David versus Goliath
1 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David upon that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”
David had been anointed King of Israel by Samuel, because King Saul, had been set aside for his disobedience to God’s command.
Of course, Saul was still King. (The Lord would remove him when the time was right.)
And David, though anointed King, still kept his father’s sheep.
Months passed, till:
The Philistines, who were enemies of Israel, had come up to fight against Saul and his army of Israelites, and three of David’s older brothers had been called up to join the army, and fight them.
But as they come into view of the Philistines, they are terrified to see and hear the taunting of a giant, named Goliath.
1 Samuel 17:4-9 “And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
And he had graves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
And the staff of his spear was like a weavers beam; and his spears head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? Am I not a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul?
Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.”
This was quite a speech! “I am a Philistine”, but you are just “servants of Saul”.
Discounting Israel, and Israel’s God.
Defying God’s Purpose, for Israel was brought into possess the land, by God; and defying God’s continued protection of His People.
Back, taking care of the family’s sheep, was David. David loves the Lord, yet had not been called to go up against Goliath, either by the army (at that time they did not even know anything about David), or the Lord.
1 Samuel 17:17-18 “And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp of thine brethren;
And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.”
David’s father sent him on an errand, to supply his brothers with some food from home. Little did Jesse realize that in doing so, he would set in motion the rest of David’s life work.
Yet, now it was just an errand, that David did with faithfulness: He left the sheep with a keeper (for he did not neglect the small duties); And went, rising up early to do as his father commanded.
As he came, the battle between the armies was setting up, and David came and spoke to his brothers.
At the same time, Goliath came and taunted Israel again. David heard the taunt, and knew that it was against Israel’s God, not just Israel.
So he wanted to hear what would happen to anyone who went up against this giant.
His brother was angry, thinking he had come just to see the battle; but David ignored the anger, and kept after his goal of learning about this giant’s challenge.
Saul, hearing about this man’s bold words against Goliath; sent for him and questioned him. David spoke just as boldly, when the reality of fighting this giant, was presented.
I must pause in the narrative, and explain that in our life time we are presented again and again with these things:
There will be simple errands the Lord will send us on that will change the course of our lives. (Or the lives of others)
We will be misunderstood, and have angry (a lot, sometimes) words thrown at us.
We must ignore the anger; and speak our words, or do our duty faithfully.
And we must be prepared to act in faith and boldness, on the Lord’s side.
1 Samuel 17:32 “And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. ”
Here, David presented himself as a warrior. Not a soldier in Saul’s army, but a warrior for the honor of the Lord.
He told of God’s past protection against a lion and a bear; and saw no difference between them and this Philistine, because he hath defied the armies of the living God.
In other words, Goliath was not taunting men, but God. And in that case, Goliath was in a lot of trouble; even if he was a giant.
1 Samuel 17:34-37 “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of it’s mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.”
We must understand, that David trusted the Lord. He felt, that since no one was going to fight Goliath, that God’s honor was being slandered.
And he realized that he should do something about it.
That his life would be forever changed; he did not yet think about.
There was no long preparation to fight Goliath: Saul tried to give him his armor, but David put them off; for he had not used them before. “He had not proved them”.
But instead, with confidence in God to deliver, David took what he knew.
(And so should we. We should not get talked into conversations of philosophy, or other doctrine; when what we need to say is about our Lord Jesus Christ and His work; in us and for us).
1 Samuel 17:40 “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a script, and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.”
Notice how the Holy Spirit in the Word does not magnify the means of deliverance which David took. Instead He emphasizes that they are common, and simple.
(As Paul said, himself: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or wisdom, declaring unto the testimony of God.
For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2)
Now let us consider Goliath. He was a champion: had many battles, and won. He was a giant. Taller, and broader, and stronger than all the men of Israel, even Saul (of whom it was said he was head and shoulders above the Israelites. 1 Samuel 10:23-24)
He did not want subjection to Israel, or the God of Israel; he wanted to rule, and make these God fearing Israelites his servants.
He had taunted Israel for forty days, and not one Israelite had come to take his challenge.
He felt very confident that none could beat him, and so when he saw David, with his shepherd staff, he mocked. He took it one step further, for he cursed David by his gods. (I told you Goliath was in a lot of trouble.)
But now, for David. (This should be our position, any time we go to do our duty: in work or battle. We are to do it in faith, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ)
1 Samuel 17:45-47 “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
This day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the hosts of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.”
For the battle is the Lord’s. This we should realize for our work, as well. If we have been sent, and are obedient; then the Lord will be with us, guide us, and will see His Will done.
1 Samuel 17:49-51 “And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
Therefore David ran, and stood before the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.”
All that David had told Goliath, happened. Certainly by God’s Power, through faith. But also by the means of David’s arm.
God alone gives grace, but He gives us the privilege of standing with Him, and acting for Him in certain situations.
The instruction was from the Lord, the Power was God’s, the faith was by the Holy Spirit; and the Lord chose to use David.
It should be the same with us. Instruction, power, and faith to obey His Word to us, to do His Will for our lives.
But we must do it.