Summary: Learn what it means to face your Giants in this message on David's story.
Here we are in the final message in the series of Old School Old Testament Bible Stories. I wanted to wrap up with one of the most famous stories in all of the O.T.—David and Goliath. You’ve all heard the story, probably seen the Veggie Tales episode-Dave and the Giant Pickle, or maybe were even tucked in bed when you were a little tike, picturing yourself as David—beating the giant bully in your class. Wherever you were when you first heard the story, you’ll remember that the premise of what you were told was that “little guys can do big things, too.”
It was probably explained to you that this is a story of courage—maybe just like the other stories—of the fiery furnace, and the lion’s den. It took courage for them to stand up for the right thing, but this may be a little different.
I’d like to give you a brief history of the Old Testament—to look at 1 Samuel 17-David’s story-in light of the bigger picture of OT Scripture.
Beginning at Genesis 12:3 in what’s called the “Abrahamic Covenant.” There, God says to Abram,
3 “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, NASB, emphasis mine).
If it is true that Goliath is both cursing Israel and her God, then if God is a covenant-keeping God, we would expect Goliath to be divinely cursed. Biblically speaking, a dark cloud already hangs over the head of Goliath, the blasphemous Philistine.
In Numbers, Moses and the chosen people of Israel are traveling around and looking for the promised land—the land of Canaan, that God had promised to give to Israel. In Chapters 13 and 14, the people are on the verge of taking the land, but they’re scared. They decide to send some spies into the land to check it out, so they choose 12 men and send them in. The only problem for ten of the spies is the size of the inhabitants of the land:
27 Thus they told him, and said, “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 “Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 “Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” 32 So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. 33 “There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:27-33, NASB, emphasis mine).
What causes the Israelites to fear is the size (and thus military strength) of the “giants” who live in the land of Canaan. “We can’t go up against the Canaanites,” they protest, “there are giants there!” Because of their fear and refusal to trust God for victory, this generation of Israelites dies in the wilderness. When their children – the second generation of Israelites – are ready to possess the land, God gives them very clear instructions regarding their response to the enemies they will face in possessing the land:
21 “’See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed’” (Deuteronomy 1:21, NASB).
7 “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way and shall flee before you seven ways” (Deuteronomy 28:7, NASB).
1 So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2 And he said to them, “I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the LORD has said to me, 'You shall not cross this Jordan.' 3 “It is the LORD your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken. 4 “And the LORD will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5 “And the LORD will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” 7 Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. “And the LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:1-8, NASB, see also Joshua 1:9; 8:1; 10:25).