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David and Goliath Part 2 – 1 Samuel17:12-30


David Is On a Mission

Text: 1 Samuel 17:12-30
Some might just decide to skip most of this and move on to the real excitement, where David defeats the giant. But if we did that, we would miss quite a lot of important information.

1. The Story!
The story resumes in verse 12.

David’s introduction. The author begins with an introduction, telling us who David is, and what his family was like. V14-16 tells us three things:
David was the youngest and possibly the smallest of the family.
David was the ‘supply chain.’ Too young to fight, but not too young to carry a burden for 12 miles across dangerous terrain.
The threat from Goliath, THE Philistine, still hadn’t been resolved!

David’s instruction! V17 So, David is given an order. Take some supplies to the battle ground, and take a wee something for the commander… AV v19. -They weren’t fighting. They were cowering!

David’s dedication. V19b. Look at David’s obedience. He arose early. See the mundane nature of all this. Arranged for a ‘keeper’ to mind the sheep.  Left for Elah, as he was told to do. He was obedient to his father! He did what he was told.

David’s irritation. David ‘left’ his supplies with ‘the supply keeper’ and made his way to where his brothers were standing facing the enemy. Now do you see the repetition of ‘left’ and ‘keeper’ – a transition between David the Shepherd and David the King, and this symbolic leaving of the sheep, and leaving of the food – was the indication of the great change that God was about to engineer in David’s life.

David’s conversation. v25 It was now, as he moved back with the army that David heard the soldiers talking about Goliath. ‘Have your heard about that giant? Saul wants rid of him, he’d do anything to get him taken out of action.’ In fact they were claiming that Saul had a plan. His alleged plan was to bribe someone else to do it! There were three incentives:
– A huge sum of money. A rich financial reward to the champion. and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches,
– A wedding! He would offer the hand of the royal princess in marriage to the victor. and will give him his daughter,
– A ‘tax-exempt’ status! Now this is certainly significant. and make his father’s house free in Israel. Some commentators believe that this is tantamount to equality with the king!

David’s humiliation. There was one response. It came from David’s brothers. Eliab, the tall one, was totally scornful of his younger brother. v28

David’s reply. v28. In effect David asks, ‘Am I not even allowed to speak? He turns to the men and asks the question about Goliath again, and from every group of men he gets the same answer.
2. The Significance!
Now, let’s see some application for this part of the narrative:
Sound doctrine is the Christian’s worldview perspective. If we have experienced forgiveness and the new birth, we should see things differently than others – through the lens of our theologically informed understanding of the gospel; who we are, and who God is, and what he has done… Let’s see this working in this narrative.

The men of Israel see Goliath, and they see a giant, a threat. They see him as any man would see him – as a big, heavy, brazen man. Look at v25, where the soldiers describe Goliath as ‘this man who has come up’.

David viewed him from an entirely different perspective. Look at v26 – ‘who is this uncircumcised Philistine?’ This is not a giant in God’s eyes, this is just a pagan worshipper of a dead false god! That’s because…

David KNEW what God was like! David knew about God. David knew his theology! He knew that an attack on God’s covenant people was an attack on God himself, and he knew that the God of Israel was greater than any human, no matter how fearsome he may look.

Goliath was essentially a theological problem. Here it is, in a nutshell:
Goliath is a SINNER! A rebellious pagan, self assured, creature worshipping sinner, defying God in his arrogance.
Israel is FAITHLESS! Their cowardice is a reflection of the fav that they simply didn’t trust God! Did the army of Israel not know what kind of God was with them? Did they doubt him?
David is FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT 16:13 – he was a BELIEVER He has confidence in the Lord!

The principle is the same for us. Every problem in life boils down to this very same issue. There will be people who will tell us that doctrine and belief and credal confession do not matter. Sound theology is the everyday philosophy of life.
God often does things that we least expect! Can you imagine one of them in twenty years time… “Who’d have thought it! That boy at Elah was David, our King… and none of us knew it at the time!” How many times do we look back with surprise at how the Lord has taken some incident or some twist of event, and used it for His glory!

3. The Saviour!
Finally, as before, we realise that in every portion of the Bible there is something that points us to Christ, and so it is here in this part of the story of David and Goliath. Did you notice that all the way through the narrative, David is a wee boy, openly being despised by others in his family and his people? Now, let me remind you of Christ, and direct you to Matthew 13:55-57  As with David, wasn’t it a measure of our Saviour’s humility, that he humbled himself to become a man, to be ridiculed and scorned and mocked by sinful men, – then to humble himself yet again – unto death, even the death of a cross.

© Bob McEvoy

From → 1 Samuel

One Comment
  1. Thanks for the great teaching of the narrative. The life of David is one of my favorite in the OT.

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