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David and Goliath



The people of God are being taunted and mocked by one of their greatest enemies.

As their leader leads the people to cower in fear, God raises a hero to do the unimaginable. We water down the heart and theme of the story when we make it solely about the insignificant overtaking the insurmountable. This week Ben Stuart gives a unique Biblical perspective to the David and Goliath story and brings context on how to apply it to our daily lives.

Key Takeaway

When the world pulls you into succumbing to your biggest fears, fix your eyes on Jesus, the King. The battle that lies before you is the Lord's, He will fight for you, and He will get glory.

The Philistines are a sensual and warlike people who invaded Israel's land. When they send out Goliath, their champion, meaning "man between". We see scripture compare and contrast two of the main characters.

Goliath is massive and technically superior. Many details are given on his armor and appearance to draw you into the fear of the Israelite experience. Meanwhile, David is noted to be small, young, and not prepared for battle. He's doing menial work and is unassuming. This is included to remind us that this is a test for God's people.

Are they going to put all their faith in what they can see or will they trust that God is working on their behalf behind the scenes?

1) David's first words recorded are him proclaiming "This isn't right!".

He could not believe that the people of God were tolerating their enemy to speak of their God, the Almighty, in such a blasphemous way. When he spoke out, his brothers mocked him and began to question his motives.

Because of the solitude that David had spent with God, his heart was undivided and unable to be distracted from the task at hand. So when he was accused, he simply turned away and kept on mission. He didn't allow the words of others to take his focus off the words of his God.

2) David can stand up to Goliath on the day of battle because he stands up to lions and bears in the field.

He was victorious in the wilderness so he could be victorious in the city.

3) David's heart was one of a true shepherd.

He wasn't one to just take the loss if one of his sheep was taken. He would leave the 99 to chase down the 1 and would destroy the one that tried to take his sheep.

4) David has confidence in the present because of God's faithfulness in the past.

He believed that the God who delivered him then would deliver him now because there is no obstacle too big for Him.

In Genesis 12:3, God promises to curse whoever curses His people. So when Goliath blasphemes God, this is a big deal theologically. Essentially, Goliath is bringing God's wrath upon himself by defying God's people.

The hero will not look like you expect him to look.

David gives a speech. The speech is longer than the fight and that is the whole point. David's speech declares that the Lord will fight because it's the Lord's battle and He will get glory.

David rushes toward the battle line as Goliath approaches him for hand-to-hand combat. Because of David's small size and ability to maneuver free from heavy armor, Goliath doesn't even see the rock slung toward him.

David's supposed weakness: his size, youth, and lack of military experience ended up being his greatest strength. Again, would God's people trust only their eyes or that God is always working? David did exactly what he said he would do and used Goliath's sword to cut off his head. The very implement meant to destroy the representative of God's people is slipped and used against their adversary.

So how do we apply this to our daily lives?

Usually, this story explains that Goliath represents our problems and we are, go attack our problems!

It's portrayed as a pump-up speech. But our most besetting sins mount up against us and cause us to shrink back in fear. We are Israel, powerless and helpless. God did not send them a pump-up speech and ask them to believe in themselves, and He doesn't do that to us either.

God sent a substitute, a champion "man between", that says, "I will step in for you. I will fight for you. I will do what you can't. My victory will count for you." For the Israelites on that day, it was David foreshadowing what Jesus would do for us.

Our big fear is not Goliath, it's little Philistines. They are still scary and superior, but they are smaller versions of our greatest fear: death. Whether it's death through rejection, reputation, or anything else that we hold dear, we know death takes all and gives nothing back. We need a hero.

God sent another boy from Bethlehem, an obscure town, but there was greatness in Him if we look closely enough. He didn't look like we expected Him to look, He was lowly, He was mocked, He looked weak because He didn't wear armor. But He won (Hebrews 2:14-15). He took death and turned it against itself and His victory counts for us (Hebrews 12:1-3).

We need to fix our eyes on our King. He has overcome and we have a future.


"The greatest fighters are those who know they've been fought for."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • 1 Samuel 17
  • Hebrews 12:1-3
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Leviticus 24:13-16
  • Philippians 2:6-8
  • Hebrews 2:14-15
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.