The Biblical account of David and Goliath is one of most popular stories from the Bible. You remember that Israel and the Philistines were enemies as this true account finds them preparing for battle, but also in somewhat of a strange standoff. The two armies were gathered on opposite sides of a large valley, but instead of getting it over with, the Philistines had been sending out one of their most intimidating warriors to mock and make fun of the Israel’s army and even God himself. His name was Goliath and he was truly a giant as some scholars have estimated that he stood between 9 and 10 feet tall. Fully dressed in battle armor, Goliath dared any man from Israel to challenge him. Everyone was terrified and not even the highly respected king Saul dared to step forward. It’s recorded in First Samuel chapter 17 where Goliath said, “Choose your best soldier to come out and fight me! If he can kill me, our people will be your slaves. But if I kill him, your people will be our slaves.”
Our hero David was the youngest of his father’s twelve sons and while his older brothers were called to join the military, David was considered too young and was needed to stay home and do chores. His dad Jesse would regularly send him to the front lines with food for his brothers and he would bring back news about what was happening. One day David heard the giant teasing and taunting the soldiers of Israel and started asking the men about what the giant was saying. David stood boldly and challenged the men and was asking, “how can you allow this to happen, don’t you have any pride?” His oldest brother overheard David talking and became angry thinking that the young boy was just being negative and stirring up strife. King Saul was told about the young lad and he sent for him as he wanted to speak with him. When he approached the king David said, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” As the story continues, Saul was no doubt impressed with this boy’s enthusiasm, but tried to explain that David did not really understand the situation. David told how he had killed a lion and a bear while watching over his father’s sheep and was very good with a sling. As the Lord had helped him be victorious in times of great danger, he was positive that God would also help him kill this giant. Amazingly Saul agreed.
David was offered all types of armor and weapons, but he only wanted his sling. He searched in a nearby stream and found five smooth stones and placed them in his shepherd bag. To make a long story short, Goliath was evidently offended that Israel would send a child out to fight against one of the fiercest warriors in the world. The giant was laughing, but David was focused as he loaded his sling with one of the stones he is quoted as announcing, “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.” As David declared that he was representing the name of the Lord Almighty, he placed a stone in his sling and when he let it go, the rock sank deep into the giant’s forehead and he fell on his face like a huge tree crashing to the ground. David then picked up Goliath’s sword and cut off his head just like he had promised. Yes, this is an exciting and inspirational story, but how can we demonstrate courage when we are surrounded by fear and our circumstances seem overwhelming? The bottom line is that David trusted God because he knew him personally. You see, faith is a learned behavior and a positive response that is developed from our everyday experiences with the Lord. The Lord had never failed David and he was filled with confidence that with God nothing was impossible. The Philistine army ran away in terror because this young boy decided to stop telling God how big his problems were and started telling his problems how big God is. Today, the good news is that we can do the same.
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