Summary: It was a cool, brisk morning in the desert area of Shocock in the land of Judah. This would be a very special day filled with much adventure and real danger. The year was 1020 B.C. and the clouds of war were in the air.
It was a cool, brisk morning in the desert area of Shocock in the land of Judah. This would be a very special day filled with much adventure and real danger. The year was 1020 B.C. and the clouds of war were in the air.
The battle lines had been formed with the mighty Philistines standing on one side of the valley and God’s chosen people, the Israelites, on the other side. It would be a day when a man could either die in battle, or survive and live the remainder of his life as a hero.
For a young shepherd boy named David, this day would be like all the rest. His job was to take care of the sheep, and perhaps for the most part, his days were more boring then they were filled with adventure. Every day for David was more or less the same – lead the sheep to grass and then to water, then to grass again and then to the pen.
Now I’m not sure how much you know about sheep but I suspect it’s similar to raising cattle. Being a sprawling, farming county, I suspect that you do know more than most. One thing that I have learned for sure since moving to Bedford County is that I don’t want Brother Dewey to be the one to teach me. He’s always talking about sticking a pitchfork or shovel in my hands and giving me work in the barns loading hay and shoveling fertilizer!
Anyway, back to the sheep. Brother Larry told me that sheep are a lot like Jessie – they are not known for their smarts! As a matter of fact, they are considered to be a rather dumb animal. If they don’t have the shepherd to direct their paths then they’ll walk right off the mountain.
David had no clue as to what this day held in store for him. There had been times of excitement in his past. He remembered the day that he had to defend his sheep from the lion that had attacked them, and also the time the bear had come after his flock.
But today, the only members of his family facing any excitement were his three older brothers. They were in the army and in battle against the mighty Philistines. How exciting, he thought, it would be to trade places with them or to just find out what was happening at the battlefront. It had been 40 days since his brothers had left and he didn’t know how they were doing or what was happening in the war.
David soon found out that he wasn’t the only one wondering. His father, Jesse, was also worried and concerned. Jess wanted to know how his three oldest boys were doing so he sent David to deliver some provisions of corn, bread and cheeses to them, and to find out what was happening in the war. Let’s look at 1 Samuel 17:20-24 for a minute.
20. And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.
21. For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.
22. And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
23. And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
24. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
Now Goliath was not your usual soldier. He was not even your usual big soldier. The Bible tells us that he was 6 ½ cubits tall, which translated into our measurements would be 9 feet, 9 inches tall! He was huge, enormous and a true giant!
Goliath wore armor on his chest and stomach that weighed 110 pounds, perhaps as much as David weighed himself at that time. The head of the spear that Goliath carried weighed only 3 pounds less that an Olympic shot put ball weighs.
Now I suppose that had I been David, and having seen Goliath, I might have said, “I’ve seen enough. I hear the sheep calling. I’ve got to go! See you later!” But David was not afraid – look what he said in verse 26.
26b. “who is this “uncircumcised” Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
David was angry because he knew the armies of Israel were the armies of God. Goliath had dared the armies of his God to fight. David was angry, enraged, and as a result he stepped forward to fight. David wanted to stand up for the honor of God! Was he afraid? Let’s look at verses 45 and 46.