1 Samuel 17
The story of David and Goliath is often portrayed as a classic story of an underdog winning out over his far more powerful rival. There is much more to the story than that!
Goliath was an example of unrepentant sinners and of the sin of enmity against God and the Word of God; while David was a type of all God’s faithful who are filled with courage through their trust and faith in the Eternal and his deliverance for all those who are zealous to follow him and to live by every Word of God.
Brethren, we can ALL be David’s, approaching and fighting sin with an expectation of total victory; through living by every Word of God and an absolute unshakable faith in our Mighty God!
David was full of courage to face the mightiest of enemies, because he KNEW that he had been zealous for and faithful to Almighty God; and that God would go before him and give him the victory!
We too can confront sin victoriously if we are full of zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God; we can be full of faith KNOWING that our Lord dwells within us and will fight for us against all sin, giving us total victory over sin and its wages of death.
If we try to confront sin by our own strength, we have failed before we begin! If we are passionately zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word of God, and to follow the Word of God wherever he leads; the victory is assured!
The Philistines and Israel were each camped on the opposite heights above a certain valley.
1 Samuel 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. 17:2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 17:3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
When our trials, persecutions and the temptations to turn aside from uncompromising zeal for the whole Word of God seem like insurmountable Goliath’s in our eyes; let us turn to our mighty Deliverer and put our complete trust in he who alone is Mighty to Save!
17:4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [about ten feet tall]. 17:5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 17:6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 17:7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
Satan challenges us with the persecutions he inspires against us and with all manner of temptations that indeed appear desirable, but are snares to bring our downfall. He is like a great roaring lion against whom there is no defense; and the evils that beset us often seem like insurmountable Goliath’s or Red Sea’s that we simply cannot resist.
Brethren, this is all an illusion to frighten and intimidate us! For Satan is but a wisp of fog before the Might of our God! Be faithful and strong to live by every Word of God, and God will give us the victory! Just like the Eternal delivered Moses, Joshua, Daniel and David!
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
4:9 Be afflicted [fast] , and mourn [repent from sin] , and weep: let your laughter [delight in sin] be turned to mourning, and your joy [in wantonness] to heaviness.
4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Satan cries out challenging us like Goliath challenged Israel, trying to deceive us into thinking that we are alone in the fight and terrifying us into giving up the struggle.
Brethren we are not alone! No not at all! Our Champion is greater than ten thousand thousand Satan’s; before HIM the roaring lion cringes in terror and the very mountains melt away!
1 Samuel 17:8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 17:9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 17:10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel [God’s Covenant people physical and now spiritual Israel] this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
Do not be discouraged or dismayed by the struggle to resist sin, rather turn to an even greater zeal for God; run to the arms of our Mighty Deliverer, the High Tower of our Salvation, put our trust in HIM and resist all sin and compromise with God’s Word!
So what, if we suffer in this world for zeal for our God and his Word: Did not Joseph also suffer, before being exalted to the ruler-ship of Egypt? which is to say that he was exalted over the allegorical type of bondage and sin! This happened as an example for us so that we must also be formed and tempered in affliction, to learn to be just and godly kings [rulers] and priests! Read Hebrews 11.
17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man [Jesse was old in Saul’s time] in the days of Saul.
David and three other sons of Jesse followed Saul to the war, but David returned home to care for the sheep when the battle was delayed.
17:13 And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third
Shammah. 17:14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul. 17:15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
The standoff lasted for 40 days and then Jesse sent David to his brothers with a gift of some food.
17:16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
17:17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp of thy brethren; 17:18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
David went to his brothers as his father had asked.
17:19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 17:20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle. 17:21 For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.
Then David saw how Israel reacted to Goliath, running in fear; just as today so many of us are filled with fear over any real or imagined difficulty in living by the Word of God.
17:22 And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren. 17:23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
Then someone told David the king’s offer
Do we not have an even better offer from a much greater King? Will we not be given in marriage to the King of kings under God the Father, and granted freedom from sin and from death itself; if we are zealous for our Mighty King and willing to do battle with the spiritual enemy?
