Here right away in chapter 16, God tells Samuel that he has rejected Saul as king and points him to David, Jesse’s son. Yet we go on for several chapters continuinuing to hear the travails of the problems between Saul and David. It appears that God doesn’t have a good way to deal with getting rid of Saul. It is interesting when Samuel comes to Bethlehem the elders come to him trembling and asked if he had come peaceably? Then when Samuel views Jesse’s sons, he chooses the youngest one who has a ruddy appearance and David will follow the principal that there is one God rather than Saul pursuing many gods. It is noted in verse 16:13 that the spirit stays with David. The Lutheran Study Bible notes however that the Spirit comes and goes three times for Samson and twice for Saul. It also says that Samuel’s focus is directed away from Saul’s ruined potential to what God will do through Jesse’s youngest son. Now David was employed in Saul’s service to become his armor-bearer. One of the many twists in the relationship between Saul and David.
Then we get to chapter 17 and the battle between David and Goliath. It must have been interesting to see the armies lined up on separate parts of the valley facing each other and this huge giant of a man challenging to have someone come and fight him rather than the armies fighting each other. It sounds like a western shoot-out!! Goliath’s army weighed over 125 lbs. At that time, duels between representative strongmen were a common way to avoid more widespread bloodshed. Here again, Saul lost his faith in God’s ability to help Saul win the battle. David compares his ability to fight agains lions and bears who were threatening sheep with his ability to fight Goliath. Here again, even though David had been Saul’s armor bearer, Saul in verse 17:55-56, that he didn’t know who he was. He asked Abner and Abner too and he didn’t know either.