So the women sang as they danced, and said:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”
Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day forward.
— First Samuel 18:7-9
Goliath mocked when he saw David with his staff and sling, saying, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (1 Sam. 17:43). David was probably used to fighting wild dogs and jackals as he guarded his father’s sheep. Since such animals attacked in packs, David would have learned to attack them before they could set themselves. David probably thought to himself, “You are right. I deal with dogs like you all the time.” He then killed him with one stone from his sling, winning a great victory for Israel.
Saul greatly appreciated David at this point and eventually set him over all his men of war (1 Sam. 18:5). David’s approvedness among the people, however, earned him Saul’s suspicion. After Saul heard how the women praised David more than they praised him, Saul began to look upon David as a threat (1 Sam. 18:6–9).
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, page 53.
Tomorrow: “Approved and Persecuted (2)”