Summary: We like to identify with David as he dealt with Goliath but we often are more like Saul in this story. David shows how we are to deal with the struggles of faith which we share with Saul.

Introductory Considerations

1. As children we often have heroes- people who we look up to and people who we want to be like. Heroes can be people we know - who we admire for the things they do, can be leaders or sports stars, - as I child when I played baseball, I would sometimes pretend to be Mickey Mantle.

2. The Bible has many heroes in it. One is David because of the story of David and Goliath. What would it be like standing before a giant with only a sling shot and defeating him, rescuing the people from this evil giant.

3. Today we look at this story but instead of calling it the story of David and Goliath, we will call it the story of Saul and Goliath, for although I like to think that we would all be like David, I have to admit I am often more like Saul.

4. In fact the story is about Saul facing Goliath and how he deals with his enemy. It is the story that makes us look at how we deal with the Goliath’s in our own lives - enemies and situations that threaten us or challenge us, perhaps struggles with one another, perhaps circumstances that we have no control over. Perhaps enemies within - fears, worries, lack of faith and courage.


1. When the people of Israel had settled in the promised land, they had no king. When they needed leadership to rescue them from their enemies, God would raise up judges to deliver them - Samson was one of these judges.

a. People wanted a king like the other nations around them. God did not want them to have a king since it would make them rely on the king rather than on God Himself - relying on human power rather than God’s power.

b. They persisted and God finally told Samuel to let them have their king it that’s what they wanted .

2. At Gilgal, Saul was to wait for Samuel to come and make sacrifices and receive instructions but the Philistines had gathered to fight and after waiting 7 days, Saul’s men began to scatter. He made the sacrifice himself. He had disobeyed the man of God and taken matters into his own hands rather than wait on the Lord.

a. As a result, Saul won the battle but the Philistines captured all the blacksmiths and Israel was no longer able to make armour.

b. Samuel rebuked Saul and told him God would remove him as king and find a man after His own heart.

3. In our passage today, Saul again faces the Philistines

a. Scene - the Philistines were on one hill and the Israelites on another with the valley of Elah between them.

b. The Philistines challenge the Israelites with their hero, Goliath - over 9 feet tall, wore a bronze helmet and a coat of armour that weighed over 125 pounds.

c. Goliath is strong and it is obvious that he depends on his own strength to be victorious - not need God or anyone else to help him.

d. Comes out and challenges the Israelites READ vs. 8&9.

e. The question is about who will serve whom.

2. The response of Saul and the Israelites make it clear that they are intimidated by him, just as we are often dismayed and terrified with the enemies or problems that we face.

3. Onto the scene comes David - youngest son of Jesse

a. Jesse had 8 sons and the oldest 3 had followed Saul to the war.

b. Meant that David had 4 older brothers who were to young to fight and so David must have been quite young.

c. He brings 10 loaves of bread for his brothers and 1 cheese for the soldiers.

4. He goes to the front lines to greet his brothers and as he does Goliath comes and makes his daily challenge.

a. When David hears him, his is not dismayed and terrified like Saul and the others.

i. "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"

ii. David looks at him from a different perspective:

a. He is uncircumcised - a heathen - he is not of God.

b. We are the army of the living God.

c. God is alive and we are his fighters.

d. He is on our side,we are His people - what do we have to be afraid of?

b. David looks to God rather than the enemy and what a difference that makes.

5. Saul called for David.

a. Saul must have chuckled inside when this boy offered to fight Goliath. Compares size and experience and D. would loose out in both cases. (vs. 33)

b. Again, Saul is looking only at outside or human strength - not God’s power.

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