A Brave Warrior David’s Faith
Text: 1 Samuel 17
When we left off last week David was using his musical talent to soothe King Saul in his moments of depression.
David had been anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel but this knowledge was not known but by very few, maybe only David and Samuel.
Israel will soon see the actions of their future king.
David had left home as a humble shepherd and had entered Saul’s court as a humble musician but we will soon see that to be a man after God’s own heart also requires some bravery.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, "to stand".
We should see that God desires all His children "to step out of their comfort zone" and "get into the battle". We will face many spiritual battles as we try to advance the kingdom of God but our strength must also come from Our Lord.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
We will see the future king of Israel have victory but, we will also see the first king of Israel continue to fail.
Knowing this let’s begin:
*****1Sa 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.
1Sa 17:2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.
1Sa 17:3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
1Sa 17:4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
This valley where this battle was to take place is bout 6 miles from Jerusalem. A narrow path exist that goes right up to the interior of the land near Bethlehem which is another 6 miles.
When David joins this battle, he would have already traveled the 12 miles between his father’s house and this camp of King Saul.
This Goliath would be a descendant of the race of Anakim. Israel had had first contact with these people when Moses sent out those 40 spies into Canaan land.
Num 13:33 And "there we saw the giants", the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
These giants had been defeated by Caleb:
Jos 15:13 And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.
Jos 15:14 And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.
And slew them:
Jdg 1:10 And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
But, there were still some that had escaped to Gaza, and Ashdod, and Gath, as we have the proof in this Goliath.
We will see three figures in our lesson today.
Goliath stood at least 9 feet 9 inches tall. A span is generally understood as 9 inches and a cubit as 18 inches and we will also see that he was heavily armed and prepared to kill.
Next: King Saul.
Saul had already been rejected by God for disobedience. He had threatened his own son Jonathan and would have killed him. And at his last chance he had spared Agag the king of the Amalekites and greedily had taken the choice of the spoils of that war.
Saul was forsaken by the Holy Spirit and now suffered great depression and Saul was greatly afraid of Goliath.
Next we will see David.
David was only a youth which means he was not yet 20 years old. He carried a staff and not a sword.
He carried faith yet no physical armor.
He had no weapon but a sling.
He had exactly what was needed this day to defeat the enemy of God because within him he carried the Spirit of God.
David did not consider Israel’s army as Saul’s servants.
David knew they were the army of the Living God!
*****1Sa 17:5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
1Sa 17:6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
1Sa 17:7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
1Sa 17:8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
1Sa 17:9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
King Saul was at least seven feet tall but Goliath easily was a far taller man.
That "coat of mail" was composed of plates of metal overlapping each other somewhat like fish scales and it weighed 200 lbs.
That spearhead weighed 24 lbs.
Those "greaves" were coverings for the legs and reached from the ankles to the top of the knee. They were made of hide and were probably also covered with copper.
That "target of brass" was a circular frame, carried at the back, suspended by a long belt and crossed the chest from the shoulders to the upper legs.
Goliath was truly the champion of the Philistines because as of this day no man was able to defeat him in one on one combat.
Goliath was a loud mouth, vulgar, boastful, evil man with no respect for any other man and he defied anyone to battle with him.
Goliath suggested that there was only need for one man to die to end this war between these two enemies.
All Israel needed was their own champion to defeat him in battle.
Goliath was lying "but he thought of himself as unbeatable.
We know the end result of this battle, yet the Philistines are still the enemies of Israel even up until our day.
*****1Sa 17:10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
1Sa 17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
To "defy" is to "dare"!
Goliath sensed that all of Israel were to cowardly to face him and the tallest man in all of Israel, the king, was greatly afraid and this fear flowed through his entire army.
SO, Goliath’s challenge went unanswered.
*****1Sa 17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.
1Sa 17:13 And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
1Sa 17:14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul.
1Sa 17:15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
We should remember this Bethlehem because there at least one other place with the name of Bethlehem.
This is the same place as prophesied by the prophet Micah where Jesus would be born!
Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
David had seven more brothers but we know that only six others are named in the Book of Chronicles. David had a brother that had died shortly after being shown to Samuel and before having a family of his own.
This other brother like many even today was just name on a grave without a history except to his father and mother and a Holy God!
David’s three oldest brothers served in Saul’s army. We know that Saul kept only the bravest of men in his army so this gives us an idea of the character of these brothers.
David was not yet old enough to be in the army and was still obligated to the family at home.
We also know that Jesse was a very old man at this time.
*****1Sa 17:16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
It had been now 80 times that Goliath had stood in hearing range and defied Saul and the army of Israel.
