David and Goliath

First Samuel 17: 1-58

The Bible commonly teaches issues of faith and righteousness by using contrasts. And of all these contrasts, none is more powerful than that between Sha’ul and David. The battle between David and Goliath in Chapter 17 begins in earnest a contest between David and Sha’ul that will take up the remainder of First Samuel. Here, in David’s first public appearance, Sha’ul and David are contrasted in their response to the Philistine giant’s challenge: Give me a man, that we may fight each other (First Samuel 17:10 NET)!

The account of David slaying the giant Goliath is a classic tale, having the ingredients of drama and excitement, anticipation and the satisfaction of “the good guy” defeating “the bad guy” against all odds. “David and Goliath” has become a stock phrase for any “little guy” who takes on and defeats a bigger, stronger foe, whether in war, sports, business or politics. The prominence of the story is not accidental. This is the longest of all the accounts in Samuel, including more quotations than any other and featuring the longest and most vivid speech from one of Isra’el’s enemies. Careful attention is paid to small details, such as the number of cheeses brought by David, the pieces and weight of Goliath’s armor, the number of small stones picked up by David, and so on.

As we approach this great chapter, we should realize that David’s victory does not primarily foretell triumphs that we will personally achieve by faith, but rather, the victory of Messiah for our salvation. David as a hero and king presents a foreshadowing portrait, a type if you will, of his greater descendant, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, while we may recognize David’s faith, character, experience from shepherding, and application of biblical principles as having played a role in his success, David triumphed primarily because the Holy Spirit indwelt him, the Ruach HaKodesh having rushed upon him at his anointing (First Samuel 16:13). Therefore, David’s actions remind us that faith, godliness, and courage should always result from a Spirit-filled life, and that ADONAI will often use these qualities to aide us as we walk with Him daily.33


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