The Deliverer of the Faithful, will go forward before his beloved, who have the courage to stand up and FIGHT sin with the sword of TRUTH and are full of absolute Faith in our Deliverer!
The Mighty God of Jacob will go before the courageous faithful servants of God, to give them eternal victory over the final enemy, DEATH itself!
17:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.
17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 17:27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
David’s brother rebukes him for his courageous zeal for God.
It is so even today in spiritual Israel, that the spiritually insipid, lukewarm, morally permissive; often rebuke the zealous to keep the whole Word of God with passionate courage and enthusiasm.
17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? 17:30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
David’s words came to Saul, and David was called before Saul.
Remember that our words and deeds of courage and trust and faithfulness in the Eternal, come up before God the Father in heaven and he makes note of them.
Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
1 Samuel 17:31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
Then David told Saul that he would go forth to fight against the enemies of God.
We all should be David’s; willing to fight sin and all compromise with the Word of God with all the heart and courage of a Mighty Man of God! If we do, the Great King will go before us and give us the victory and the reward of eternal life with him for our faithfulness, for our zeal for him and for our courage to take a stand for the Word of God!
17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail [be afraid] because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
Saul questions David as to his ability to fight Goliath; not knowing that it is God who will fight for his beloved faithful; If Saul had but believed and had even a little faith he could have defeated Goliath himself.
Consider that David had been anointed king by Samuel and that David had faith that God would make him king as God had promised. It was not David that fought Goliath, it was Almighty God that went before David to give him victory over the enemy of God. David was faithful and full of the courage of faith, and God delivered him!
Consider that YOU and I, have also been anointed as kings (Rev 5:10)! Not yet having received a kingdom!
Our anointing and our kingdom being conditional on our zeal for our God and his Word, and on our courage and faith to take a stand to live by every Word of God against all sin!
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
1 Samuel 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
David then declares his courage to Saul.
17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 17:35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
David then says that just as he was courageous to protect his flock, he will be courageous to take a stand on the Word of God to stand up to sin and wickedness.
David KNEW where his deliverance came from, and he passionately loved the Word of God! We would do well to follow David’s example!
17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 17:37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
David refuses Saul’s armour because he had not practiced with it. This rejection of the armour of Saul to rely on the protection of the Eternal is also an interesting example for us, that we are not to put our salvation and spiritual trust in men, or in physical assets; we are to put our trust fully in the Eternal.
17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
David then went out to meet the Philistine, Goliath.
17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. 17:41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
Goliath is insulted that Israel has sent out such a young man to fight him. Yet God has set this situation up to demonstrate that God can and will defend even the smallest and weakest person who is uncompromisingly faithful to HIM; against all the power of Satan and sin!
It is not in or by our own strength that victory is won over sin, but by our faithfulness to believe and to follow the Mighty God; for he alone can and will deliver all those who are willing to faithfully live by every Word of God!
17:42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 17:44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
David then declares his faith in God for everyone in both armies to hear; openly declaring that he is standing up for the Eternal, and that the Eternal will destroy the enemy representing Satan and sin!
17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in [in spiritual Israel as there was in physical Israel] Israel.
The battle against sin is the Lord’s; and we need only be zealous to learn and to live by every Word of God, and to follow the Eternal wherever he goes; calling on him to fight for us and to deliver us!
17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear [by the strength of man]: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.
David fearlessly and full of faith, rushed out to oppose the representative of sin and fight for the right.
17:48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
When we trust in God to deliver us, and we are faithful to serve him fully; he will give us his victory.
17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
17:52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to
Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron. 17:53 And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents. 17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.
On this day, God began to exalt David in fame above Saul, causing Saul to enquire about David.
Before this David had merely been a musician in the background of Saul’s court; now Saul begins to take real notice of him.
17:55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. 17:56 And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling is.
Abner takes David and brings him before Saul.
17:57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 17:58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.