What Can I Learn From The Story Of David and Goliath? – 1 Samuel 17

The story of David and Goliath is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. Familiarity can be dangerous because we can stop looking for, or forget, the truths. As we look at the story of David and Goliath, hear it like the first time. David chose five stones to kill one giant. What do these stones mean? Why five? The number five speaks of completeness. David knew God would give complete victory over Goliath. There are also five conversations in this story. What can we learn from these?

Conversation with Jesse

Jesse, David’s father, told him to take food to his brothers and to check on them as they were fighting the Philistines (1 Sam. 17:17-19). The truth is that his brothers and the Israelite army were NOT actually fighting. They were only lining up in formation. It would be like 100,000 people going to the football stadium, but the players just huddled, lined up, and never ran a play. How many Christians come Sunday after Sunday to huddle and line up to fight the enemy, but never do more than that? Are you actively fighting, praying, using your weapons, and reading your Bible? Another thing we can learn from this conversation is that David’s father sent David to check on his brothers, but God sent him for another purpose. Have you ever paused to consider why you are in that school, on that team, or at that job? God has placed you where you are for a greater purpose! Be faithful in your daily assignments! Ask God to help you see His greater purpose. Like David, be willing to go above and beyond to honor the Lord. Step up when no one else will.

Conversation with Eliab

When David got to the battle line, he asked his brothers about what was going on (v. 22, 26). His oldest brother, Eliab, was angry with David and accused him of being arrogant and having an evil heart (v. 28). Sometimes others will mock you, make fun of you, cancel you, or put you down. Sometimes these people may be your family or those you thought were your friends. Booker T. Washington said, “You measure a man’s greatness not in the position he has achieved but in the number of obstacles he had to overcome.”

Conversation with Saul

In verses 32-40 we read about David and Saul. Although Saul tried to help, David used the skills he had and not Saul’s armor. You cannot fight with someone else’s talent, gifts, faith, or character any more than David could fight with Saul’s armor. God has equipped you through your past experiences. All the time David was bored as a shepherd, he was practicing with his slingshot. God has given you what you need to be who He wants you to be and to overcome what He wants you to overcome. Don’t try to be someone else. How has God equipped you for the season you are in right now? What can you use from your past to serve God in the present? Saul-like leaders cannot deliver us. We need King Jesus. He is a greater David, who defeats sin and death. The same Spirit that was on David lives in us, empowering us to fight the good fight of faith.

Conversation with Goliath

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel…” (v. 45). Fight the enemy with the names of God! David was not on the defensive. He was on the offensive. In the armor of God there is nothing to cover the backside! Israel faced a giant it could not defeat in its own strength. What are the giants in your life? Don’t focus on the size of the giants. Focus on the size of your God.

Conversation with God

In verses 34-37 David talks about the lions and bears he had killed protecting his sheep. “Then David said, ‘The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine’” (v. 37). All those lonely days and nights David had been tending sheep, David had been talking with God. He learned to walk by faith and not by sight. He killed a lion and a bear when it was just him and God. God had been training him for this moment. All the battles up to that point prepared him for bigger ones to come. You will never be more in public than you are in private.

The battle between David and Goliath is one of the most iconic scenes in human history and is often used as motivation for the underdog. But David did not see himself as an underdog!  When you read his words, it is clear He knew He would be victorious. God is undefeated, and “the battle is the Lord’s.It is all about Jesus! David had five stones and five conversations, but it only took one stone to kill Goliath. The one stone you need to defeat the giants in life is God! Jesus is the Rock of Ages. Jesus is the Stone, the Cornerstone.

Works Consulted:

Adapted from Lifeway Gospel Project by Zachary Ethridge

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