Image by https://www.richeybeckett.com/ Richey Beckett
1 Samuel chapter 17
I really want to encourage you to read this and follow along in your bible, so you have the story unfolding before you…so go grab a Bible, I’ll wait right here.
Welcome back! As we know from last week, or if you are new to this party, David has been employed by the King, so we find ourselves in an unlikely situation where the young boy/man David who is anointed to be king is now working in service to the actual and current King, Saul. We find David in this story between 16-22 ish. He has been in Saul’s service for a little while. The timeline here is a little sketch, but what we do know is that he is still the youngest of 8 boys, he is an armor bearer for the king and he is also the kings music therapist. This is all you need to really know as we pick up into chapter 17. Lets dig in.
vs. 1-3 Imagine a valley where two bases of mountains meet. The Philistines are occupying one side and the Israelites are occupying the other. This would be a prime place for battle, because you can see what is happening on the land between.
vs 4-7 Let’s talk about the Giant Goliath. If you look too hard here, you get caught up on the wrong things. There are a few arguments over translations. A cubit is about 18 inches so these texts are saying that Goliath is around 9 feet tall…HUGE. especially since the average man at the time was only about 5 ft 6 inches. Within the Dead sea scrolls there is a translation that say he was closer to 7 feet. He’s the Rock, I’m actually talking about Dwayne the Rock Johnson, plus about 8 inches…Have you ever stood under a 7 foot person…Nope? Me either. Now…Either way we know he was huge and STRONG!! Because vs. 5 tells us that His bronze armor alone weighed 125 pounds. The head of his spear alone was about 15lbs.
Vs. 8 – 11 Goliath terrified EVERYONE cause he was basically saying, lets do this one on one…no need for everyone to die. You win, we are your slaves. We win you become ours!
Vs 12-15 We see the set up for David again here…the writer gives us a little background and insight into the homelife of David and Vs. 15 gives us the deal. David’s dad was getting old. So, as the older sons went to battle with Saul, David went back and forth from Saul to his Dad to take care of the sheep.
Vs 16-23 We learn that Golaith came out for 40 days, both in the morning and in the evening shouting his deal waiting to see if anyone would take it. We also see a dad just worried about his sons on the battle lines. Jesse sends David back to to the brothers with some provisions for them and for their commanders. He drops off the goods with the keeper of the things and went in to chat with his bros…and then…DUH DUH DUH. Here comes goliath. He has been doing the same chanting for 40 days, but this time there is a variable.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT THIS TIME? DAVID HEARS HIM!
Vs 24-30 Here we see that people are talking…”The king is going to make the man who defeats Goliath RICH…and give him one of his daughters and make his father’s house free in Israel!” Meaning he won’t have to pay taxes anymore. Davids like, “Im sorry, what did you say?” You have to think that David is not only concerned that Goliath is offending the armies of God, but also maybe thinks it wouldn’t be so bad if he was able to gain some ground in the finance department as well.
BUT the older brother hears. Eliab is mad!
Can you imagine this conversation? “Why are you here and who is taking care of your few sheep?” Eliab does not see David as worthy of his calling, and not only that…he is presumes something of david. He pretends to understand that David has an evil heart and just wants to see the battle. And now we see david turn and say, What did I do now?! I am just talking!
Has your character ever been challenged this way? Has someone presumed to know your heart and got it all wrong, when all you were trying to do was seek holiness?
Vs. 31-40 This scene is epic!
David states firmly, I HAVE BEEN CREATED AND TRAINED FOR THIS. I imagine David probably has a little fear, but way more fight…and a Holy Fight. How dare someone stand out here and defy the armies of the Living God! I will do it.
Here is a fun deviation from what we read in the old children books. We know Saul was a head taller than all other israelites. And here we see David put on Saul’s armor. Interestingly enough. It’s not that Saul’s armor doesn’t fit. It’s that David is not used to it. So we know that David is not some tiny boy anymore…and we also know that he doesn’t want to try something another way just because people think he should. He could have worn the armor, but that was not his way. He has all the tools he needs, and he was extremely confident in them.
Imagine Goliath Mocking David…”You come at me with sticks, little one!?”
vs. 45-47 WHAT UP!? Can you handle this? You come at me with weapons, but I come in the name of the Lord! Can you imagine being this confident that the Lord is fighting our battles?
We face metaphorical battles all the time that we don’t face with this much trust…and here is David, all in. “You can’t talk about my God that way!”
vs. 48-49 Boom, drop the mic. This took 1 second. No build up, not epic fight…just a run at it, fling it and down he goes.
vs. 50-54 He wins. He then uses Goliath’s sword to cut off his head and the philistines RUN. and the israelites chase and plunder.
But David takes the head of Goliath and returns to Jerusalem.
vs. 55-59 What is the purpose of finding out who David’s father was? Remember the rewards? He no longer has to pay taxes. I don’t think he was asking Abner about David here as much as to make good on the promise. At this point, technically, he also owed David a wife and some $$. And let’s not leave this paragraph without paying attention to what this scene must have looked like. Abner brings David in before Saul and David is still holding the head of the philistine in his hands.
Takeaway: God uses all of our past to prepare us for what he has for us!
David fears NOTHING in light of his understanding of who God is! Can we say the same of ourselves?
David goes on to write Psalm 9.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will recount all Your wonders. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. 3 When my enemies retreat, they stumble and perish before You. 4 For You have upheld my just cause; You sit on Your throne judging righteously. 5 You have rebuked the nations; You have destroyed the wicked; You have erased their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy has come to eternal ruin, and You have uprooted their cities; the very memory of them has vanished. 7 But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment. 8 He judges the world with justice; He governs the people with equity. 9The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. 11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; proclaim His deeds among the nations. 12 For the Avenger of bloodshed remembers; He does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. 13 Be merciful to me, O LORD; see how my enemies afflict me! Lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may declare all Your praises— that within the gates of Daughter Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation. 15 The nations have fallen into a pit of their making; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16 The LORD is known by the justice He brings; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. 17 The wicked will return to Sheol— all the nations who forget God. 18 For the needy will not always be forgotten; nor the hope of the oppressed forever dashed. 19 Rise up, O LORD, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence. 20 Lay terror upon them, O LORD; let the nations know they are but men. Selah