Soon after the victory in the battle with the Philistines had established the slinging skills of David, David was hoping that Mehrab would be offered.
Mehrab was not one to give herself to a shepherd boy who, no doubt had skills but lacked in pedigree. Mehrab had her own exalted notions of her nobility – a Nobility built in one generation, after Saul had abandoned his search of the donkeys and serendipitously found his way to kingship!
David has his own plans. He had no pretensions, even if he had, that was about his achievements based on his skills. A man who honed his skills in the lean hours of his uncool profession – keeper of a few sheep, in Jesse’s words!
Yet, Time, which is common to all mankind, was put to use with a fervent hope that some day those skills, which were assiduously built in those lean hours, would redeem him from shepherding those few sheep.
David met those challenges – more than halfway. The dead lion and the bear bore testimony to his courage and skill. He had embellished his curriculum vitae with valorous deeds – indelible in his own mind. There were no witnesses, when David talks of his achievements before Abner and King Saul, his proof is not based on witnesses, but his own memory and his capability to repeat, if challenged.
David’s trophy was to be the daughter of the King. Mehrab was disinclined, Michal steps in. Michal was no less imperious than her sister, but she saw in David what Mehrab couldn’t see. Michal saw in David, how David filled in the void created by Saul. Saul, the anointed, didn’t want to engage with the Champion of the Philistines. Saul was looking for someone who could defeat Goliath and rescue the Israelites from slavery- that was the King’s job, but there must have been two reasons for avoiding a fight with Goliath.
Firstly, as a king he didn’t want to engage with a mere Champion. A loss would ensure that the whole kingdom, however fledgling it might have been, would have gone lock stock and barrel.
Secondly, Saul must have felt inadequate to fight Goliath.
Besides all this, the failure of Saul was that there was an inordinate delay in either challenging Goliath himself or setting up another person. Saul couldn’t find a man in his service to fight Goliath- not only that a person has to be willing, but in a fair assessment, the person should be an equal. None was found in Israel and Abner was in as much quandary as his King.
That’s where David steps in. David’s credential’s were his own claims of having killed a lion and a bear. I am sure Saul would not have believed all his claims without proof. As per History in the Book of Judges, the Benjamites were the tribe which had the best slingers – they could sling up to a hairbreadth of the target – so the Bible says, and here we have a king from the tribe of Benjamin assessing the capability of a Judahite, in slinging! Reasonably it could be assumed that David was aided by Saul to fight Goliath only after testing the slinging skills of David. The Benjamite Saul must have been overly impressed.
Skill without courage would be a non sequitur! To show courage and execute one’s skills in the face of a formidable challenge is God’s grace. The mind needs to be focused on what is to be done and not buffeted by the negative possibilities. Even if Goliath were to taunt David, David’s retort was courageous towards his opponent and simultaneously humble as a mortal ought to be. Like Ahab said, wisely in one of those rare instances, ‘Let not him who puts on the armour boast like one who is removing it’, David was humble.
After the victory is won, David uses Goliath’s own sword to sever the head of Goliath.
Michal is married off to David much later and that too reluctantly by Saul, after extracting his pound of foreskins. Yet David doesn’t slink away from those who never gave him the promised reward despite the task having been accomplished, yet he continues to labour.
Ŵe also know from the following chapters that the sword of Goliath was not given to David, but was in the safe custody of a priest at Nob. It is only much later David obtains Goliath’s sword from Ahimelech, there Priest at Nob & the father of Abiathar, by telling him a lie which results in the death of Ahimelech, in the hands of Doeg, the informer, at the command of Saul, and the escape of Abiathar. A cursory Reading shows that David Himself might not have been aware of the sword having been there, but we can’t say anything with David. As King Saul says: David was crafty!
Now David is restored his Sword. The sword which was in the service of Goliath, like the hounds of Actaeon, yet was used by David to sever Goliath’s own head. That very sword came back to the hands of David – the symbol of his unadulterated singular victory, which saved the Israelites from the ignominy of an un-responded challenge and the defeat by a Champion of the Philistines!
The Sword of Goliath, once it came into the hands of David, he became a force, no more an appendage in the camp of King Saul, assigned all the risky tasks to pull chestnuts for Saul and his imperious brood of daughters.
The irony of it all is that after David gets the Sword of Goliath, David goes to GATH. Look at God’s ways. I am amazed, Good sends David with the Sword of Goliath into GATH – the very place from where Goliath hailed from. God takes David to the very place where the Sword was forged. David enters Gath, in his own right with his few men. Then he moves to Moab and finally ends up with his own Tribe of Judah, where Adullam plays the host for a while.
I am amazed, except the Grace of God nothing could have taken David with the Sword of Goliath into GATH. David should be inoculated and familiarised with the terrain and people from whom his weapon had emerged.
David was no more a stranger to his own weapon about which he states thus in 1 Samuel 21:
…the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.
The battle with Goliath was not won by anyone except by God, through the strengthening the hands of David. But the very trophy, GOLIATH’s SWORD was deprived by Saul, who instead of playing the King had reduced himself to a mere Manager of Israel’s resources, keeping the Sword of Goliath hidden at a nondescript Temple in Nob. What a pity. Saul’s plight was because he had become too imperious and wouldn’t listen to the words of Samuel, nor did he give honour to the division of labour as prescribed in the Scriptures.
But the Sword of Goliath, probably had to be repaired and had to be polished, where else to get it done than in GATH? Probably that thought took him there, but factually the Sword went to its own place of birth and it was re-sanctified and re-christened in GATH as David’s Sword. The taint of it having been kept wrapped in an Ephod at Nob was over.
Saul is alienated without recourse to him using his Son in law David as a troubled shooter.
David comes on his own. God remembered where Goliath’s Sword lay for years and He RESTORES IT TO DAVID, Gets IT to GATH and not for nothing David in Psalm 144 says:
1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
God subdued David’s own people under him, by strengthening David’s hands and making them unite, to take over when Saul when died in the battle.
All started with Goliath’s Sword. Sever yourself from those masters who use you for their purposes and expose you to unwanted risky ventures. Claim your long lost trophy and get it restored and most of all WAIT ON HIM TO EXALT YOU IN DUE TIME.
Sauls would not want Davids to have Goliath’s Sword, lest people congregate with David and create dissipation of the power of Sauls.