“So they brought a bad report of the land which they had spied out to the sons of Israel, saying, “The land through which we have gone to spy out is a land that devours its invihabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are people of great stature.” – Numbers 13:32
I thought I’d begin the Bible lesson today with this passage from Numbers.
Well, many Biblical scholars agree that the now famous Goliath was a descendant from the giants of the promised land.
Just to visualize the fear the Philistine brought, Goliath was most likely between 9 and 10 feet tall.
Yes, Saul was the tallest of Israel. This made him the best match for Goliath, didn’t it?
Not sure about you but, I believe I’d be worried too!
David Fights Goliath – And Wins!
“Then the Philistine came and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him.
When the Philistine looked and saw David, he was contemptuous of him; for he was only a youth, and reddish, with a handsome appearance.
So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild animals.”
But David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a saber, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you and remove your head from you.
Then I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that this entire assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will hand you over to us!”
Then it happened, when the Philistine came closer to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.
And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with the sling and the stone: he struck the Philistine and killed him, and there was no sword in David’s hand.
Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and finished him, and cut off his head with it.
When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Then the men of Israel and Judah rose up and shouted, and they pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron.
And the Philistine dead lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron.
Then the sons of Israel returned from their close pursuit of the Philistines, and plundered their camps.
And David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent.
Now when Saul had seen David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” And Abner said, “By your life, O king, I do not know.”
And the king said, “You then, ask whose son the youth is.”
So when David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine’s head in his hand.” – 1 Samuel 17:41-57 NASB Read 1 Samuel 17 full chapter here..
David and Goliath – The Rest of the Story…
The verses you read above shares the popular story of David and Goliath.
In fact, most of us heard or read this part growing up. If you ask around, you probably won’t find very many people (if any) who have never heard of David and Goliath.
Yes, the verses from 1 Samuel above are really exciting — full of action and adventure.
But, when I read the complete chapter, the lesson for me came from the beginning of the chapter.
So, I will focus on some of the beginning verses and we’ll see how we can apply them to our service for God.
David – Fighting for God
Goliath was taller (much taller), stronger and meaner than David as told in 17:4-7.
And, David was just a boy who tended sheep for his father. So, Goliath was certainly favored to win the battle.
In truth, the people of Israel (including Saul) had lost faith in the God who had led them to victory so many times before.
When they looked upon Goliath, they saw a giant! They saw a great warrior whom nobody could defeat one on one.
David, on the other hand, saw a big human ready to take on Almighty God! Who has the advantage now?
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
“Then David said to the men who were standing by him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and rids Israel of the disgrace?
For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he has dared to defy the armies of the living God?”
The people answered him in agreement with this statement, saying, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
Now Eliab his oldest brother heard him when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why is it that you have come down?
And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?
I myself know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.”
But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a question?”
Then he turned away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people with the same words as before.” – 1 Samuel 17:26-30 NASB
To put it bluntly, David did not see any reason to wait.
When he felt God calling him to take action, he obeyed. David didn’t seem to see any danger in fighting this mortal — with God on his side.
The Four Minute Mile
Behind every great person in history, you’ll find a panel of “self-proclaimed experts” who’ll deny it can be done.
For instance, the four-minute mile was impossible to do; before someone ran it in 1954. That person was Roger Bannister.
Bannister did the impossible. After that, others followed, posting sub-4 minute runs.
And today, it’s not uncommon to see more than one person run a mile in less than four minutes in a single race!
So, what’s impossible when we have God on our side? David knew the answer.
No Statues for Critics
Sure, people criticized and mocked David.
Who was he? Did a young boy have a ghost of a chance against this giant? In human terms, no. In God terms, an astounding yes!
At one or more times, you may have found yourself in the same situation. No, I’m not talking about fighting giants like Goliath.
But, when we are called by God to do a task or project, we can expect to hear from the naysayers.
Pay no attention!
If you are doing what God asked you to do, you’re doing the right thing.
Certainly, people will give you their opinions and “logical” reasons you shouldn’t move ahead. It may even be dangerous, or at least unpopular.
If you encounter resistance when doing God’s work just think; Who do you want most to please — the mortal “experts” or God?
Pleasing God is always the right answer.
If you have never made the commitment to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16.