David was trusting God to protect him in his fight against Goliath. However, David understood that he must still act in a sensible manner. In particular, he should not refuse without reason the ordinary things that soldiers would use to protect themselves in a fight.
Saul was very careful to provide everything that David might need. He even offered to David the use of his own armour (the clothes that a soldier uses to protect his body). As Saul was the king, he had obtained the very best armour for himself. That included a metal helmet (the armour that protects the head). As we have seen, Goliath used a similar set of armour (17:5-7).
David did not believe that it would be wrong for him to use these things. In later battles, first as army commander and then as king, he probably wore armour often. He trusted God in those later battles as he had done for his fight against Goliath (for example, see Psalm 3).
However, for the fight against Goliath, David refused the armour. He even refused to take a sword (17:50). He made these decisions because he had no experience in the use of these things.
In particular, David could see that he would be unable to run quickly in armour. David had few natural advantages against Goliath. Goliath was stronger, and he had more experience. However, David could run faster, and he did not want to lose that advantage. He could see that God might use that advantage during the fight. As we will see in 1 Samuel 17:48, David did need to run quickly.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.