Taking On The Giant!
Today I am excited to share with you, the story of David and Goliath. My message title is: “Taking On The Giant! Last week I looked at David being a man after God’s own heart. David was humble and honored God in everything he did. We looked at David being chosen and anointed the next King of Israel. David has been anointed by Samuel, the priest & prophet. It goes without saying that if you are anointed by God, His favor and blessing go with you. So, David, needed a promotion. He needed to come on to the public square where he could be seen and recognized. But his promotion started gradually.
Many scholars say, that David was probably 17 years old when Samuel anointed him. The next big thing that happened was that David was brought into the palace to play the lyre, to have soothing music to calm king Saul when and evil spirit would come over him. Bringing David into the palace was part of his training and preparation for becoming King. While in the palace he could learn about court customs and some of the things that is expected of a king when he’s not out fighting some battle.
So many scholars think that David was 19 or maybe 18 when he fought the giant.
Let’s quickly look at Goliath from the city of Gath of the Philistines. You can read about him in 1 Samuel 17. The Scriptures tell us that he was 6 cubits tall and a span. Now a cubit is a length of measure from your elbow to the tip of your index finger, approximately 18 inches’ and a span is half a cubit, or about 9 inches. That would put Goliath at about 9 feet and 9 inches tall. Some scholars take into consideration what else is said about Goliath and estimate that he would have been closer to 12 feet tall.
1 Samuel 17:5 “He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.”
The coat of mail probably weighed 125 lbs., or more. The coat of mail that he wore would have weighed as much as David weighed.
1 Samuel 17:6-7 “And he had greaves of bronze upon his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him.”
The actual shaft of the spear might have looked like a rounded off 4X4 post. It had to have a bit of weight to it, to balance the spearhead that weighed approximately 15 lbs. So, the shaft must have weighed 15 lbs for balance. Try to imagine getting your hand wrapped around the shaft and then throwing a 30 lbs spear.
This description is to help us understand the size and strength of Goliath. This is not a tall skinny dude! He was a tall, well-proportioned muscular giant of a man. In the natural realm, nobody could compete with him, because he was easily their superior.
The Philistine army was camped on one side of the valley of Elah, and Saul and Israel’s army were camped on the hills on the opposite side of the valley. Every day for forty days Goliath would come down the hill and step into the valley and call out despairingly to Saul and his army to send out a single soldier to do battle with him.
Listening to this for 40 days had only made Saul and his army more and more discouraged and afraid. We are told that Goliath came out morning and evening, defying the armies of Israel.
About that time Jesse wanted to hear how his three oldest sons were doing in the battle. He sent David with some grain, and bread for his brothers, and some cheese for their commander, and he hoped that David would bring back some news.
Just after David delivers his supplies, Goliath comes shouting out his defiance. The whole Israel army is terrified and scrambles to hide behind rocks.
1 Samuel 17:26 “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?”
All the seasoned fighting men were bigger and stronger, more experienced than David, yet they were standing around full of fear. They were shaking in their boots. But David, challenged them, saying: “What right does this man have to say these kind of things?” Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” David wasn’t trained as a soldier, he wasn’t bigger than any of them, but he was not afraid! The difference was David’s heart--specifically the attitude of his heart! His heart was sensitive to God, therefore, he was fearless. Everybody else saw a Giant that they could not defeat, they looked at the physical appearance. David knew that God looks at the heart. David not only saw himself the way God saw him, but he also saw the Giant the way God saw him. Goliath’s heart was not right with God! He was not sensitive to the Lord at all.
Consider, David’s heart was right with God, he was anointed, had the Covenant relationship with God, the promises of God, and the Word of God. Goliath had nothing! He was powerless. Now that’s the right way to look at things!
What I am saying here is different than what most people think. That’s why most people run and hide from their enemy or put off confronting their enemy for 40 days. They don’t think this way, but the Bible would teach us to claim our identity in God, stand on the covenant and promises of God and believe in His Word.
When David said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” He was saying that Goliath didn’t have a covenant with God. Circumcision was a sign of the covenant that God had made with the nation of Israel. He was saying, “We’re superior. Why are you letting somebody who doesn’t have God on their side intimidate us? David’s attitude came from the covenant, the Word and the promises of God.
As David declared his faith, his words were passed up the line until they were heard by king Saul.
1 Samuel 17:31-32 “When the words which David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
David is not afraid, he has total confidence and faith in God.
Saul responded, not in faith, but in the natural realm. He tells David that he is only a youth, and Goliath is a seasoned warrior who has fought since his youth.
1 Samuel 17:34-35 “But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and smote him and delivered it out of his mouth; and if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him and killed him.”
David understood that as a shepherd both his father and the sheep were depending on him to protect the sheep. Now it was not unusual to have to scare off a coyote or a wolf; but on at least one or more occasions David encountered a lion and a bear trying to get some lamb chops!
1 Samuel 17:36-37 “Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
The courage to attack a lion and a bear gave David a deep awareness that God was with him. We would look at this and say it was part of his training and preparation to be King. What kinds of things are happening in your life that God could be using for training and preparation for your upcoming assignment? God is looking to see if you are being faithful in the little things so that you can be faithful in much? Are you being faithful day by day, so that you have the experience to draw on to face your Giant?
God promoted David, so that he could stand before the King and say because of the experience with the lion and the bear, I know God will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine! God promoted David so that the nation of Israel would be ready and eager to have him be their King. But this also a great story God has used to inspire faith and give people insight to battle their giants.
To lighten things up a little bit, let’s put this in some football terms. “If you have slaughtered the Lions, and you killed the Bears by more than 20 points, facing the Giants is a piece of cake!
Verse 37, And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” This is a major decision for Saul. For forty days Goliath has issued the challenge to send one soldier out to win a decisive battle, winner take all! Saul was putting the whole kingdom of Israel into David’s hands. David’s words and the confidence in which he shared his story must have touched Saul deeply to take this risk.
Saul tried to put his armor on David. But Saul was the tallest man in Israel, and David was short, there was no way it would suit him. David told Saul, he couldn’t wear his armor, it didn’t fit him, and he had not tested it; verse 39. David picked up his staff and choose five smooth stones from the brook and went out to meet the giant.
1 Samuel 17:43 “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 was angry and amused, that they would send out a youth to fight him with a shepherd’s staff and a sling. He thought his victory would come so easily!
The battle was quick and decisive:
1 Samuel 17:48-49 “When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone, and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.”
David’s tactic was to run directly at him as fast as he could. He took out a stone on a dead run, started swinging his sling until it had enough momentum and power then he let it fly. God guided that stone to meet Goliath right between the eyes. To make sure the whole Philistine army knew for sure that Goliath was dead David ran up drew the giant’s sword and standing on top of him, he and smote him.
When you are facing a giant, claim your identity in God, place yourself under the covenant, stand on the promises of God and believe His holy Word. Name your giant out loud, proclaim your faith in what God is revealing to you. Then when you have prayed, and I mean prayed up and filled with the Spirit of God face your giant head on; and give God the glory for your victory!