David was going to fight Goliath, a nine foot, four inches tall giant. David himself was young, and ruddy faced and handsome. He was bold and brave. His only qualification was being a shepherd, taking care of his father’s sheep. He was also in the King’s service. He played a harp for King Saul whenever the king was troubled by a distressing spirit. David was not even one of the trained soldiers like his tall, strapping big brothers Eliab, Abinadab and Shammah. Eliab his big brother, very scathingly pointed this out to him when he heard David asking about fighting Goliath.
However, David was not deterred. He believed with all his heart that he didn’t need to be a trained soldier to defeat the enemy. All he needed was to trust God to help him. He already had a track record of prevailing against predators who came after his father’s sheep. He killed a bear, and a lion, without owning a sword or a spear. The giant was soon going to meet the same fate. How dare this uncircumcised, unbelieving massive hulk of a man speak against God’s army, the Israelites!
Soon enough, David was brought before King Saul. David was quick to reassure the king that he would kill this big, bad giant and God would use David to save Israel. The king and the rest of the army need not be so discouraged. David told the king of his victories over wild animals with the help of God. He reminded the king of God’s place as the real head of the army. Goliath would die because he had ‘stood against the armies of the living God.’ *
King Saul didn’t think David was old enough or experienced enough to fight against a seasoned warrior like Goliath and he voiced his doubts. He agreed anyway. After all no one else was volunteering to stick their neck out against this mammoth sized enemy! He put his own clothes and armoury on David. If he wasn’t going to be able to teach David war tactics at this late stage, he could at least arm him with a spear and a shield. David couldn’t even walk in Saul’s clothes and heavy war weaponry. This was not going to do. David took it all off. He knew he couldn’t do this Saul’s way. He was going to follow his heart and do it his tried and tested way. David knew God would give him another resounding victory, even though all he could fight with were his stick, his sling and some smooth pebbles from the stream.
David strode out confidently into battle. Goliath was shouting curses and threats at David as he regarded him with disgust. David calmly answered that Goliath, not David, was the one who would die for threatening God’s people. The Israelite army gasped when they saw Goliath advancing towards the boy, David. David, undeterred, ran towards Goliath and fired a stone at his head. Zing! The stone landed, a perfect shot. Goliath, like the walls of Jericho many years before, came crashing down! David ran to Goliath and finished the job with Goliath’s own sword. The Philistine army tried to escape when they saw their hero was annihilated. The Israelite soldiers, emboldened by David’s success rushed after them and destroyed many of the enemy soldiers. That day, Israel won a big victory over their oppressors because of the faith of one boy who trusted God to deliver him.
* see 1 Samuel 17: 36
Scripture taken from the International Children’s Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.