DAVID AND GOLIATH BIBLE
Welcome back to Daily Bread! Today we have a real treat. In case you never knew, David was very
beloved in the eyes of the Lord, and probably one of the major reasons for that
was that David trusted the Lord implicitly. This story is a perfect example.
The story of David and Goliath.
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First, let's talk
about the Philistines for a moment. The Philistines lived in Canaan before the
Hebrews came up from Egypt to inherit it from the Lord, so naturally, they're a
bit miffed about these former slaves of Egypt claiming that suddenly their land
no longer belongs to them, because the Lord gave it to the children of
Israel. Now, how is one supposed to feel about this? Are you supposed to feel
sorry for them because if someone tried to evict you from your home that you
paid for and loved ... You'd be quite upset too? Perhaps some feel that way,
but God saw the people of Canaan as heathen because they worshiped other gods
and did many other despicable things in His eyes. So the diverse peoples of
Canaan that God originally gave this beautiful land of milk and honey to, lost
their privilege of keeping it by forsaking the Lord ... And our Lord can do
whatever He pleases!
... the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of
Now, many of the
Canaanites surrendered and left the Promised Land, knowing the power of the
Lord, having heard of the signs and miracles that he wrought in Egypt and during
the 40 years that the children of Israel were in the wilderness, but some
resisted and probably the most persistent resisters were the Philistines, who
continually organized armies that rose up against Israel to "reclaim" their
native land. And don't forget, as I frequently remind, that God warned they
would be a pain in the neck because the children of Israel didn't completely
destroy them back during the conquest of Canaan. Ha, did I say pain in the
neck? I meant thorn in the side. If you're really interested in history, and how
it affects the present times and the future, you probably wouldn't be surprised
at who the Philistines are today, and that they're still trying to "reclaim"
their native land ... Just as the Lord said they would.
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Now, on with our story. The Philistines again have gotten together an impressive army and have
gathered on top of a mountain to fight against Israel, so Saul and the army of
Israel pitched their camp on a mountain top not far away, with a valley in
between the two armies. Now, David's three oldest brothers were soldiers in
Saul's army, and David, being just a youngster was back at home tending the
Right about now you
may be wondering ... Why, since David has already been anointed the next king of
Israel, is Saul still acting as reigning king? Actually, the Bible doesn't say
exactly why, but we might look at a possible answer. In those days, a king
reigned until his death, whereupon usually the eldest son of the king inherited
the throne. We know that God already told Saul that the kingdom would be taken
away from him, perhaps meaning that it wouldn't be passed down to anyone of his
bloodline, but that Saul was to reign until his own death. You'll discover soon
that David was very respectful of Saul's anointing, even though he was already
anointed to be the next king. Now, where were we ...
So, out of the
Philistine army, this great big Philistine named Goliath comes down to the
valley between the two armies heavily armored and with his armor bearer to
address the army of Israel. Goliath was a giant ... Nine feet nine inches tall!
What's up with that, you may ask. If you think back, the days of the judges
after Joshua died, lasted about 400 years, and during the time of Joshua there
were still giants in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod.
There was none of the Anakims (giants) left in the land of the children of
Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.
were enough giants still in Joshua's time, that 400 years (or approximately 4 or 5 generations)
later, they still existed, if only few in number.
About this Goliath
fellow ... Obviously, he was like a hero to the Philistines, and he taunted
the Hebrews from the valley between them to send over a soldier to represent
Israel and fight against him one on one ... Goliath said: If he can fight with
me and kill me, then we'll be your servants, but if I kill him, then you'll be
our servants, and serve us. I challenge the army of Israel today ... Send me a
man so we can fight! Then Goliath returned to his camp at the top of the
mountain and this scared the army of Israel witless. Goliath returned to the
valley forty days running, speaking the same challenge, and Saul and his army
In the meantime,
Jesse sent David with a little care package for his sons and to find out how
they were faring. Now, it happened that the Philistines decided to fight army
against army instead of one on one, and right as David arrived and was greeting
his brothers, he heard Goliath come out from among the Philistine army and
deliver his challenge. You can imagine that this giant, clad in armor that alone
weighed hundreds of pounds, was a mite more terrifying close up than viewing him
from half a mountain away, and the soldiers of Israel fled at his presence.
