Summary: This message is for the Youth and tells the story of David and Goliath and asks the questions if David was truly the underdog. The message is, "if God is for us, who is against us?"
The True Underdog
The title of my message this morning is “The True Underdog.” I normally do not speak on our youth Sundays so this morning I want to take this opportunity and do something a little different – I want to tell the youth a story. It’s a familiar story that has been retold throughout the years and it’s the story of David and Goliath. This story is so popular that even today when a small, weak person or company goes up against a larger person or company the conflict is often described as “David versus Goliath.” I want to start with the understanding that there truly was an underdog in the short fight between David and Goliath; but it was not the one that we have always chosen. This morning I will show you scripturally that it was not David who was the underdog but Goliath. To understand this story, let me tell what an “underdog” is by definition. Webster’s dictionary define underdog as “the person or team that is losing or is expected to lose. One who is underprivileged.” Keep this definition in mind as I tell you the story of David and Goliath and then at the end I will ask you to decide for yourself if David was truly the underdog.
David and Goliath – The Real Story
In our story today there are two primary individuals that I will tell you about. The first is David. Many years ago David was the eight and youngest son of his father Jesse. What we know about David from chapter sixteen is that he had red hair and beautiful eyes. David’s first job was tending his father’s sheep. During this time of watching his father’s sheep, David spent time playing his shepherd’s flute, writing songs and developing his skills as a slinger. His first recorded exploits were his encounters with a lion and bear when they had attacked his sheep. He mentions that with his own unaided hands he killed them both. David was an Israelite who knew and worshipped the one true God. Goliath, on the other hand, was a champion fighter of the Philistine army. Now in order to be a champion fighter he had to have been an excellent fighter. Added to his fighting skills were his overall size and strength. According to 1 Samuel 17:4, Goliath was six cubits (a cubit is approximately 18 inches) and a span (approximately 9 in) tall; or nine feet, nine inches tall. He was evidently extremely strong as his bronze armor weighed 125 pounds and he carried a giant sized spear. There was a reason that Goliath was their champion.
So it came to pass that the Philistine army had gathered against Saul and the men of Israel. Both armies were on opposing mountains, the Philistines on the southern ridge of Elah and the Israelites on the northern ridge with the valley separating them. This left both armies looking across the valley at each other with neither one being willing to enter the valley first and give the other an advantage. In order for one side to attack the other, they would have to descend down their hill and then make a suicidal climb up their enemy’s hill to attack. So each side just waited. After some days had passed, the Philistines had enough. They sent their champion, their greatest warrior, Goliath down into the valley to resolve the deadlock. As Goliath faced the Israelites, he cried out to them to send someone to fight against him. If that man killed him, the Philistines would become their servants. If he killed the Israelites representative, then the Israelites would become their servants. As the Israelites heard this not one man moved. They were afraid. They saw a giant of a man who was a champion of war and they did not see how any of them could defeat him. They understood that if they fought this man and lost, all of the Israelites and their families would go into captivity. Not one man desired to be the man that led a nation into captivity so they all remained still. Goliath came out and made his challenge and took his stand twice a day for forty days and still no Israelite came out to fight him.
One day during this time, as the Lord would have it, Jesse called to David and asked him to take food to his three brothers and their captains who were fighting in Saul’s army. Upon his arrival in the camp of Israel, David heard the challenge of Goliath. David was mad when he heard the challenge and the fact that no one from the Israelite’s side answered him. David asked, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should taunt the armies of the living God.” David saw Goliath’s actions as an attack against God’s army, not Saul’s. David asked what would be done for the man who kills Goliath and when he hears the answer, he volunteers to go fight Goliath. His three brothers were not in support of this yet neither volunteered to take his place. When they brought David to Saul, Saul questioned him about his ability to go out there and fight. David explained how he had already killed a bear and a lion with the aid of God. Saul was convinced to let him go. Saul offered David his armor but David rejected them because he had not “tested” them. In other words, David could not fight with equipment that was unfamiliar to him. All David needed was his sling, one rock, although he chose five smooth stones, and his shepherd’s staff. With those five stones in his bag, his sling and staff in his hand, David went out to face Goliath.