Summary: Like David in the OT, the Christian will face the opposition of Satan, and is called to go out on a limb for God.
We all know well the story of David and Goliath; it’s one we grew up with from Sunday School. It’s a story which catches a popular vein. It’s the story of the underdog winning, winning against the seeming odds. We probably all have some feeling for the underdog, say in a sporting event, and enjoy seeing the supposed champion of champions knocked off his pedestal, though woe-betide any foot-balling minnow who should triumph against the odds against England in the World Cup!
We join the story as it were in verse 32, but let’s just remind ourselves and set the scene. Goliath is a Philistine giant, he’s over 9 feet tall, he has a massive suit or chain-mail armour, and a spear of mind-blowing size. He had come out against the Israelites with a challenge. “If anyone can defeat me one-to-one, we will be your servants, but if I win, you will be our servants” To the Israelites and to Saul, their king, this looked like a lose-lose situation. What hope had any of their warriors against such a one as Goliath?
David on the other hand when Goliath’s challenge comes to his idea had had other thoughts.
In verse 26: And David said to the men who stood by him, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
Then in verse 32: And David said to Saul, "Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine."
Clearly, David saw the challenge of Goliath from a very different perspective
to the rest of the Israelites, differently from the King. The key to David’s
understanding of the situation lies in those words: “For who is this
uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
David saw everything from God’s perspective and not from that of human
understanding; of human wisdom. Humanly, yes, David had no hope against
such a mighty warrior. Yet David knew a truth that only the great men of God
in the Old Testament had known: “The battle is the Lord’s”. God would not let
his Name or his people to suffer such humiliation- though he did at a later
time when they turned their back on their God. But the first lesson that
would draw from this morning’s reading is that, because he trusted in his
God, David would be true to himself. We see this when Saul, concerned at
David’s seeming idiocy tries to provide him with some protection In verse 38
we read: Then Saul clothed David with his armour. He put a helmet of bronze
on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail.
Can you imagine David, five foot nothing going out clanking in a suit of
armour ten sizes too big and let and hindered. No: David knew his skill with
sling and stone. It may sound a small thing, but are we always true to
ourselves; true to the person God has made us, with the skills he has given
us. Let us not insult God by thinking someone else’s skills will see us in better
The second lesson there is to learn- and in a sense it’s an obvious one once
we sit back and think of the situation is that David was prepared to go out on
a limb for God. As he walked out to meet Goliath, did no shudder of fear or
doubt not go through him. He was going where no one else had dared to go.
The whole future of the Israelites hinged on this. Yet again he trusted his God
so much he would stick his neck right out. Let’s be honest with ourselves;
How ready are we to thus stick our necks out?
The third issue is the one of David vs. Goliath.
R T Kendall, minister of Westminster Chapel in London sees in this
encounter an illustration of our encounters with the Devil.
Look if you will at verse 43: And the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
Goliath sneered at David. Inwardly he hated David and thus his scorn. He
tries to put the blame on David- “So, you think I’m just a dog, do you?” And
then he gives his game away by cursing David. He tries to make David feel
inferior. If someone tries to make you feel inferior, or that you are giving them
a raw deal- so long as you aren’t, then know the tactics of your enemy. The
Devil hates all Christians, he will try every trick in his book to put us off.