David and Goliath


There is one single factor responsible for the miraculous advancement of mankind from the Stone Age to the affluent remarkable life we can live today.  Ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden mankind has faced hunger and starvation. 

In fact our scientists tell us that the time Columbus discovered America the land we now call the United States was inhabited by approximately  800,000 Indians.  Maybe today they want to be called Native Americans.

The sad facts are that half of them starved to death.  Without the skills and equipment we have to produce food starvation was a real and genuine threat.  The Bible says my people perish from lack of knowledge.  Hosea 4:6

So perhaps the legitimate question is how did we get where we are today?  The answer of course is knowledge.

When I looked up the definition of the word, knowledge I found 10 different aspects of understanding the word.  The first says it is acquaintance with facts, truths or principles gained from study or investigation. 

I liked the 9th definition which says the sum of what is known.

So in order to get knowledge a certain amount of effort has to be expended.  We are responsible for the knowledge we own.  Then one other factor comes into play and that is the ability to do something with knowledge and I say that word is Wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.  Proverbs 1:7

One time a great scientist, George Washington Carver was speaking to Congress.  He was allowed 10 minutes.  The purpose of his visit was to ask for money for Tuskegee Institute.  When he began his eloquence and superb speaking ability kept him talking for more than an hour and a half.  His audience was simply enthralled.  Finally the Senate Majority leader took charge and asked how did you get so much knowledge?

His answer was from reading an Old Book.  So the Senator asked him, what book?  He answered the Holy Bible.   Then he said if I read the Bible the hand of the Lord will guide me.

This brings me to the reason I like to write stories from the Bible.  I AM SURE the single reason why ordinary people do extraordinary things is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  The Bible itself was written by ordinary men who were inspired to put God’s thoughts into words that man can understand.

The great men of  history believed in themselves  and were guided by supernatural power.

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Today I want to tell the story of David and Goliath.

It is found in the Old Testament in the book of Samuel, Chapter 17

1 Samuel 17

1Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. 2And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. 3The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.

4And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. 8Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9If he is able to fight with me and kill me, and then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

The Israelites had every reason to be very much afraid.  This   Giant of a man was over NINE feet Tall.  A cubit is the distance from the point of your elbow to the tip of your middle finger.  He was  more than six cubits tall He was truly huge by any measure the average  soldier  in the  Israeli army probably could not even  lift his spear let alone  to try to use it as a weapon.   The weight  of his coat of mail or body armor would  be so great that any Israeli probably could not walk very far  with that weight.   Of course it was not even a contest.

Before the armies went into battle if there was a way to  prevent the  huge  killing of  both  armies  it seemed like a good gamble for  the Philistines to set the challenge and send their wonderful  giant out to see if they could win the battle with one contest. 

After that sort of a  challenge it was your move said  Goliath so it is up to King  Saul to make a decision.  RGS Jr.

12Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul. 13The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.

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 14David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul. 15But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

16And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.

17Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. 18And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.” 19Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

20So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle. 21For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army. 22And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. 23Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them. 24And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. 25So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”

26Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

27And the people answered him in this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”

28Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

29And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” 30Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.

31Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. 32Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

33And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

34But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

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And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

38So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.

40Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 

David rose to the challenge. 

Part of it  of course was his youth, but he had been raised by a  God  fearing family.  The Jews had  been told of  God’s great power and had access to the books  of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  These were the  books   Moses had written and the growing boys had  be constantly been reminded of God’s great power to  lead.  The  stories of  Joshua’s great victories and of course the  odds  that  Gideon faced when  God  destroyed  the army that threatened the Jews all contributed to  David’s faith that  his God would be with  him. 

At any way you want to measure  him he was a brave young man.  RGS Jr.

40Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 41So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

In this speech  Goliath accepts the  challenge.  I can  just imagine his  thoughts as he looked at that foolish kid  who was coming to challenge him.  The  armies  of both sides  now heard his threats and I am sure the Philistines   sure it  would be an easy  victory.

Now we get to hear the words  of  David: RGS Jr.

45Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’S, and He will give you into our hands.”

David clearly states his intentions but also admits that the  battle belongs to God  RGSJr.

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48So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.

Because the  fight was ended so quickly and  decisively there can be no doubt  as to why David won.   The one area where  Goliath had no armor was the exact place the stone entered his skull and certainly a blow like that will knock  him down.  I say  God  had a keen  sense of showmanship  and the ability to  provide shock and awe to  Allow  David to use the  Giant’s own sword to  cut off  his head.  It was the ultimate insult and  proof that the God  of  Israel could  overcome impossible odds. 

This one story has emboldened soldiers for over 3000 years.  Those who  believe and have  God on their side have always won.  I am sure  our  Own  George Washington read this story over and  over during the terrible winter  he had to lead his army through the bad weather at  Valley  Forge.  George Washington was  the great leader because he believed we would win with God’s help and guidance.  All students of  history need to know the  United States had  God’s favor!

The  story does not have to be connected with war.  Any of your problems may take on Goliath like  proportions.  The real  answer is, found in Romans chapter 8 verse 31. RGS Jr.


Then I think the final answer  has to be word’s of  Jesus to Jairus when things  looked hopeless.   Look up  in  Mark  Chapter 5  verse 36.

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken,

he said  unto  Jairus the ruler of the Synagogue;


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