SUGGESTED BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel, chapter 17
Do you remember the story of David and Goliath? Until I started studying the Bible several years ago, all I knew about this story was what I read in my son’s Bible story books for children. There’s a lot more to it in the Bible! The story is found in 1 Samuel, chapter 17.
In summary/review, the story begins with young David, youngest of his brothers, being sent to take food and drink to his brothers as they tend the front line of battle. His brothers were with the Israelite soldiers who were preparing to face off with the Philistines in battle. When David arrived at the battle site, he saw Goliath. Goliath was a giant in the Philistine army. He not only taunted the Israelite soldiers, but also taunted God, defying God in his brazen words and actions.
Goliath is reported have stood over 9 feet tall! He was covered from head to toe in bronze and metal armor. His metal ‘coat’ alone weighed 125 lbs, and he carried a wicked spear with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 lbs! Additionally, Goliath had a shield bearer who walked ahead of him carrying a huge shield.
Confident in his size, strength, armor, and weaponry, Goliath challenged the Israelites to send someone to take him on, one-on-one, instead of having an army-vs-army battle.
After hearing Goliath’s God-defying words, David was determined to defend his God and his people.
King Saul had offered a handsome reward for the one who could bring Goliath down. I’m sure King Saul never imagined that a shepherd boy, the baby brother of some of his soldiers, would be the one to step forward to do the job!
As any mighty king would do, King Saul suited young David in a fine suit of armor to prepare him for battle. However, the armor was made for adults and was much too big and heavy for David to wear. He couldn’t even walk in it! David chose to do battle with the only weaponry he knew, his slingshot, a pouch full of stones, and most important of all—his love of God and complete trust that the Lord would deliver him victory over Goliath.
You can imagine Goliath’s reaction when a young boy stepped forward to do battle! Goliath had no mercy on David. He cursed him and promised to feed him as prey to wild animals. David’s reply was this: You come to me with swod, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of armies of Isreal, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you…and then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals , and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue his peole. It is his battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us! (1 Samuel 17:45-47)
We all know how the story ends. God delivered victory to David when he slayed the big giant who was coated in armor and even had his own shield bearer! How did this happen? As a shepherd, David had killed many bears and lions with his slingshot. He knew just where to hit animals on their heads to deal a fatal blow and must have acquired perfect aim. God knew David was the perfect ‘man’ for the job. Relying fully on his trust in the LORD, David took precise aim and hit Goliath with a stone in what was probably a very small area not protected by armor.
This is an amazing story and one that teaches many lessons.
The lesson God spoke to me today was this: David needed to be suited up for battle. However, he wasn’t ready for the armor the king tried to give him. It didn’t fit him and wasn’t what he was used to. Instead, David courageously armed himself with faith. We’re to do the same. We are to prepare for each day’s battle by arming ourselves in faith. In order to do this, we must be able to wear our armor! Remember what happened when David’s armor was too big and uncomfortable? He couldn’t wear it! We need to do what it takes to grow into our faith so that it fits; and we must use it every day, in every occasion possible – good and bad – so that we’re comfortable wearing it! Then when we face giants and battles in our own lives, we’ll be ready and fully suited for victorious battle in the Lord’s name.
One last thing to note…when we win, the victory isn’t ours. It’s the Lord’s. David went forward claiming that his strength and shield was the very God that Goliath defied. He went on to state that victory would be to prove the strength of the LORD to the whole world, not to bring celebrity, fame, or victory for himself. David’s motivation and purpose was to defend God and bring glory to the LORD Almighty.
Praise be to God!