The men of Israel
said, They've sent this man to shame Israel. Certainly the king will reward the
man who kills him with great riches and give him his daughter in marriage, and
reward his father's family too.
zealous for the Lord said to the men close by, Who does this Philistine think he
is, trying to shame the armies of the living God? And what's in it for the
man that kills him?
When David's oldest brother heard
David inquiring more about the whole situation, he grew angry and said, Why did
you come here? And who did you leave those sheep with in the wilderness? I know
you just came here to sneak a look at the battle. And David replied ... What
have I done wrong? Isn't that a good reason? And David continued
talking with the other soldiers.
When Saul was
informed that David was eager to fight against Goliath, he sent for him and
David said, Don't let any soldier of Israel lose heart because of this
Philistine ... I'll go and fight with him.
(Imagine David's oldest brother now, hearing his baby brother bragging to his
fellow soldiers that he's gonna go eat this giant for lunch! Heh heh heh!)
Saul replied, You
can't go against this giant ... You're just a boy, and he's a man of war since
he was a child. Then David told Saul that the Lord once saved him from a lion
and a bear, as he was tending the sheep. David said that he killed them both,
and this Philistine will be dead too, and that God would protect and assist him
since this Philistine had shamed the armies of the living God.
intensity of faith that David had of God's presence with him, Saul clothed David
with his armor, but walking in armor is not like walking in regular clothing ...
One must learn how to maneuver in it. David said, I can't wear this, and he took
it off. Instead he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones out of
the brook, and put them in his shepherd's bag, took his sling in his hand and
proceeded toward Goliath.
When Goliath saw
David approaching, he despised the fact that this child thought he could beat
him with weapons that are more appropriate for driving away a dog, and asked
David ... Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks? Goliath also cursed David
by his gods and told him that he would feed him to the birds and beasts.
David replied to
Goliath, You come to me with a sword and a spear and a shield, but I come to you
in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have
shamed. Today the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I will kill you and
take your head off, and I'll give the carcasses of the army of the Philistines to the birds and beasts of the earth
today, that all may know that there is a
God in Israel. And all of Israel will know that the Lord doesn't save with sword
and spear ... The battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands.
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Now, you must
imagine, Goliath, confident that he would defeat David, who was just a child,
and not to mention, seemingly unarmed, began walking toward him, slowly, as a
person wearing armor certainly can't be swift in running. But David on the other
hand, ran toward Goliath, and reaching in his bag, took out a stone and slang
it. The stone sunk into Goliath's head, causing him to fall. Well, David had no sword
of his own, so he ran up on Goliath and borrowed his sword, cutting off
Seeing that their
champion was dead, the rest of the Philistines ran off, but the soldiers of
Israel and of Judah had a renewed attitude about fighting against them and they
chased them far away and looted their tents.
David took the head
of Goliath and brought it to Jerusalem, and Saul had David brought to him and
asked, Whose son are you? And David answered, I am the son of Jesse the
You may think this
is a little strange, seeing that in our last chapter Saul sent to Jesse and had
David brought to him, who played on his harp when the evil spirit from God was
upon him. It also says that Saul loved him greatly and sent to Jesse asking that
David remain with him ... But now he doesn't know who's son he is ... As if he
doesn't recognize him. Let's look at some possible explanations for this.
One possibility is
that God prevented Saul from recognizing David ... After all, how would Saul
feel, knowing that his replacement was about to be God's major player in saving
the army of Israel from the Philistines? Pride or jealousy or anger may have
caused him not to allow David to fight against Goliath.
is that Saul simply may not have recognized David. We don't know how much time
had elapsed from the time David stood before Saul as his armor-bearer and played
the harp for him, until this battle occurred. And though scripture says that
Saul loved David greatly, that doesn't necessarily mean that they had a close
friendship. What? Well, many people say that they love Barry Manilow, but
they've never even seen him. And as for David "standing before" Saul, that may
merely mean that he was a servant, of which the king had many, the same probably
being true of being his armor bearer.
Don't forget that
Saul was also troubled by an evil spirit from God, so he may have been so out of
his head during the time that David served him that it may have been difficult
to remember what he had for breakfast on any given day, let alone who a servant
boy's daddy was from ago.
Some more great
stories ahead, so come back soon and we'll share more Daily Bread!