David & Goliath

By Ashlee Price

“David!” David’s attention was jerked away from the flock of sheep he was tending, and he looked over his shoulder at his house. His father, Jesse, was calling him from the doorstep of their little brick home. David gently set down the lamb he was holding on a green patch of grass and raced towards his father.

‘Son,’ Jesse began as David arrived panting, ‘I need you to go and deliver this food to your brothers at war. They will be starving and I don’t know if King Saul has provided enough food. Go see them then return to tell me if they are in good health.’

‘Sure father,’ David replied obediently.

Jesse handed his son a wicker basket filled with food and David hugged him goodbye.

Turning to find a servant to take care of the sheep, David thought about how his older brothers had been asked by King Saul to join the Israelite army to fight against the Philistines. David himself was the youngest of all his brothers and was not old enough to go to war, but he was grateful that he could not go to war. He preferred to take care of his father’s sheep where he could walk freely over the green pastures and hills. But the real reason he loved taking care of the sheep was because it reminded him of how God takes care of His people in the same way that David took care of his sheep.

David swung up and onto his donkey and rode all the way to the battle grounds. He spotted his brothers and approached them. As he was talking to them, he heard a voice shouting curses at the Israelite army. It was the Philistine’s champion warrior named Goliath. He was far taller than David and the rest of the mighty Israelite soldiers. He had a big, glistening sword and the ground seemed to shake wherever he walked. The Israelites trembled with fear as they heard Goliath’s voice. David soon learned that Goliath had been standing in the valley, cursing the Israelites and their God for forty days now.

‘Send one man to fight me. If he defeats and kills me, we will be your slaves. But if I defeat and kill him, you will be our slaves!’ his voice shook the ground as he spoke.

David was angry that Goliath would say such terrible things about God and His people, and he was determined not to let God be dishonoured. ‘Who is this Philistine, that he thinks he can defy the army of the living God?’ David exclaimed.

David’s oldest brother Eliab was jealous that David had the courage to stand for God, when he did not. ‘Why did you even come here?’ Eliab spat back. ‘I know the real reason why you’re here. You’re just here because you want to watch the fight!’

David, ignoring his brother’s bad attitude, calmly replied, ‘We cannot just stand by and let this Philistine curse us and our God. We must do something.’

The men around David repeated what David had said to King Saul. King Saul wondered what David was planning, so he called for David to be brought to him.

‘Let no one be afraid of this giant. I will go and fight him.’ David said bravely.

King Saul’s eyes widened in shock. ‘No! You cannot go! You are not old enough and you do not have any experience in fighting. Goliath has been fighting far longer than you and you think you can go and defeat him? He is more than twice your size!’

David informed the king of how God had protected him when a lion and a bear tried to kill one of the lambs in his flock up in the mountains. He replied confidently, ‘The Lord delivered me out of the paws of the lion and out of the claws of the bear. He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.’

King Saul sighed. ‘You’re right. Go, and may the Lord be with you.’

King Saul’s servants ran to David and tried to place the king’s armour on David’s small body. But David was not used to wearing such heavy metal, and the armour was King Saul’s size, which was far too big for David to fit. So David politely refused the armour.

Instead, he took five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his bag; then he grabbed his sling and shepherd’s staff. As he walked down the hill and into the valley to meet the giant, he silently prayed and committed his battle to the Lord.

Goliath’s jaw dropped in surprise when he spotted slim, young David coming towards him. ‘Am I a dog,’ he yelled angrily, ‘that you would come to me with sticks?’ Then he cursed David by the names of his pagan gods. ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh unto the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.’

David’s courage did not waver. Boldly, he exclaimed, ‘You come to me with a sword and a spear and a shield, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Everyone here will know that the Lord does not save with a sword or spear. For this battle is the Lord’s, and He will deliver you into our hands.’

The entire Israelite and Philistine camps heard David’s speech. Goliath was in rage and he rushed forward to kill David. But David grabbed a stone from his bag, put it in his sling, and ran towards the giant. As David slung his wrist, the stone flew out of the sling and hit Goliath in the forehead.

Goliath stopped in his tracks. He trembled, then staggered, and finally fell to the ground with a mighty thud. David ran forward and grabbed Goliath’s sword from out of his hand. He cut off Goliath’s head and all the Israelite camp cheered in victory.

We all have giants in our lives that seem to tower over us just as Goliath towered over David. Sometimes the battles seem impossible to win, and we feel like running away or giving up. But if we, like David, turn to God and commit our battles to Him, Jesus will make us strong so that we can face the giants in our lives without being afraid. And when we let God fight for us, He will help us gain the victory every time. It doesn’t matter how small or weak you feel, remember that if God can help David kill a giant soldier, He will help you win your battles as well.

Picture Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org.


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