19th August 2019

David, the Warrior

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty. The God of Israel, whom you have defied!’”
1 Samuel 17: 45 (NIV)

Last time we took a look at little David, the shepherd, fresh from the sheep fold, thrust into kingship by God who saw in David a man after his own heart! As Goliath, the Philistine giant arrives on the battle field in 1Samuel 17, David arrives also, being instructed by Jesse his father to take food to his brothers who are part of Saul’s army. As he arrives he hears this warrior, the tallest of the Philistines, over nine feet tall (verse 4), defying God’s army and even their God. He calls for a champion to fight him man-to-man and to let the battle be decided by who wins (verse 9).

This poses a question for us. Who is the tallest man in Israel? Answer—Saul (1Samuel 9:1-2); he is head and shoulders taller than everyone! And shouldn’t the King be Israel’s champion? On height alone he is the only one who had a chance against Goliath; but he and his army are terrified (Verse 11). I can only imagine how this giant felt after calling out Israel’s champion for 40 days, twice a day. He must have been furious, to say the least!

After seeing Saul, David sets off with his staff, his sling and as he crosses the stream in the valley he chooses five smooth stones. I imagine that he chose them wisely, just the right size, just the right weight, and why five? Well, he might miss or it might take more than one stone to get the job done, who knows? Think of the courage of this teenager—yes—teenager, as he faces Goliath. The giant looks him over and discovers that he is just a boy and of course is shocked. He screams at him, “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” And he cursed David by his gods! “Come here,” he cries, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” You might notice that he only saw a boy with a stick, but he missed the sling, David’s most deadly weapon!

With great courage David tells him that he comes to fight “in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied!” And now this shepherd boy runs quickly towards him, in faith that his God will deliver this boasting giant into his hands! No fear, just faith in the Almighty! The stone is slung and it topples this huge man and David dispatches the giant with his own sword. What a day for Israel—as the Philistines see their champion die, they turn and run (Verses 41-51). Victory! Courage and faith had won the day as God steps into the picture. And you know, as we fight giants in our own lives, this recipe still works: courage and faith go hand in hand to every battle, but first let’s pick up our stones!

Father, please grant us the faith and courage for every battle of our Christian life.

Study by Cliff Neill

About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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