1 Samuel 15-18
Just for fun
The LORD commands Samuel/Saul to lay waste to the Amalaks
"lay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."
But Saul once again proves to be a lousy king when he kills all of the humans but only most of the livestock, saving the best for an offering to the LORD.
Samuel does have a great line here, saying "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Translation; Be a good soldier and do what you're told. Faith is better then action?
Samuel (once again) has to tell Saul he can't be king of the Israelites and sends him home to think about what he's done. Saul of course feels horrible for not killing EVERYTHING and begs forgiveness. It's not to come.
So now God wants Samuel to "choose" another king. I found this amusing since God had obviously already chosen David, the youngest son of Jesse. This is were things get very interesting and soap opera-ish!
Samuel meets with Jesse's six oldest son's but the LORD doesn't care for them. They send for the young David and lo and behold, he's the one. Samuel anoints him with oil and he is filled with the spirit of God, which means the spirit of God has departed from Saul, making him cranky.
Someone suggest that music will sooth him (is this where the saying 'music soothes the savage beast' comes from?) so they send for the best harp player in the land. DAVID! Saul loves David and asks him to stick around. David agrees. Jonathan also loves David but that's a different story for a later time.
But, the Philistines come calling. Their most bad-ass soldier, Goliath demands that the Israelites send out their best to face him in one on one combat.
David, who has since left Saul to feed his sheep, and who is now delivering food to his brothers, hears Goliath's taunts and decides he'll be the one to take the giant. Laughter ensues.
David, of course slays Goliath, cuts off his head and brings it back to Saul who doesn't seem to recognize him. Some have pointed to this as an inconsistency in the story but I think it's more an illustration that David has grown into his role as the future king and is ready to assume control.
The current king, Saul, is jealous and tries to bring David into the family by offering his daughters up for marriage. Things will go down hill from there.
Another great parable. Probably one of the best known to the common man. How often has this story been retold in different forms? What other civilizations have a version of this story?
The movie Achilles starts off with a David vs. Goliath moment but I don't know if that is actually in the Iliad or not.
Once again we get a humble man chosen by God and thrust into the leadership role. Will David do better then Moses and Saul?