I Samuel 17 David And Goliath.
The people of God faced a valley of decision, a battle they could not escape. Either they would finally be victorious or the Philistines would (vv. 1-3). The Philistines thought that if they could make it a fight between two representative persons that they could spare everyone the messiness of an all out war. The plan had some merit, but the man they sent to represent them was a giant among giants. From outward appearances Israel didn’t measure up. The challenge of Goliath made everyone, including Saul, afraid, except David. Forty days is symbolic for a time of testing, and this is what Goliath had given to Israel for them to answer (vv. 4-16).
David was sent by his father Jesse with supplies in support of the troops, and to bring back news to his father. David ensured that the sheep were cared for and he then obeyed his father and went. When he arrived he left the supplies with the supply keeper and went to the front line to greet his brothers. Unlike the others, David did not flee fear the uncircumcised Philistine. The adjective reveals that David believed that their covenant making and covenant keeping LORD would give them the victory (vv. 17-27). However, Eliab, Jesse’s oldest son, objected, no doubt still resentful of David being anointed as the new king.
Eliab supposed that David was behaving irresponsibly by leaving the sheep and running off, not knowing that he made arrangements for their care, and the supplies, while he obeyed the voice of his father. Furthermore, Eliab presumed to know David’s motives and his heart, something known only to God, and a reason why David was chosen above his brothers (v. 28). David was asking an honest question, which after forty days had not been answered – who was going to fight Goliath? David volunteers, and when Saul inquires as to what experience David had, David referred back the victories the LORD had given him over other beats, a lion and a bear (vv. 28-37).
Saul heard enough and proceeded to outfit David with his own armour, but David was accustomed to his own weapons, what had given him his victories before (vv. 38-39). The appearance of the boy David offended Goliath. He thought that the Israelites were mocking him. Little did he know that a single stone would crush his head and issue in their defeat. David had faith and a message he wanted all to hear. The LORD would deliver Goliath into David’s hand, and “then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword or spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands” (v. 47).
One stone, strategically fired, was enough to put the giant down, and David used Goliath’s own sword to cut off his head (vv. 48-51a). The Philistines had no intention of becoming slaves, so they fled (v. 52b). Israel pursued them and drove them from the land and plundered their possessions on their return (v. 53). David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem to Saul, and his armour he took to his own tent (v. 54). David had proved that faith in their covenant making and covenant keeping God would bring them victory without compromise, but David had to remind Saul that he was Jesse’s son (v. 58).