Summary: We can learn to much from David about how to fight our own giants. Perhaps the most important lesson is for us to remember is that the battle is the Lord’s.
A. An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy.
1. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural-history museum and said, “I’ve just discovered a 3,000 year-old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!”
2. The curator replied, “Bring him in. We’ll check it out.”
3. A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. “You were right about the mummy’s age and cause of death. How in the world did you know that he died of a heart attack?”
4. The archaeologist said, “Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ’10,000 Shekels on Goliath.’”
B. The story of David and Goliath is perhaps the favorite of all the Bible stories for many people.
1. Certainly it is one of the best known, and most inspirational.
2. Everyone loves a story where the underdog wins against all odds.
3. The 1986 film Hoosiers includes a final scene where a small-town high school basketball team takes on a big-city team for the Indiana state championship.
a. In the final moments before the small-town team from "Hickory" takes the court, the passage describing how, “David took a stone from the bag and slung it....knocking the Philistine to the ground” is read to inspire the team.
4. Anytime someone is trying to relate a mismatch, whether it be between boys on the school yard, countries in conflict, or teams playing in the Super Bowl, they often reach for this story and compare the situation to David and Goliath.
I. The Story
A. As we review the story of David and Goliath, let’s begin by looking at the setting and introducing the characters.
1. The Bible says, “Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.” (1 Sam. 17:1-3)
2. The Valley of Elah was not a narrow ravine, but more like a vast canyon.
3. It was about a mile wide with a small streambed ambling in the middle of the canyon, where David found his five smooth stones.
4. On one slope half-a-mile from the center of the valley was the army of Israel, and on the other slope a mile away was the army of the Philistines.
5. Now let me introduce the major characters in our drama.
B. In the first corner we have Goliath.
1. The Bible says, “A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.” (1 Sam. 17:4-7)
2. Goliath’s size and appearance were so impressive that the writer described him in great detail.
3. Goliath was huge! Over 9 and a half feet tall! The NBA would love him.
4. His sheer size wasn’t the only thing that was impressive about him, he also had an incredible suit of armor.
a. He was wearing what we would call a coat of mail. The Philistines garbed themselves for battle with a heavy canvas-like undergarment interlaced with overlapping ringlets of bronze.
b. This coat of mail went from shoulder to knee, and weighed about 200 pounds.
c. Goliath also wore a bronze helmet, and bronze leggings to protect his shins.
d. He carried a spear with an iron head weighing 20-25 pounds.
e. Goliath’s armor-bearer also carried the largest shield used in battle that was the size of a full-grown man.
5. Pause for just a moment and allow your mind to picture such an imposing sight.
a. Just imagine how frightening it would be to take on a giant of this size protected by this amount of armor.
b. This giant in all his magnificence seemed absolutely beyond defeat.
6. Now notice what this gigantic warrior did.
a. The Bible says, “Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, ‘Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.’ Then the Philistine said, ‘This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.’ On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” (1 Sam. 17:8-11)