1 Samuel 17:1-11; 34-51
Now the Philistines began to trouble Israel again, and they prepared to fight against King Saul and his army. They marched into the land of Israel and pitched their tents along the side of a mountain. King Saul and his soldiers made their camp across the valley from the Philistines, on the side of another mountain.
But the battle did not begin at once. The Philistines did not seem to be eager to fight. They sent one of their soldiers into the valley to talk to the men of Saul’s army. This soldier was a giant, and His name was Goliath. He called to the men of Israel and said, “Why have you come to fight a battle with the Philistines? I am a Philistine. Now choose one of your men and send him to fight with me. If I kill him, then you shall become our servant; but if he kills me, then my people will become your servants.”
But the men of Israel were afraid of Goliath. None of them would dare to go out to fight against him. How frightful he looked as he stood in the valley.before them. He was nearly twice as tall as an ordinary man!
You’ll never meet a giant like Goliath, but we do have strong enemies; the devil and sin are our enemies. Satan and sin are far, far stronger then we are. For instance, do you find yourself sometimes going days without thinking about the Lord, even though God commands you to love Him with all your heart? And that’s why you lose your temper, slam doors, and shout—sin and Satan have a grip on you and you cannot break it. But God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, can. When Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died on the cross to pay for sins, and rose again, he defeated Satan. So we trust in Christ to forgive our sin, and He will break the power that Satan and sin have over us. If Jesus is already your Saviour, God wants you to take a stand against sin and trust God to deliver you.
Every morning and every evening Goliath would come out into the valley between the two camps, walking with long steps, and there he would call to the Israelite soldiers. And every morning and every evening the men of Israel would tremble when they saw him coming. Forty days passed by, and still the Philistines waited for King Saul to send some one to fight against their champion.
While this was happening, David was busy at home caring for his father’s sheep. Three of David’s brothers were soldiers in Saul’s army. One day David’s father called him away from his sheep and sent him down to the camp to see how his brothers were getting along. Before he left, David found someone to stay with his sheep so that they would be safe. He carried with him ten loaves of bread and some cheese and parched corn. David found his brothers and delivered the food which their father had sent.
While the brothers were talking together, out from the camp of the Philistines came the biggest man David had ever seen. He was 9 feet tall, and dressed in heavy armor from his head to his toes. He came out into the valley between the two mountains and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.
When David saw these things, he said, “Why should this wicked Philistine defy the army of the living God? We are God’s people, and He is with us. It is not right that he should do this. We are well able to overcome the Philistines.” The soldiers who stood near were surprised to hear David’s words. They told him how Goliath had been coming out for many days, and how frightened they were of him. But David was firm in his belief that God would give him strength to kill such a wicked man, and the soldiers ran to tell King Saul.
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? Go home!
But David answered, “What have I done that you should be angry with me?” Then a messenger came from King Saul, calling for David, and David hurried away to speak with the king.
David spoke bravely to the king and said, “Do not be afraid any longer of this giant. I will go out and kill him.” King Saul said, “You are only a youth, and you are not strong enough to fight against such a mighty soldier as this Philistine giant.” When David told King Saul how he had killed both a lion and a bear while caring for his father’s sheep, he said, “The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from this giant.” The king said, “Then, go and may the Lord go with you.” But David had no armor and no shield to protect his body from the giant’s sword. He had no soldier-clothes at all. So Saul gave David his armor and dressed David with it, and the shepherd-boy looked like a grand soldier, dressed up in the clothes of a king.
“Now you are ready,” said Saul. But David replied, “I cannot go with these clothes and with this sword. I have never used them before, and I am not prepared to fight with them.” So he took them off, and picked up his shepherd’s staff and ran down to the brook near-by to find some smooth stones. These he put into his shepherd’s bag, and then with his leather sling in his hand, David left the army and the mountain side and moved toward the valley and the giant. Imagine looking up at a giant! But David was not afraid for he knew his God was greater then any giant.
Do you have problems with giants? I don’t mean giants you can see, but a giant like SELFISHNESS or LAZINESS. Something you have to fight against and it seems too strong for you.
Perhaps the Giant WAIT-A-WHILE is getting the better of you. For example, has he ever whispered in your ear:
(1) “You don’t need to go the first time your mother calls,. just WAIT-A-WHILE.”
(2) Or, “You don’t need to start on your homework yet, just WAIT-A-WHILE.”
(3) You know, this giant called WAIT-A-WHILE likes to even rob us of the joy of meeting with the Lord each day in a Quiet Time. His message is always, “Oh, WAIT-A-WHILE—.like one more TV program”.
It doesn’t need to be this way, Christian. Your God is far, far stronger than this giant. Pick out one spot in your house where you can read your Bible each day and talk over the events of the day with the Lord. Tell the Lord about the giant that has been bothering you. Ask for strength from the Lord, and rely on Him as David did. There is a memory verse that says, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear…” And 1 John 4:4 tells Christians, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. (meaning Satan) (The Holy Spirit lives in every believer.)
Goliath was surprised when he saw David coming toward him with no weapons. He became very angry; for he thought the Israelites were making fun of him. He said, “Am I a dog, that you have come to fight against me with that staff?” And he cursed David by the gods of the Philistines, and cried out, “Come to me, and I will soon tear you in pieces and will give your flesh to the birds and to the wild beasts.” But David called back, “You have come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which you have mocked. Today the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and the flesh of the soldiers of the Philistines will become meat for the birds and for the wild beasts, that all people who hear of this may know that there is a living God in Israel. The battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands. Goliath started toward David. Then David ran forward and took a stone from his bag and placed it in his sling and threw it, and the stone hit the giant in the forehead so that he fell face down upon the ground. What a crash rang through the valley as Goliath’s heavy armor struck the ground! Then David hurried to the place where the giant lay, and took Goliath’s own sword and cut off his head.
When the army of the Philistines saw that Goliath was dead, they turned and ran. When the army of Israel saw the Philistines running away, they shouted and chased them. The Israelites won a great victory that day because a boy had faith to believe that God would deliver those who trust in Him. Everyone knew that God had delivered David. If you belong to God, depend upon Him each time you are tempted, and when things get hard. You have a great, all-powerful God.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for who You are and what You have done through Jesus Christ. May we trust in You as David did because You are such a great, all-powerful God. In Jesus’ name, I pray.