1 Samuel 17:39 MEANING

1 Samuel 17:39
17:31-39 A shepherd lad, come the same morning from keeping sheep, had more courage than all the mighty men of Israel. Thus God often sends good words to his Israel, and does great things for them, by the weak and foolish things of the world. As he had answered his brother's passion with meekness, so David answered Saul's fear with faith. When David kept sheep, he proved himself very careful and tender of his flock. This reminds us of Christ, the good Shepherd, who not only ventured, but laid down his life for the sheep. Our experience ought to encourage us to trust in God, and be bold in the way of duty. He that has delivered, does and will continue to do so. David gained leave to fight the Philistine. Not being used to such armour as Saul put upon him, he was not satisfied to go in that manner; this was from the Lord, that it might more plainly appear he fought and conquered in faith, and that the victory was from Him who works by the feeblest and most despised means and instruments. It is not to be inquired how excellent any thing is, but how proper. Let Saul's coat be ever so rich, and his armour ever so strong, what is David the better if they fit him not? But faith, prayer, truth, and righteousness; the whole armour of God, and the mind that was in Christ; are equally needful for all the servants of the Lord, whatever may be their work.And David girded his, sword upon his armour,.... Which Saul also perhaps furnished him with:

and he assayed to go; made an attempt, and had a mind to go thus accoutred; he at first showed an inclination to go in such an habit, but afterwards would not:

for he had not proved it; as warriors were wont to do; so Achilles did (i); he never made trial of such armour before, he had not been used to it, and knew not how to behave in it, or walk with it on him; it was an encumbrance to him: Abarbinel renders it, "but he had not proved it"; he would have gone with it but for that reason; the Targum is,"because there was no miracle in them;''because if he had made use of this, there would have been no appearance of a miracle in getting the victory over the Philistine, as was by using only a sling and stones:

and David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them; he thought fit to acquaint Saul with it that he could not go thus accoutred, and his reason for it, lest he should be offended with him:

and David put them off him; took off the helmet from his head, ungirt the sword upon his armour, and stripped himself of his coat of mail, and went forth entirely unarmed.

(i) Homer. Iliad. 19. ver. 384, 385. so Theocrit. Idyll. 10. ver. 61.

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