Summary: Old Testament Challenge: David and Goliath
The Courage of David
A few weeks ago we talked about Moses and his answering God’s call in his life. Today we are going to talk about courage with yet another Old Testament personality but I want to revisit Moses for a moment.
What would have happened had Moses tried to figure out what was needed to accomplish God’s command? One of the biggest arithmetical miracles in the world was required in the desert. Moses led the people of Israel into the desert….Now what was he going to do with them? They had to be fed, and feeding 3-1/2 million people required a lot of food. According to the U. S. Army’s Quartermaster General, Moses needed 1500 tons of food a day, filling two freight trains, each a mile long. Besides, you must remember, they were cooking the food. Just for cooking this took 4000 tons of firewood and a few more freight trains, each a mile long and this is only for one day (not to mention for keeping warm, and if anyone tells you it doesn’t get cold in the desert don’t believe them!). They were for forty YEARS in transit!!! Let’s not forget about water, shall we? If they only had enough to drink and wash a few dishes (no bathing?!), it took 11,000,000 gallons EACH DAY--enough to fill a train of tanker cars 1800 miles long. And another thing! They had to get across the red sea in one night. Now if they went on a narrow path, double file, the line would be 800 miles long and require 35 days and nights to complete the crossing. So to get it over in one night there had to be a space in the Red Sea 3 miles wide so that they could walk 5,000 abreast. Think about this; every time they camped at the end of the day, a camp ground the size of Rhode Island was required, or 750 square miles. Do you think that Moses sat down and figured out the logistics of what God told him to do before he set out from Egypt? I doubt it. He had faith that God would take care of everything. Let us have courage, we share the very same God!
The Bible is full of examples of leaders that exhibited courage. They would include, Esther, Joshua, Gideon, Moses, Noah and young people like, Daniel and the three Hebrew children. These men and women were given an opportunity to bring about change. In every story there is one thing they all had in common. They all needed courage to leverage the opportunity that was before them.
David was perhaps the youngest of all these Old Testament figures but he is a perfect example of how courage is a vital part of leading and life. The story of David and the giant Goliath contains some important life principles.
He was the youngest son of a man named Jesse. He was a shepherd who tended sheep for his family. He was a young man with a heart for God. Only recently had the old prophet Samuel visited his home and after seeing all David’s brothers asked if there were any other. When told about David the youngest son, Samuel asked to see him and immediately under the prompting of God anointed him to be the next king of Israel.
There really is no indication in the Bible that David or his family knew what the prophet was doing. David had seven brothers so there would be no thought that the youngest would be the one to be the next king. Three of his brothers were in King Saul’s army and were camped facing the Philistines or an enemy army. If you could picture almost a Civil War scenario where two armies are camped within earshot of each other you would have a picture of this standoff.
One day he is asked by his father to go to the area where some of his brothers are camped with the army to take them a care package from home. As he arrives at the edge of the camp something really unusual happens.
The bible says that, “The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. 2 Saul countered by gathering his Israelite troops near the valley of Elah. 3 So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them.
4 Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! 5 He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. 6 He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. 7 The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.