Summary: This sermon takes the story of David & Goliath and compares it to the difficulties we face.
Introduction: Last Sunday we talked about the fact that the reason God chose David to be the next King of Israel was not his outward appearance or his physical abilities. Instead God chose David because he was a humble man, who was passionate about his relationship with God, and trusted Him with his whole heart. We mentioned the fact that even though he had been anointed as the next King of Israel that it didn’t immediately change his life. In fact he continued to shepherd his father’s sheep just as he had before. This morning, I want us to look at the next incident that took place in the life of David, and see what we can learn from David about handling the giants in our lives. Turn with me if you will to 1 Samuel 17 as we read verses 1-11.
The valley of Elah was not a narrow ravine. It was more like a vast canyon. In fact it was over a mile wide in places. The canyon was separated by a creek, and on both sides of the creek the ground sloped up for at least a half mile. The Philistine army was camped on one hillside and the Israelites were camped on the other hillside. They were prepared for battle, but the only war that had been waged during the last 40 days was a psychological war.
The fourth verse introduces us to a Philistine by the name of Goliath who was over 9 ½ feet tall. Goliath would have made Shaqelle O’neal look like Travis Ford. According to our text Goliath was not only a big man, but he also had a big mouth. Every morning and every evening Goliath walked out into the valley where everyone could see him and he taunted the Israelites. He challenged them to send someone over to fight him and settle the battle once and for all. This had gone on for 40 days, and Saul and all of his soldiers were scared stiff, including David’s 3 older brothers.
David’s father Jesse was concerned about his 3 oldest sons who were in Saul’s army, so he decided to send David to check on them. Jesse gave David some fresh food to take to his brothers and told him to hurry back so he would know his sons were all okay.
When David arrived at the Valley of Elah where the Israelites were it looked as if they were preparing to go into battle. So he rushed to find his brothers and greeted them. As he was talking with them, Goliath walked out from among the Philistines and started to taunt the Israelites again. David heard what he was saying and turned to some of the men around him and said, “Who does this guy think he is? Doesn’t He know who he’s dealing with? Doesn’t he know that he is insulting the army of the Living God? Then David looked at the men standing around him and asked, “What will the King do for the man who kills this jerk and removes this disgrace from the nation of Israel?
You see even though Saul stood head and shoulders above all of his men, he was a coward and refused to fight Goliath. So he devised an incentive plan to try and entice someone else to do it. The incentive package included money, but King Saul also promised to give his own daughter as a bride to the man who killed Goliath. In addition Saul also promised to exempt the man’s father from paying taxes. After hearing what the men said, David went to the King and told him that He was willing to fight Goliath.
Can you imagine what Saul’s reaction was? He probably laughed out loud. Remember David was only a teenager, and I can guarantee you that he didn’t look like Labron James. He was probably 5’5” and may have weighted 180 pounds soaking wet. I can picture Saul walking over to David and saying, ‘son I appreciate your bravery but let’s be realistic, you’re just a boy and this guy is a professional soldier… you wouldn’t stand a chance against him.’
But that didn’t discourage David, he told Saul how he had fought and killed both lions and bears that had attacked his sheep. David assured Saul that God would deliver him from the hand of this Philistine just as he had from the paws of those wild animals. Saul was impressed with David’s courage and decided to let David fight Goliath. He even tried to give David His own armor and sword. But, it was so big and so heavy that David could barely move, so he decided not to wear it. Instead he chose to go into battle with the weapons that he was most familiar with, his Shepherd’s staff and his slingshot.