Has there even been a job interview where such an utterly unqualified candidate was appointed? (Outside the field of politics, of course.)
Saul is seated at a desk, interviewing candidates for a job. One candidate is seated at the desk and David is next in line.
Saul: That’s it. You’re FIRED! Next! (candidate leaves, David takes chair)
David: (cheerily) Mornin’!
Saul: (brusquely) Name?
David: (louder) David D-A-V…
Saul: No. David Who?
David: (confused) Me. I’m David.
Saul: No. David of Where?
David: I’m here.
Saul: No. David What?
David: Ummmn, human?
Saul: Oh good grief! I mean your family, your town, your job. (points to Jer 1 in large Bible) Like this: “Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, priest from Anathoth.”
David: Oh, I see. But … errrm … that bit hasn’t been written yet. (Flicks back in Bible) … We’re still back here, aren’t we?
Saul: Just answer the questions!
David: Of course. Sorry. David, son of Jesse, apprentice shepherd at Bethlehem.
Saul: Apprentice, eh? Well, we’ll see about that. David son of who did you say?
David: Son of Jesse. That’s Jesse with two ‘S’s. I’m his youngest.
Saul: Yeah, you are a bit on the scrawny side. I’ll put David Stump. Yes?
Saul: Yes What?
David: Er … yes please?
Saul: (getting cross) Yes Sir!
David: Oh, there’s no need to call me sir. I’m just …
Saul: No. You call me sir!
David: Oh yes sir. No sir. Sorry sir.
Saul: Now, you are applying for the job of Giant Slayer. You understand that this highly-sought-after position would involve slaying the Philistine champion, Goliath?
David: That’s right. I’ve brought my CV. (hands over papers)
Saul: What qualifications do you have?
David: Well, I don’t take my GCSEs until next year, but …
Saul: I was think more of qualifying events, like for the Olympics.
David: Er, the Olympics haven’t been invented yet.
Saul: Or gladiatoring at the Colosseum.
David: Er, the Colosseum hasn’t been built … (trails off) sorry.
Saul: (gives David a ‘look’, repeats slowly) Qualifying events. Like Iron Man Triathalons. Done any of those?
Saul: Ordinary triathlon? Marathon?
Saul: Half marathon? Fun run?
David: (looks increasingly blank)
Saul: (getting desperate) Golf?
David: I was on the tiddly-winks team last year at school. Does that count?
Saul: It’ll have to do. What about fighting? Have you got a black belt?
David: (looks at his trousers) Errr … My mum sews elastic in to keep them up.
Saul: Martial arts, you twonk! Can you do Karate? Taekwondo? Judo?
Saul: (sighs and shakes head)
David: I have got my cub scouts fire-lighting badge and that one where you identify animals from their footprints. And I’m pretty handy with a catapult.
Saul: Yeah, so is Dennis the Menace. Not what we had in mind, really, lad.
Now, about this CV. I think you’ve got a few porkie pies here, haven’t you. (jabs paper)
David: Pork pies? Oh, not me sir, I’m Jewish!
Saul: (reading) You said, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.”
(looking sternly at David) In my experience people who get got close enough to seize a lion by the hair are not on the winning side of the next meal.
David: Yes, but the Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.
Saul: If you say so lad. If you say so.
David: So do I get the job? Pleeeeeese!
Saul: Well, you’re about the most unqualified candidate I’ve ever seen.
(gets up and tests David’s muscles)
You’re not big enough. You’re not old enough. You’re not strong enough.
You have no experience and in all likelihood it’s gonna be a Knock Out in the first round.
But … I guess … if you’ve got God fighting in your corner, then I’m not gonna throw in the towel before the bell.
You’re HIRED! (lifts David’s hand like a champion)
1 Samuel 17:32-49 New International Version
David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Image: Giovanni Lanfranco. David dragging the head of Goliath
With thanks to Steve Dawson for additional material