Summary: It takes ability, motivation, and attitude to kill a giant. David had all three.
Little Billy, a Jewish boy, was failing his math lessons. His parents tried everything they could to get him to do better in this subject, but he continued to fail. At last, they took him down to the Catholic School, and enrolled him. After the first day, Billy came home and went up to his room, closed the door, and went to work on his math. His parents could hardly get him down for dinner. After dinner, he went back and "hit the books again." When his report card came next time, he laid it on the table for his parents to find. When his mother read it, she was amazed. He had an "A" in math. She questioned him about it wondering how such a change had come about. She asked him if it were the teachers, or the kind of books they used, but he said "no." Then why the change in his math scores? He said, "That first day at school, I looked up on the wall, and I saw a man nailed to a plus sign, and I knew that they were not fooling around here. So I went to work on my math."
The legendary Lou Holtz said, “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
As we continue to look at David, we will discover a boy of 15 who has grasped this knowledge of ability, motivation, and attitude. David is able to accomplish these things because he has a heart for God. His inner being desires to please God more than to please himself.
Last week we discovered that David was chosen by God to replace Saul as king of Israel. He was chosen because, “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
As the story continues the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and been replaced with a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.
Some of Saul’s servants said to him, “A tormenting spirit from God is troubling you. Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music, and you will soon be well again.”
One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player.”
. So David went to Saul and whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away. Saul came to love David very much but remember Saul’s heart was far from God. His love was based on the relief that David brought him.
David split his time between serving Saul and continuing to tend to his father’s sheep. Saul and the Israelite army had gone to battle against the Philistines. David’s three oldest brothers had joined the army and followed Saul into battle.
David had been away from King Saul for at least forty days. His father told him to take some food for them and their commander. Jesse’s desire was to check on his sons and see how they were doing.
When David arrives, he sees a giant of a man taunting the entire Israelite army. His name is Goliath. He stands 9 feet 9 inches tall. His armor and weaponry weigh in excess of 700 pounds. Goliath offers them a challenge.
“Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!”
When David hears these taunts he asks, “Who is this pagan Philistine that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
David doesn’t get it. Why is there fear of one man? He finds Saul and declares he will face Goliath. He informs Saul, “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats. When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
Saul decided to allow David to fight the giant. In order to offer David some protection, put his own metal tunic on him, then a coat of armor, and a bronze helmet. Remember, Saul stood head and shoulders above everyone around him. David was a lad of 15. He couldn’t even walk with such a burdensome garment on. So he shed them.