[Lesson 46: David & Goliath] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 48: King David & God's Promise]
David and Goliath
1 Samuel 17; Psalm 27
Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.
In the last program we began to look at the prophet David. Listen to what God testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do." (Acts 13:22) We saw how God appointed David to be the second King of Israel, because the first king, Saul, did not obey the word of God. However, David did not become the king of Israel on the day that God appointed him. He was still a youth, and God's time for him to receive the kingdom had not yet arrived. After being anointed as king, David returned to the fields outside the town of Bethlehem to tend his father's flocks.
Today we will read a wonderful story that shows how God was with David, because David walked with God. Our lesson is called "David and Goliath." Let us now continue in the first book of Samuel, chapter seventeen. The Scripture says:
(1 Sam. 17) 1Now the Philistines [who were the most vicious enemies of Israel] gathered their forces for war… 2Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
4A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over three meters tall. 5He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing 60 kilos; 6on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed seven kilos. His shield-bearer went ahead of him.
8Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 10Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." 11On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
While Goliath was taunting Israel, David was tending his father's flocks in peace, far from the war, meditating upon the Word of God, playing his harp and singing to the Lord. However, David had three older brothers who were soldiers in the army of Israel. One day David's father came to him and said, "Go and visit your brothers on the battlefront and bring me word about how things are going." So David left his sheep with another shepherd, arose early in the morning and left for the battlefield.
While David was greeting his older brothers and speaking with them, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, stepped out from his lines facing the soldiers of Israel and threatened them as he had been doing for the past forty days. When the Israeli soldiers saw him, they ran from him in fear. Then someone said to David, "Do you see that man? He keeps defying us. Whoever kills him, king Saul will give him great wealth and will also give him his daughter in marriage and his father's family will not have to pay taxes."
Then David said, "That uncircumcised Philistine, who is he that he should defy the armies of the living God?" When he said that, David's older brother became angry with him and said, "Why have you come here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know why you have come here. You only want to watch the battle!" However, one of the Israeli soldiers heard the courageous words which David spoke concerning the giant, and went and reported them to Saul, the king. Then Saul sent for David and questioned him.
Thus, the Scripture says:
(1 Sam. 17) 32David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him." 33Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth." 34But 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, 35I 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. 36Your 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. 37The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you." 38Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39David 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.
40Then 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. 41Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield-bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. 43He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44"Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"
45David 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. 46This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47All 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."
48As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49Reaching 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 face down on the ground. 50So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the gates of Ekron.
Thus, we see today how young David saved his nation from their enemies with a sling, a stone, and a solid faith in the living God. Truly, the story of David and Goliath is an amazing story with many important lessons.
We saw how Saul and the Israeli soldiers feared Goliath greatly. None of them dared to fight with him, but David was not afraid of the giant; he knocked him to the ground and killed him! Why were Saul and his soldiers afraid, but David was not afraid? What was the difference between David and the Israeli soldiers? We can summarize the difference between them in this way: David was not afraid of the giant, because he had confidence in the Lord God. Saul and his soldiers did not have confidence in God. Therefore, they were afraid of the giant.
Saul and his soldiers only saw the powerful giant. David saw the Almighty God! Saul and the Israeli soldiers had a form of religion, but that did not cause them to have a real relationship with God. Belonging to a religion does not cause you to belong to God. Saul and his soldiers knew very well that God exists, that God is one, and that He is great and powerful. But that knowledge could not save them from Goliath. However, David had a genuine relationship with the Living God, the Almighty! David knew God and walked with Him. David believed the promises of God. That is why David was not afraid of Goliath.
You who are listening today, who are you most like? David? Or Saul and his soldiers? Do you know God personally? Or have you just heard a few things about Him? Do you know the Word of God so well that it fills your heart with joy? Or are you only trying to fulfil your religious obligations? Do you have a solid and happy relationship with the living God? Or do you only have dry religion?
Listen to what the prophet David wrote in the Psalms, concerning the relationship he had with God. He said:
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!" (Psa. 23:1,4,6)
How about you? Do you have a close relationship with the Lord God? Do you know Him as your Shepherd? Are you certain that you will dwell in His house in heaven forever? David had that confidence, because he knew the wonderful and precious promises of the Lord God. And he didn't just know them in his head; he believed them in his heart.
David had a genuine faith. His faith was not based upon the unreliable words of men. His faith was based upon the trustworthy Word of the Lord God who never abandons His people! Listen to what David wrote in the Psalms:
"The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?…Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.…Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!"Your face, O Lord, I will seek!" (Psa. 27:1,3,4,7,8)
"I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield.…With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him!" (Psa. 18:1,2,29,30)
Thank you for listening. In our next lesson, Lord willing, we will continue with the story of the prophet David and see how he began to reign as the king of Israel.…God bless you. We bid you farewell with this word from David in the book of Psalms:
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" (Psa. 34:8)