1 Samuel 16:6-7
When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Again, we are obsessed with outward appearances. God’s world is all about our interior lives. Right words mean nothing without a right heart.
1 Samuel 17:36-37
Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God. And David said, The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and may the LORD be with you.
This is pure, raw, experienced courage. Can you imagine fighting with a lion? A bear? A ten foot tall soldier? Which would be worse?
1 Samuel 18:10-12
Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul’s hand. Saul hurled the spear for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David escaped from his presence twice. Now Saul was afraid of David, for the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul.
Saul seems to be tormented by spiritual influence. Evil spirits have existed since before the creation of Adam and Eve. They are experienced in evil – and in playing off human weakness.
1 Samuel 21:10-15
Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands? David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this one to act the madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?
David was brave but he was also shrewd. He knew when to walk to the battle lines, and he knew when pretend to be mad. David was a survivor.
1 Samuel 22:1-2
So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him. Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him.
It is interesting that David attracted misfits. Misfits were his companions through much of his kingship. Interesting.
1 Samuel 23:1-5
Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors. So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah. But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines? Then David inquired of the LORD once more. And the LORD answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand. So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.
David appears to have a need to consult God before he acts. His attention to reliance is a huge part of his success in life – and in his life as king.
1 Samuel 24:8-12
Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, Behold, David seeks to harm you? Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed. Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. May the LORD judge between you and me, and may the LORD avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you.
David could have whacked Saul a number of times. Saul certainly deserved it. But David feared crossing God, even though his personal interests were probably best served by Saul’s demise. Interesting.