Summary: David faced a great challenge as he stood before Goliath. It was the greatest miss-match of all time, and yet he was triumphant. We too face giants as we strive to serve the Lord, but like David, we can overcome in the Lord. Christ secured victory for us!

Memoirs of a Giant Slayer

1 Samuel 17: 40-51

Our text today comes from one of the most familiar and recognizable accounts in all of Scripture. Israel was facing a formidable foe in the champion of the Philistines. The armies had gathered on opposite sides of the Valley of Elah, approximately fifteen miles west of Bethlehem. For forty days, the Philistine champion, Goliath, had taunted the Israelites to send a man down to fight with him. The losing side would surrender to serve the victor. No one within the armies of Israel had the courage to fight with Goliath. That all changed when David was sent by his father to take provisions to his brothers, who were among the garrison of Israelites.

This story resonates with humanity because it is a story of courage and victory. It reveals that the enemy can be defeated through the provision and power of God. David was an unlikely candidate to face Goliath, and yet God brought a great victory. We are no match for our enemy, but we are never forced to face him alone. Jesus has secured victory for us, and we can overcome through Him! Like David, we too can overcome impossible odds and enjoy victory through Christ our Lord.

Let’s take a few moments to visit the intense moments recorded of this season in David’s life as we consider: Memoirs of a Giant Slayer.

I. The Difficulty David Faced – As you examine this chapter, difficulties appear immediately. In order to fully grasp the enormity of the situation, we must consider other verses. We can see:

A. Apparent Differences – This is the greatest “miss-match” of all time. No one expected David to have a chance against Goliath. There were great differences in:

Size – Vv.4, 42 – And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. [42] And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. Goliath stood 9’ 9” tall, and David was just a young man, ruddy, and of a fair countenance. He appeared as a child to Goliath.

Experience – V. 33 – And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. David had no experience in battle and Goliath had been fighting battles since he was a young man. There was no comparison in the experience level of the two men.

Weaponry – Vv.5-7, 40 – And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. [6] And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. [7] And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. [40] And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. Goliath’s armor weighed 125 pounds, and the tip of his spear weighed fifteen pounds. This giant of a man was well armed for battle. David went into battle carrying a shepherd’s staff, his bag, which held five smooth stones, and a sling.

From a human perspective, this would not be much of a battle. It appeared David stood no chance of defeating such a well prepared and formidable foe. However, we will discover that David had a decided advantage – he had the Lord on His side!

B. Accusing Doubt (28, 33) – And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. [33] And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. Goliath had come before the Israelites forty days in a row, challenging them to send someone to fight him, and they all remained in their places, cowering in fear. Along comes a shepherd boy with enough courage to fight the giant, and yet no one believed in his ability. They all assumed David would die at the hands of the enemy.

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