This may be the most famous Old Testament story. Israel was fighting the Philistines. They did that a lot during this part of history. Saul was king. He was a king who was afraid. He had disobeyed God (1 Samuel 15) and God had rejected him as king. David, son of Jesse, had now been anointed by Godâ€™s prophet, Samuel, to be king. David was not actively trying to overthrow Saul. He was waiting on Godâ€™s timing for that. That is a wise word for me! So Saul and his army are sitting on one hill and the Philistines are on the other with a valley between them. Every day, the Philistinesâ€™ best fighter, Goliath, would come out and shout insults at the Israelites. This nine foot soldier challenged them to send out someone brave enough to fight him. No one volunteered.
One day David came to check on his two older brothers who were part of the Israelite army. He heard Goliathâ€™s taunts. He saw how everyone ran away in fear despite Saulâ€™s promise to give great wealth and his daughter to the one who would fight the giant. He saw no one stepping forward. No one answered â€˜the callâ€™. It should be noted here that although Davidâ€™s older brothers did not step up to fight â€“ they were quick to criticize David and seemed to be jealous of him or afraid that David would embarrass them by failing! No help but willing to throw stones at their own brother! And what was Davidâ€™s response?
â€œWho is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?
1 Samuel 17:26 (NIV, my emphasis)
David identified his enemy as a â€˜zeroâ€™ in his estimation. This giant was NOTHING in Davidâ€™s eyes. He had NO FEAR of this loud mouth Philistine! David also knew who would stand with him when he stepped into that valley with Goliath.
â€œThe LORD who deliver me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.â€ 1 Samuel 17:37 (NIV)
King Saul surprisingly to me said â€œOK. Let the kid go.â€ Guess he was desperate! The king even tried to give David his own armor. David found out quickly that Saulâ€™s armor would not work for him. Now that will preach! I cannot go into battle every day and try to wear the faith of another. I must spend time with the Lord myself and allow the Holy Spirit to water the faith God has given me.
David walked into the valley with the assurance of who would win. His relationship, his intimacy with God was so strong that he knew the outcome before it began.
â€œAll those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORDâ€™s, and he will give all of you into our hands.â€ verse 47 (NIV, emphasis mine)
David knew that not only would Goliath be defeated but the entire Philistine army would bite the dust!!! I want that! I want to grab on to the strength and power of God and KNOW that there is no army or weapon that can defeat me! (Isaiah 54:17)
David defeated Goliath â€“ with a sling and stone. Thatâ€™s the story we usually tell. It is a story of faith and Godâ€™s love. It is a story of a boy who would be king and would defeat many armies â€“ because he walked with his LORD.