One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.” (1 Samuel 16:18)
Those are some pretty fantastic compliments. David's reputation was a grand one, even in his youth.
1) Skillful in playing --- David appreciated beauty as from God. He devoted time to learning an instrument, to playing well. He was diligent, faithful and artistic.
2) A man of valour --- David had a reputation for bold courage. He fought bears and lions, protecting his father's flocks. He did not shrink in the face of adversity. He knew from whence his strength came.
3) a man of war --- David fought to uphold what God had declared right, true, and beautiful.
4) prudent in speech --- David had wisdom, reining in the fires of his tongue. He knew when to speak, and when to keep silent.
5) a man of good presence --- Most notes on this say this means David was handsome and rugged, having beautiful eyes (1 Samuel 16:12). I wonder if his eyes are mentioned because they reflected some of his inner joy and delight in the God of his salvation.
6) the Lord is with him --- This is perhaps the greatest characteristic, the one towards which all the other ones tend. A man who is faithful to God will take joy in the beauty God has given; will courageously stand for what God declares to be truth, and will fight to uphold it; will speak wisely and watch that his tongue does not control him; and these qualities will make him handsome. Just as for women, where the inward adorning is the most important, where the heart is what makes her beautiful, so it is with men, and so it was with David.
Most importantly, though, this shows the grace of God in David's life. David may have been talented, courageous, thoughtful, artistic and handsome, but all this was nothing compared to the fact that God graciously chose him, and called David a man after His own heart. It wasn't because of David's characteristics that God was with him; it was because of God's merciful presence that David's characteristics were so noteworthy.
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. (2 Samuel 7:18-22 ESV)