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David and Goliath – Part 5. 1 Samuel 17:48-58.


Victory and Vindication 

Text: 1 Samuel 17:48-58. Matthew 21:9 Matthew 23:39
When the actual physical battle comes, it’s all over in a few verses, and in a time span of a couple of minutes! Let see just how that happens. What happens next is most unexpected…

1. The Story!
Let’s see how the story continues …

1) The Mighty Clash. v48-51a As the giant roars and charges towards him, David selects a stone places it into the sling and fires the missile at Goliath. But is this blow fatal? When exactly does Goliath die, for verse 51 tells us that David killed him with a sword! The whole ACT was Goliath’s downfall – in the days before strict forensic establishment of the exact time of death, it was enough to note that Goliath died because of David’s attack. And where did he get a sword? It was Goliath’s own sword, which David had pulled from Goliath, as he stood over him in victory. Goliath died by his own sword. Now, let’s just make a few simple observations:

  • David’s Weaponry – What it was Not! “There was no sword in the hand of David.” This is of the utmost importance. David’s victory over Goliath was not by the use of man-made weaponry – but by a simple stone. It was the Lord’s doing – the Battle belonged to the Lord! 1 Samuel 17:47.
  • David’s Weaponry – What it Was! v40 – He had gone down to the river, and gathered up five stones from the river bed, so they had been smoothed by the running water – they were probably the size of a tennis ball (Firth, p199). He had a stout stick, and a sling. These familiar weapons were not his main arsenal, for he was depending on the power and the might of the Lord of Hosts, who is the captain of the greatest army in the universe.

2) The Philistines’ Defeat. v51a-53. The men of Israel take heart! They see the giant lying dead, and their enemies running away and they run after them! How easy it is to be brave when your enemy is disarmed, surprised and in retreat!
3) David’s Tent and David’s City. v54  54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armour in his tent.  David removes the giant’s head. He takes the armour of the giant, and places it in his tent, but the head is sent to Jerusalem. How strange is that – for Jerusalem is not an Israelite city, and doesn’t become so until conquered by David in 2 Samuel 5:6-8 . So what can this mean? There are two explanations offered by commentators:-
* CHRONOLOGY. – The idea that there are a number of places in 1 Samuel, where chronology is not uppermost in importance, and that the writer has simply made a theological, rather than a chronological point.
* STRATEGY.  – A more reasonable proposal – that David sent the trophy on to Jerusalem, to warn the Jebusites of Israel’s military superiority, and thus forewarn them of Jerusalem’s eventual capture.
4) Saul’s Reaction – Before and After the Giant is Defeated. v55-58
This little section shows a snapshot of Saul’s reaction to David, before and after he defeated the giant, – Let’s see those two moments of time…

  1. As David marches out to face the giant. Saul asks Abner, ‘whose son is this?’ If this young man should manage to kill a giant, he’ll become the king’s son-in-law, and part of the royal family, its important to know his parentage. But how much more was Saul interested in David’s pedigree when the giant was dead!
  2. As David returns with the spoils of war. David appears before the king, with Goliath’s head in his hand. He stands there proud and upright and defiant. David is a threat to Saul and Saul knows it. 2 Samuel 18: 2 David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

So, Goliath is defeated, destroyed, Israel is triumphant and victorious, and in the eyes of the army, and the nation, David is the hero of the day.

2. The Significance and The Saviour!
Now, what is on the mind of the Hebrew army when all this is going on? The earth had moved in Israel that day, it was a political earthquake and things would never be the same again. Psalm 118:25 Remember what David had said… I come in the name of the Lord! In that sense David is a type of One who would come in the name of The Lord to win our victory for us. That One is Jesus. Matthew 21:9

On the cross, He came in the name of The Lord of Hosts, and in dying upon the tree, defeated death, taking our death, the wages of our sin, upon himself. And to demonstrate that victory, he rose again from the dead and declared that He would return to this world, this time in victory and judgement, to take his waiting people home. Matthew 23:39

For us… Like the defeated, terrorised soldiers of Israel, cowering before the triple enemies of Satan, sin and death, we suddenly find that our while outlook has changed, there has been a tectonic shift in our circumstances. Because of him who came in the name of The Lord, our sins are forgiven, we are set free, we have new life, and are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and brought into THE royal family, adopted as sons of the King of Kings, and we await His return with excitement and anticipation. 1 Cor 15:54

Bob McEvoy

From → 1 Samuel

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