David in His Youth, 1 Sam 16:17-18

We’re studying the character of David as a young man to be an encouragement to our young men to be like him.  David was Jesse’s youngest son.  He kept his father’s sheep.  When David’s three older brothers went into battle with Saul, David stayed home and kept the sheep [1 Sam 17:14-15].  When Jesse sent David to check on his brothers and on the progress of the war with the Philistines, David obeyed his father’s command, left his sheep with a keeper, and went [1 Sam 17:16-20].  

David was anointed to be the next king of Israel when he was a young man [1 Sam 16:13].  The Spirit of the Lord came on him.  At the same time, the Spirit of the Lord left Saul, and an evil spirit troubled him [1 Sam 16:14].  So, his servants searched for a man to play a harp to refresh Saul’s spirit.  One servant recommended David in 1 Sam 16:17-18 because of his character and ability.  Notice David’s character in his youth:

He was cunning in playing – David was very skillful and competent with the harp.  He dedicated untold hours to practice.  If God gives you a talent for something, you will need to practice daily to be good at it.  Unfortunately, our generation is mostly good with their thumbs at playing on their phones.  When we were coming up, if a man wasn’t competent with his hands, we would say, “he is all thumbs.”  Today, that’s all they are good at.  As much as we sing hymns, you should apply yourself to learning music.

He was a mighty valiant man – David was courageous, brave and bold.  Prov 28:1 says, “the righteous are bold as a lion.”  Realize that there is a big difference between bravery and bravado.  Young men are “big” talkers.  There was something in David’s character that this servant recognized as mighty valiant.  He was manly in his youth.  Young men today should be manly and courageous. 

He was a man of war – David had never fought in a battle, but he had the deportment of a soldier in his youth.  He killed a bear and a lion while keeping his father’s sheep, and that proved him as a young soldier [1 Sam 17:32-36].  Paul told Timothy to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ [2 Tim 2:3-4].  And you should be a good soldier in your youth, as well.

He was prudent in matters – David was wise concerning the things he had learned.  Most people don’t consider keeping sheep as requiring much wisdom.  However, when you consider that Pharaoh wanted Jacob’s children who were skillful with cattle to be rulers over his cattle [Gen 47:6], you realize that wisdom in this industry is required.  Consider that in just six years, Jacob cleverly stole Laban’s best cattle through his understanding of controlled breeding.  You should pay attention and apply yourself diligently to the things you are learning.  

He was a comely person – David had a good and pleasing appearance.  He had a beautiful countenance [1 Sam 16:12].   He was like Gideon’s brethren who looked like the children of a king [Jud 8:18].  Young men today should look like the children of God and the brethren of Jesus Christ.  You shouldn’t be tatted up and uncomely in your appearance.  

The Lord was with him – David was filled with the Spirit; the servant of Saul could tell it.  He was like the men that were chosen to help with the widows in Acts 6:3, 10.  These men were selected because it was evident that they were wise and filled with the Spirit.  They had a good report, as well.  Young men today should be so filled with the Spirit that it is evident to others.  When was the last time you looked at a young man and knew from what you saw that he is a Spirit-filled man?  We don’t see these kinds of young men enough today.

Conclusion: You have heard six excellent things about David’s character that were evident to Saul’s servant.  If you saw something in him that should be in you, then dedicate to the Lord tonight that you are going to strive for these things to be in your life by God’s grace.  Paul said to Timothy, his young son in the faith, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers…” [1 Tim 4:12].