We can be sure the term "cowards" was used many times and it was true!
*****1Sa 17:17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;
1Sa 17:18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
As a father Jesse had great concern for all his sons and was well aware of the battle raging just 12 miles form Bethlehem.
In that day each soldier had to provide his own rations and Jesse sent food to not only his sons but to also their commanding officer.
*****1Sa 17:19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
1Sa 17:20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.
1Sa 17:21 For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.
1Sa 17:22 And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
By the will of God, Jesse had picked the exact right day to send David to check on his three sons.
David had left early in the morning but the 12 miles of travel had taken until that evening.
When David arrived at the camp he left his cart and ran right amongst the soldiers in search of his brothers.
*****1Sa 17:23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
1Sa 17:24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
It was at this time that Goliath did what he had done 79 previous times and bellowed out his challenge to all of Israel.
What David saw brought more concern than that of Goliath!
David saw all of Israel tremble and run in fear of that one man.
*****1Sa 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.
1Sa 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
1Sa 17:27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
King Saul had made a generous offer to any would battle Goliath.
1) Saul would give one of his daughters in marriage therefore allowing a stranger into the royal family.
2) Saul would make this man to be a rich man.
3) Saul would not allow the family of this man to be taxed.
AND, David could not believe what he was hearing!
David knew that Goliath was a Gentile who was profane and worshiped a false god and a stranger to the covenant promises of Jehovah.
David also knew that by allowing this evil man to profane the Army of God, Saul was allowing Goliath to profane the Lord Himself.
David now knew this was God’s battle and not for any man of Israel!
*****1Sa 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
1Sa 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
Eliab had no patience for his youngest brother because what David had said carried reproach to every soldier on the field that day including his own brothers.
David would have still been tending the sheep if his father Jesse had not sent him that day to check on his brothers and he ask his brother, "well what have I done now"?
Saul and the army of Israel saw a giant of a man BUT David only saw another Philistine who was just an insolent enemy of Jehovah God.
David felt that surely Jehovah would enable any man that relied on Him to overcome this evil man!
There was certainly a cause!
Whenever we step out in "faith" to serve the Lord, there will always be those there to cause discouragement!
*****1Sa 17:30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
1Sa 17:31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
1Sa 17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
Saul had spent 40 days in fear of his life and the defeat of the army of Israel and he finally heard that someone had volunteered to fight this Goliath.
Saul sent for the man and it was David that was sent to him.
David stood again before Israel’s giant, King Saul, and declared that he would remove this other giant of the Philistines.
David could see the fear in all of Israel along with their "lack of faith"!
BUT, David saw only a large man that defied the God of Israel.
This battle was now God’s battle and God still uses humans to perform His Will.
*****1Sa 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
What Saul said was true! In David’s own strength he was certainly not able to defeat this giant of a man.
Saul knew something about Goliath and Saul knew Goliath had never lost in hand to hand combat and was now in his prime.
AND, David was probably not yet 20 years old.
*****1Sa 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
1Sa 17:35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
1Sa 17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
1Sa 17:37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
The life of the shepherd is not an easy one!
God had selected David because The Lord wanted a man whose heart belonged to Him. It was the job of the shepherd to protect the sheep and David was not describing an isolated incident.
David had encountered predators on many occasions and he had never ran or hid for his own safety.
David had put "the needs of the flock" over his own personal needs.
David knew that "it was the Lord that had delivered him from all these things".
If we cannot see a "type" of Christ in these verses then we will never understand the Bible and the way God teaches us by example!
In a short period of time David would be king of Israel and God was also showing Israel how every king should put his people even before his own safety.
I wish our own president and every president would take this stance and be for the people instead of what he is.
God would not allow his future king to go down in defeat!
And David’s faith would not allow him to miss this opportunity to gain this glory for the Lord!
*****1Sa 17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
1Sa 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, [and he assayed to go]; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
Saul was glad that some one had finally come forward to fight Goliath.
It did not matter to him that was a boy that had not reached 20 years old.
Saul had armor fit for a king, "the best armor of all of Israel" but we must remember that Saul was the tallest man in Israel and David was as average as average can be, not a wimp but certainly not out of proportion for a Jewish man of that time.
David could not be made into a little Goliath just by dressing as a soldier!
David had worn no armor in defense of those sheep but had relied upon the Power of God and he would rely on God’s power again.
We can never allow unnecessary things to weigh us down in our service to the Lord!
Christ Jesus is our "giant killer"!
The Lord had delivered David before and the Lord would deliver David now.
David could not be king if he died on the battlefield this day!
