And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with a sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands’ 1 Samuel 17:47
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusteth in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)
In the last lesson we began to look at the prophet David. Listen to what God said about him:
“I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart; who shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22).
We saw how God appointed David to be the second King of Israel, because the first king, Saul, did not obey the word of God. However, David did not become the king of Israel on the day that God appointed him. He was still a youth, and
God’s time for him to receive the kingdom had not yet arrived.
After being anointed as king, David returned to the fields outside the town of Bethlehem to look after his father’s flocks.
We will read a wonderful story that shows how God was with David, because David walked with God. Our lesson is called
“David and Goliath.”
Let us now continue in the first book of Samuel. The Scripture says: (1 Sam. 17:1-11) “Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle … and Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and encamped by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named
Goliath, of Gath,
whose height was 3.2 metres. And he had an helmet of bronze upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was 60 kilos. And he had shin armour of bronze upon his legs, and a javelin of bronze carried between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed 7 kilos: and one bearing a shield went before him. 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 I not a Philistine, and ye servants of Saul?
Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants,
and serve us.
And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid”. While Goliath was mocking Israel,
far from the war, meditating upon the Word of God, playing his harp and singing to the LORD. However, David had three older brothers who were soldiers in the army of Israel. One day his father came to him and said, “Go and visit your brothers on the battlefront and bring me word about how things are going.” So David left his sheep with another shepherd, arose early in the morning and left for the battlefield.
While David was greeting his older brothers and speaking with them, Goliath,
the champion of the Philistines,
stepped out from his lines facing the soldiers of Israel and threatened them as he had been doing for the past forty days. When the Israeli soldiers saw him,
they ran from him in fear.
Then someone said to David, “Do you see that man? He keeps defying us. Whoever kills him, king Saul will give him great wealth and will also give him his daughter in marriage and his father’s family will not have to pay taxes.”
Then David said, “That uncircumcised Philistine, Who is he that he should defy
the armies of the living God?”
When he said that, David’s older brother became angry with him and said, “Why have you come here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know why you have come here. You only want to watch the battle!” However, one of the Israeli soldiers heard the courageous words which David spoke concerning the giant, and went and reported them to Saul, the king. Then Saul sent for David and questioned him.
Thus, the Scripture says: (I Sam. 17:32-52) “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. 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; 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. 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.
David said, moreover, The Lord who 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.
And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of bronze upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he attempted to go; for he had not tested it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not tested them. And David put them off. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a wallet; and his sling was in his hand: and
he drew near the Philistine.
And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man who bore the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David,
he ridiculed him;
for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. 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. 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. 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 carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day into 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 Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with a sword and spear; for
the battle is the Lord’s,
and he will give you into our hands.
And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew near to meet David, that
and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took from there a stone, and slung it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sank into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 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. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead,
And the men of Israel and Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until they 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”.
Thus, we see how young David saved his nation from their enemies with a sling, a stone, and
a solid faith in the living God.
Truly, the story of David and Goliath is an amazing story with many important lessons.
We saw how Saul and the Israeli soldiers feared Goliath greatly. None of them dared to fight with him, but
he knocked him to the ground and killed him! Why were Saul and his soldiers afraid, but David was not afraid? What was the difference between David and the Israeli soldiers? We can summarise the difference between them in this way: David was not afraid of the giant, because
he had confidence in the LORD God.
Saul and his soldiers did not have confidence in God. Therefore, they were afraid of the giant. Saul and his soldiers only saw
the powerful giant.
the Almighty God!
Saul and the Israeli soldiers had a form of religion, but that did not cause them to have a real relationship with God. Belonging to a religion does not cause you to belong to God. Saul and his soldiers knew very well that God exists, that God is one, and that He is great and powerful. But that knowledge could not save them from Goliath. However, David had a genuine relationship with the Living God, the Almighty!
David knew God and walked with Him.
David believed the promises of God. That is why David was not afraid of Goliath.
You who are doing this lesson, who are you most like? David? Or Saul and his soldiers? Do you know God personally? Or have you just heard a few things about Him? Do you know the Word of God so well that it fills your heart with joy? Or are you only trying to do what your religion says you should do?
Listen to what the prophet of God, David, wrote in the Psalms, concerning the relationship he had with God. He said: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want … Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me … Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!” (Psa. 23:1,4,6).
How about you?
Do you have a close relationship with the LORD God? Do you know Him as your Shepherd? Are you certain that you will dwell in His house in heaven forever? David had that confidence, because he knew the wonderful and precious promises of the LORD God. And he didn’t just know them in his head; he believed them in his heart.
His faith was not based upon the unreliable words of men. His faith was based upon the trustworthy Word of the LORD God who never abandons His people! Listen to what David wrote in the Psalms: “The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid … Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple … Hear O Lord, when I cry with my voice; have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, O LORD, will I seek!” (Psa. 27:1,3,4,7,8)
“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength,
in whom I will trust;
my shield … for by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proved; he is a shield to all those who trust in him” (Psa. 18:1,2,29,30)
In our next lesson, Lord willing, we will continue with the story of David and see how he began to reign as the king of Israel.
How about you? Do you have a close relationship with the LORD God? Do you know Him as your Shepherd? Are you certain that you will dwell in His house in heaven forever?
We end with this word from David in the book of Psalms:
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusteth in Him!” (Psa. 34:8)
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