1 Samuel 17

1 Samuel 17 has one of the most famous of all Bible stories – the story of David and Goliath.  It seems that the Philistines were gathered for battle and on one side of the valley, Saul and the Israelites on the other.  Goliath was a giant of a man and came out to taunt the Israelites with this “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us”.  It was going to be one on one with winner take all.  Saul and his army stood in awe of Goliath.  For 40 days this continued morning and evening as Goliath came out asking for a challenger.

One day David was sent to bring some food and to check in on his three older brothers who were part of Saul’s army.  While he was there, he overheard Goliath and his taunts.  David spoke up immediately and started asking questions.  “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God”?  David is rebuked by his brothers and told to remain quiet.  They accuse him of just showing up to see the massacre when someone would go do battle with Goliath.  But that was not David’s motive at all.  In fact, he went to Saul and said “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine….Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God….The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine”.

Saul decides to let David do it, and attempts to put his armor and helmet and all his protective gear on the young lad.  But it is too much so David sheds all of it.  “He took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine”.  Are you paying attention here?  David goes out to meet the giant Goliath with his staff and 5 stones and a sling.  Not exactly a fair fight.  This young man is not prepared to do battle – at least not man’s way.  But here is how David approached the overwhelming circumstances in his patch: “You come to me with a sword and 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….the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand”.  God plus a stone is all it takes to win.  What is impossible to man, is more than possible with God.  One plus God is always enough.

David has had enough of Goliath’s chatter.  He doesn’t just slowly and fearfully approach the giant.  “David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine”.  He couldn’t wait to let God use him to put this guy down.  “David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead….David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him….and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it”.  In no time at all, this young man rushed to do battle with a giant with only a sling and a stone.  In God’s hands, he was a mighty fighting machine.  He destroys the enemy and the army of Israel pursues the fleeing Philistine army and plundered their camp.  David has done what no other man would do – take on the enemy.  He didn’t do it in his own strength, he did it with God’s power.  And because he did, he was victorious.  Oh that we would learn to lean on God’s power rather than our own!

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