David knew that Goliath had not only challenged all of Israel, he had specifically challenged the God of Israel and this would be Goliath’s downfall.
*****1Sa 17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
We should miss the fact that David did not hesitate, not even for a moment!
David’s armament was this:
1) A shepherd’s staff:
The shepherds staff represents "authority".
The shepherds weapon "in type" means "a staff of bread" the indispensable support for life.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
David’s indispensable support for life would be the Lord Himself!
The Lord is "The Bread Of Life"!
2) Five smooth stones:
Five is the number for the "Grace" of God.
The "Stone" is in type the "living stones" of God.
The word "smooth" means these stones will pass through the air without restrictions.
Air represents the Holy Spirit and these stones would not "quench the Spirit"
So we have "Grace", "The Believer" and "The Holy Spirit".
It takes these things for salvation!
3) The scrip:
The shepherds bag carried the food for his journey but this bag also carried materials for the healing and the binding up of the lame sheep.
But this scrip also carried the mouth piece for musical instruments.
We know that the Word of God is our "Scrip"!
And we better know that the Word of God is our "mouth piece"!
4.) The "sling":
The "sling" received the "smooth stone".
The sling represents the Power of God!
Zec 9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: "for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land".
David armed with the "Grace" and the "Power" of God did not hesitate to draw near that giant!
*****1Sa 17:41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
1Sa 17:42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
1Sa 17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
1Sa 17:44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
Goliath could see no further than Saul could see!
Goliath only saw a small, poorly armed boy.
Goliath did not see God’s Weapon that stood before him!
Goliath thought he saw a sure victory.
These are the exact same things that Satan sees in every child of God!
Two armies stood on the side lines as a youth not yet a man, faced a man of war from his childhood.
It was time again for a new beginning for Israel!
*****1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
1Sa 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
1Sa 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.
1Sa 17:48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
David said "I come to you with the faith of my God" while you trust in your own strength!
It is in our best interest to lay aside everything and anything that comes between us and The Lord Jesus Christ.
When we are identified as in union with the Lord then we show this world that we know where our strength comes from.
David’s one ambition was to show the world that there was a God in Israel that was above all gods.
We should always be careful to choose our battles.
But we must always battle for God’s Glory!
Not for our own cause, not for our own opinions, and not for some cause of the church that does not line up with the Word of God, for these things are great sin!
We need to constantly expose our hearts to the Holy Spirit so that we can be wholly cleansed of sin and be filled with total devotion to the Glory of Our Lord.
After all our one job is to be used "to save the lost"!
All else must be second in our lives!
David hastily ran into this battle, he did not even notice that Goliath was a giant, he was only an enemy that God would brush out of His way and God did just that.
*****1Sa 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
1Sa 17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
Every soldier that looked upon this battle expected this battle to be in close quarters.
Every weapon Goliath had was designed for close combat.
But all the weapons of the shepherd can not only be used in close combat but can also be used from a distance!
An experienced shepherd can sling a stone anywhere from 100 to 150 miles an hour.
And, Most every shepherd is deadly accurate with a sling!
Goliath’s only chance to live that day would have been to surrender or act like a coward and go on home!
Our Lord will accomplish His purpose and David was chosen as the Lord’s weapon that day!
We already know that the Spirit of the Lord already lived inside the body of David.
God guided that stone to the exact spot for victory, just as He does for every Pastor, every Missionary, and every child of God!
Psa 18:31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
Psa 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
Psa 18:33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
Psa 18:34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
*****1Sa 17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
David is now the new Caleb to Israel.
David is now the new Joshua to Israel.
These were the giant slayers in their own time.
To remove Goliath’s head symbolized a complete victory!
The champion of the Philistines was not able to stand up to the God of Israel because no one can!
*****1Sa 17:52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.
The Philistines ran and Israel pursued, the Philistines were again defeated!
*****1Sa 17:53 And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.
1Sa 17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.
The Philistines had left behind all their possessions and those became the property of Israel.
*****1Sa 17:55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
1Sa 17:56 And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling is.
1Sa 17:57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
1Sa 17:58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
David twice called God "the Living God" because he knew that God actively intervenes for His people!
David’s "faith" overcame what some would call insurmountable odds, but that is what the Lord does every time a sinner is saved.
David did not focus on outward appearances because the outward appearance has no meaning to the Lord.
The Lord sees things as they really are!
David did not allow "fear" to be a part of his life!
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
From where is our victory?
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory "through our Lord Jesus Christ".
How do we have our own victory?
1Jn 5:4 For "whatsoever is born of God" overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even "our faith".
How do we over come this world?
1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but "he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God"?