are being influenced by someone.

Meeting someone of your exact nature is a blessing in life that's one of a kind. The joy of meeting such a person can only be felt within the soul and seldom be explained in words in it's totality. When we meet such a person, we tend to love him/her as we love our own self - precisely what Jonathan did. To completely understand how Jonathan felt, one has to experience that blessed experience; I am thankful to the LORD for being fortunate enough to have been bestowed with such a blessing, and hence can correlate it. Many call it 'soul-mate' and I call it my 'bestest friend.' The bond of such friendship between such a 'soul-mate' or 'bestest friend' is so strong that nothing ever can come in between. Safety and welfare of the 'soul-mate' or 'bestest friend' is supreme priority in such relationships - we will see Jonathan display these traits in coming chapters.

In such authentic friendships, one enjoys the most in giving than receiving - often termed sacrifice. The more one gives out in friendship, the more one's heart and soul rejoices! Then there are two elements - faith and trust, which are unshakable between true friends. Such friends can engage in endless conversations by talking and talking for ever - till eternity. To experience that echelon of friendship, one has to be truly blessed from the heaven!




I wonder what kind of a jealous father-in-law will think of his daughter, Michal, becoming a snare in the eyes of David and eventually being killed by Philistines? Is he not worried about his daughter thus becoming a widow? Here we see a father-in-law, who is from the other extreme - unlike the loving and hospitable father-in-law we met in the story of 'Levite and his Concubine' (link here). Saul should have been euphoric, that his daughter was given into the hands of David, as he was a 'hot male' in all of Israel.


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1 Samuel 17


David slaying Goliath

Introduction

This chapter contains the popular story of David and Goliath; one which every Sunday school student has heard of. However, there are so many details which many Christians are unaware of. I encourage you to read the chapter to grasp those minute details. Put yourself in the shoes of David, while facing Goliath and it will certainly raise your adrenaline level as this turns out to be one of the most action packed stories in the entire Bible.

David and Goliath
Philistines were not completely subdued and they pitched they army tents on a hilly country in the Judah territory. Saul's army camped on the opposite hill and there was a valley between the two.

A champion from Gath, named Goliath, who was 9 ft 9 inches tall, wearing full armor came out and challenged Saul's army to fight him.

Goliath flung his challenge every morning for forty days, shouting, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.”

Saul's men were dismayed and terrified. Jesse's three sons were participating in the war, while David was tending his father's sheep. One day Jesse asked David to carry some food to his brothers. While delivering the provisions, David heard Goliath defying Saul's army and was surprised at his brother's lack of courage. David was willing to match his strength against the giant and approached Saul with his resume of courageous acts with the help of LORD, while tending sheep. Saul at first objected this idea. David said to Saul,
1 Samuel 17:37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”
Saul handed over his armor to David, but felt uncomfortable walking in them, as he was not used to the armor.
1 Samuel 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
When David stepped into the battlefield, Goliath and his armor bearer scorned and mocked him.  In response, David spoke the following words, by placing his trust and faith in the LORD.
1 Samuel 17:45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
While David approached Goliath, Saul inquired his commander about David's father and admitted he does not know.
1 Samuel 17:48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.
49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
Seeing their hero fall down at the hands of a young boy, the Philistines fled while the Israelite army surged after them, chasing them and plundered their camp. David returned to Saul, still holding the head of Goliath. Saul could not resist anymore and asked David,
1 Samuel 17:58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.
David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”







My Thoughts
David's trust and faith in the LORD is laudable. He is a young boy and the weapons he carried were that of unshakable trust and faith in the LORD. We can see another version of Jonathan in David. Both of them had won battles by putting their faith and trust in the LORD. Speaking of Jonathan, I wonder where Jonathan was, during this battle. 

The concept of just two men fighting each another, instead of the entire army was not quite common. The showdown between the Philistines and Israelites took place in a symbolic demeanor. Goliath, armed and dangerous put his faith in his own strength, while David unarmed with conventional weapons put his trust and faith in the LORD. Anyone who puts his/her trust and faith in the LORD is guaranteed to win. Almost always, we see people depending on their surroundings and worldly means to attain victory. In such situations, I should open my eyes, look heavenwards, and be able to see the Creator; should never ever put my faith and trust in His creations.

When David refused those traditional armor, he could stand on his own feet and be nimble. Being agile, he was now able to move around freely, according to his own will. I think in order for anyone to accomplish whatever he/she wants, the first and foremost thing is to be free from others; which means not to be influenced by friends or so. Next is to be able to and stand on one's own feet, without depending upon anyone, other than the LORD Almighty.

The target picked by David - the forehead of Goliath was a tactical one.

Saul wants to know more about David when he sets out to fight Goliath. Within an instant, David has become an Alpha-male and a celebrated national hero. The seeds of jealousy has already been sown in Saul's mind.

The painting below by Rosselli was commisioned in AD 1630 and I am surprised by looking at those shoes and footwear worn by those women - even today it is hard to find such fashionable work.


-----------------------------------Additional Info
Who killed Goliath?
Certain Bibles have a misprint when it comes to who killed Goliath. To read more, check out these earlier posts:

Who killed Goliath

Who killed Goliath - 2

Who killed Goliath - 3

The triumph of David - ROSSELLI, Matteo 1630