This Sunday, we were so blessed to have Pastor Tammy bring a great message. Pastor Tammy continued in the “Two Kings, Two Thrones” series regarding the kingdoms of Saul and David and how Saul represents rule by law and David rule by grace. She looked at one of the most well-known stories in the Bible – that of David and Goliath. There are so many little things hidden in this story that are often overlooked.
At this time, David had been anointed to be the next king of
but was not yet the king. Saul and his army are camped out around a valley
where the Philistines are sending out a giant by the name of Goliath to taunt
them. Remember that the Philistines are
the enemy that God designated Saul to destroy. He has had only minor success,
and he and his men are now cowering in fear at the taunting of Goliath. Israel
Where did the giant Goliath come from? The Bible describes him as being over 9 feet tall. Is that even possible? Is the writer exaggerating? Goliath is a descendant of Anak. These were the “giants” in the promised land when Joshua led God’s people in. In Joshua 11, when they were driven out, they dispersed in many places. One of them was
(Joshua 11), and that is where Goliath is from.
So, in some ways, David is finishing the work of Joshua in destroying the giants in the
. In fact,
during David’s reign, he finally captures all of the territory that had been
promised to God’s people. With David being a type of grace and of Christ, we
see this battle as one of Spiritual significance to us. land
Why didn’t Saul go out and challenge Goliath? Remember that we read that Saul was described as a head and shoulders taller than all the other Israelites. Not only was he the king, but he was the one most physically suited to face Goliath, but Saul represents law. Law cannot defeat the giants in the land. Law causes us to cower in fear when faced with the giants. The law tells us we are undeserving and unqualified to do mighty work for God.
When Goliath taunts the Israelites, he calls them servants of Saul. God is never mentioned. When we are servants of the law, we are ill-equipped to face giants in life. Grace is the power of God working through us despite our imperfections. Remember that David was anointed king by Samuel without having gone through the purification of the law like his brothers (who were rejected) had done.
Goliath came out for 40 days. This is always a big number in the Bible (40 days Jesus in the wilderness, then defeat of the enemy; 40 years in the wilderness). There is always a big finish at the end of the 40. The Israelites could not defeat the enemy, but David/grace can.
David arrives on the scene because he was sent to bring food and supplies to his brothers (the purified ones who were cowering in fear at the feet of the giant). Before he leaves, he makes sure the sheep he is given charge of are cared for – since that is what a good shepherd would do. David hears Goliath’s taunting, and hears about the reward for defeating him. He also stated that Goliath was not allowed to defy the “armies of the living God.
David is upset about Goliath’s taunting of God’s people and insists that God can give them victory. His eldest brother, Eliab, accuses him of being prideful and assumes he left the sheep unattended. Neither is true. David was definitely confident in who he was in God. He was not prideful. We know that Proverbs tells us that pride comes before the fall. David did not fall. Proverbs also tells us that God resists the prideful. Obviously, God didn’t resist David. Pride is not confidence. Humility is not lack of confidence. Humility is simply being teachable. David lived a life that showed a pattern of being teachable by God – confident in God and reliant upon Him.
Saul hears what David has said and tells him he cannot do it because he is young. David tells stories of how God has equipped him to deliver lambs from bears and lions. Law will always try to tell you what you can’t do when you are in grace, and how big the enemy is. David talks about what God did and will do. Saul tries to clothe David in his armor in order to prepare him. Remember how huge Saul was? His armor is not going to fit young David. It was made for Saul, David quickly realizes that the armor would be an encumbrance. The armor of God fits us perfectly. This is what David chooses. We learned earlier in the series that the law puts us at an unnecessary disadvantage. Armor made from the law is heavy and oppressive. David chose not to put on the law’s self-righteousness – or its armor. It would have weighed him down and been an obstacle to victory.
Instead David takes five smooth stones and his sling and approaches Goliath. There are a lot of theories about why he grabs five and not just one. Was he accounting for the “just in case I miss?” Did he have the foresight to be prepared for being attacked by the Philistines after he took down their giant? We don’t really know. The number 5 does represent grace in the word (the 5th Hebrew letter represents the breath of God. I think the idea that the weapon of choice was a smoothed stone is important. What is it that smoothes stones? It is flowing water. It makes us think of being washed in the water of the Word and being planted by streams of living water. The Word makes the perfect weapon.
When David approaches Goliath he informs him that he’ll be going down, but David does not identify himself as a servant of Saul (or law in our illustration) but that of the Most High God. When we live by grace, we serve God and not the law. He also calls Goliath an uncircumcised Philistine. Circumcision had to do with partnership with God or covenant with Him, so David is calling Goliath an enemy of God.
Of course we know David takes down Goliath with one stone. He then cuts off Goliath’s head with Goliath’s sword. Imagine young David wielding the sword of a 9-foot giant. He used his own weapon against him. When we operate by grace, we destroy sin with its own weapons! When you know who you are in Christ and you partner with the Spirit of God, you can face your giants without being afraid and without being dismayed.