Summary: This is a narrative of David’s victory over Goliath over Gath, with some timely applications.

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I Samuel 17: 1-10, 32-36, 45-51

Israel is in a show-down with their old arch

enemy, the Philistines. The Philistines are on one

mountain and the Israelites on another, with a valley between them. Both armies seem to be at a standstill, with neither one wanting to be the first to descend to the valley floor. That would be suicide.

But it soon becomes apparent that the Philistines have another motive behind this confrontation. For out of the camp of the Philistines comes their champion, a killing machine, the “Terminator”, the great Goliath of Gath. As he descends out of the mountain’s morning mist, the Israelites cannot believe their eyes. He looks like a monster from the pits of hell! He is more of a mammoth than a man! He is at least 10 feet tall. He is as wide as 3 or 4 regular men.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of his size and strength -- his bronze armour weights 125 lbs., he carries with him a spear weighing over 30 lbs., as well as a javelin made of pure bronze (that likely weights 50 to 60 lbs.). As he thunders down into the valley, he resembles a giant boulder, hewn out of the mountain’s rock.

For forty days, every day, this giant descends to the valley and bellows out a challenge: “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together!”

The Israelites quiver in fear, like scared puppies with their tails between their legs. Even

their most fearless and war hardened men have turned into cowards. Their integrity is at stake, yet no one is willing to die for integrity. The name of their God is being slandered, but nobody is provoked to the point of risking his life.

Then, along comes David, just a young man, too young to even serve in the army. He is there

because his mother has sent him with some cheese and corn and bread to feed his brothers. After all, they must be exhausted and hungry after 40 days of cowering in fear! David, unaware of his comrades’ cowardice, arrives at the scene of this checkmate, shouting and cheering for his people. But soon he discovers that there is little to cheer about.

While he is still there, once again, Goliath makes and appearance shouting blasphemous threats. And once again, the Israelites stand down. But David, a simple, God-fearing shepherd boy, cannot understand why no one is willing to fight. Stirred in his spirit, he asks “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Embarrassed by the scene David seems to be causing, Eliab criticizes David and tries to put his little brother in his place. But David’s motives are pure. “Is there not a cause?”, David asks. And even if it is only a sheep herder with a sling shot, it looks like Israel finally has a volunteer! David, the boy shepherd will face the giant!

King Saul, the man who himself stands a head taller than all of the other men of Israel, hears about David’s resolve and sends for him. Saul knows David to this point as his arm bearer and harp player. So, naturally, he is sarcastic. “You’re not able to go up against this Philistine! You’re just a young lad and he is a man of war from his youth”. But David retells how that by the power of God he was able to slay a lion and a bear, and he testifies of his trust in God’s ability to give him victory.

With nothing else to lose, Saul responds by lending his own armour to David (which looks awkward and rather ridiculous). David feels uneasy about using unfamiliar armour and weapons,and quickly discards them. Although the giant is armoured from head to toe, David will fight the giant his way -- not covered with man’s strength, but in his faith in God.

David makes his way down to the little brook. He carefully picks out 5 smooth stones. And without wasting any time, he goes out onto the open valley floor to confront Goliath. When the giant sees this young man “ruddy and of a fair countenance” he is sorely insulted. “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” he roars, referring to David’s shepherd’s staff. Then, like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth, he begins to curse young David by his gods. “Come to me,” he cries out, “and I will give your flesh to the fowls of the air and to the beasts of the field”.

David responds with one of the most powerful declarations of faith to be found in the Bible.

{Read verses 45-47}

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