Many people, including many non-Christians, are well aware of the story of David and Goliath. Most people learned it either at church or from their parents. It certainly is an amazing account of a real event in the life of David from I Samuel 17.
While many people, as well as businesses who refer to it, see a little guy (the underdog) taking out a big guy (the giant), it is much more than that. The truth is that truths about God is the main reason for it.
While the giant boasted fearlessly of his might, and Israel feared him greatly, it is very evident that they all had eye problems. The armies of the Philistines, Goliath, and the armies of Israel, could only see what an army could do. Therefore, King Saul and Israel were afraid.
Little David, however, had been serving in the fields, watching his father’s sheep. He was young; many people believing he was about 17 years old. What no one saw, however, was that God was preparing a mighty man right where he was. In fact, if he had been lax about his job, he may never have become the mighty warrior he ended up being.
On the mountainside, God was preparing David for greater things, in a similar way that He prepared Joseph while he remained in prison. In both of these men’s lives, we see that God is not in a hurry to put people in positions. When He is ready, He will promote.
God brought two large beasts against David so that he could see what God could do through him. It is important to note that David was very concerned about his responsibility – or he sure would not have chased after a lion and a bear for a little lamb!
David learned to get close to God in the shepherd’s fields. He also learned to worship and play instruments and sing songs to God while there. He loved God, and God strengthened his faith in Himself. He also practiced often with his slingshot.
David’s faith in God is clearly evident several times in this account. When ridiculed by his brother for coming to the battle, David responded with: “What have I now done? Is there not a cause?” (vs. 29). David saw that the “cause” was much greater than a mere battle. God’s people were being stopped by His enemies, and no one was bold enough to trust God for victory. This reveals that they were not close to God at the time.
While talking to Saul, assuring him that he was able to do it, David responded: “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” (vs. 36). There was no doubt in his mind that God would use him to rectify this defiance of God’s armies – and of God Himself.
David was also confident that God wanted him to do this. He knew, too, that God would protect him: “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” (vs. 37).
It is important to see that David did not put his confidence in his expertise with the sling. Instead, he knew that God would guide and give him the victory.
As the two men approached, we can clearly see that God’s honor was at stake. Goliath “cursed David by his gods” (vs. 43). David responded by revealing why he knew God would help him. This is the “cause” he referred to earlier: “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 mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host 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.”
Did you notice the reason? David was zealous for God’s glory – not his own. The bottom line of this battle was that it was the gods of the Philistines versus the God of Israel. The true God won because He had a servant who was more concerned for God’s glory than for his own. David also knew better than to trust his own strength against a man so large.
How true it is that God said to Eli in I Samuel 2:30: “them that honour me I will honour.” If you want God’s power in your life, be sure to serve Him for His glory’s sake, and He will honor when He is ready.
Evangelist Mike Valles
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