Reading For Wednesday 1 Samuel 17:12-54

The three older sons of Jesse were part of Saul’s army. Evidently, David was no longer serving in Saul’s court and as the youngest in the family, David’s job was to carry supplies to his brothers in the field. Jesse dispatched David with food for his brothers and their commander. He was to check on the welfare of his brothers and bring back some token that would confirm the delivery of the food. As David approached the perimeter of the camp, the troops were moving into position and shouting the battle cry. The Philistine army across the valley was doing the same thing. David left his supplies and hastened to the battle line to greet his brothers. While he was there, Goliath made his daily appearance, and the men of Israel refused to move forward. David heard the troops talking among themselves about the tremendous rewards that Saul would give to any man that killed Goliath. The king would make him rich, give his daughter to him in marriage, and exempt his father’s house from taxation. 

David could not believe that no one would accept  the challenge of this “uncircumcised Philistine.” He grew increasing interested and questioned several men. When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard these discussions his anger burned against David and he rebuked David for abandoning his responsibilities of tending a small flock of sheep. He falsely accused David of having a perverse interest in watching the battle that was about to take place. David’s response is typical of younger brothers... leave me alone. David turned from Eliab and began to question other men. Saul soon heard about the brash young man who showed no fear of the Philistine. David was quite confident in the presence of the king and volunteered to fight Goliath. Saul wanted to quickly dismiss this suggestion. Goliath had been trained as a warrior and David was young. David, however, defended his fighting credentials recalling times when he had slain a lion and a bear in defense of his sheep. Goliath had taunted the armies of the living God so David was confident that God would deliver him from the hand of Philistine just as he had delivered him earlier from the paw of the lion and bear. David was passionate, and Saul was convinced. He prayed God's blessing upon his efforts and tried to clothe David in his personal armor. David tried on the armor but felt so uncomfortable that he removed it and took his shepherd’s stick and his sling. As he moved toward Goliath, he paused in the valley and picked up five smooth stones.

Goliath came out to meet his challenger, but when he saw that he was a youth and that he had no armor or sword, Goliath cursed David in the names of his gods. He considered it a personal insult that the Israelites would send an unworthy opponent to fight him, and he mocked David’s boyish appearance. He tried to verbally intimidate David by threatening to give his flesh to the birds and beasts. David continued to advance toward Goliath. The giant had probably never faced such bravado before. David explained that he was coming in the name of the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. David went on to boast that he would decapitate Goliath and give the bodies of the Philistines to the birds and beasts. Through this victory, all would know that there was a God in Israel and that God does not deliver by sword or spear but it is his battle. As Goliath rose and moved toward him, David ran straight at him, and as he did, he loaded his sling and let a missile fly. The stone struck the one place where the giant had no armor and Goliath fell stunned to the ground. David ran forward, took the giant’s sword, slew him, and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion had fallen, they broke ranks and fled. Saul’s army pursued them to the very gates of their cities and David took Goliath’s head and put Goliath’s weapons in his own tent. 

Thing To Consider:

  • What do we learn by David's service to his family about leadership? 
  • Why do you think his brother was so angry? 
  • Why do you think David was so curious? 
  • What do you think was the source of David's confidence? 
  • How does faith grow? 
  • Why do you think Saul went along with David's request? 
  • What do we learn about David's motivation during the exchange between him and Goliath? 
  • Why was David victorious?