Paul and I are reading through the Bible from the Discipleship Journal reading plan and yesterday, I re-read the story of David and Goliath from 1 Samuel 17.   I realized I have probably read that story too many times from a children’s Bible instead of from the actual Bible.  It is a really great story and there were several things that stuck out to me as I read it yesterday…

  • David was a boy.
  • He had already been anointed by God to be a future king (1 Sam 16:13, “The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day onward.”)
  • David went to the battle only to bring food to his older brothers who were there to fight.  Of course, as a young, ruddy, boy I am sure he had some hopes of seeing some action.
  • David was responsible; he made sure his flock at home was taken care of (17:20).
  • David experienced questioning by his brothers about his decision to come to battle.  His brothers asked him, “Why did you come down here?” David’s response seems to be not out of deceit.  He seemed to know that God had sent him down there for a greater role, but didn’t let his brothers questioning dissuade him.

And then King Saul calls for David.  David tells Saul, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged.  Your servant will go and fight this Philistine.”   The next part is what the children’s Bibles are really missing out on.

Verses 33-37 say:

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 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.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

It is this passage, David’s testimony to Saul, that has really made me think.  David didn’t just show up at the battle having never used a sling shot…He didn’t come to protect the Israelites having never rescued his father’s sheep.


 God had prepared him; He had given him a flock to protect, David had killed lions and bears and delivered his sheep from their mouths. And in doing all of it God was preparing him.  And David didn’t take those experiences and credit himself with pride, he knew it wasn’t out of his own strength, but under the sovereignty and protection of God.

I always thought about this story as something amazing that God had given David in order to fight Goliath.  But in reality it is no different than what he has given us.  He in his sovereignty has given us life experiences, trials, joy and pain.  All of these things are preparing us for the life ahead of us or for the place we are in now.

Verses 38-40 describe how Saul tried to give David his armor, but David was just a boy.  The armor was way too big and heavy for David to even walk.  So…”David removed them.”  He even took off the securities of a worldly battle.  And took faith in what he knew he could do, he picked up five smooth stones and approached Goliath.

The picture of David putting on Saul's armor from the Jesus Story Book Bible.

Verse 50 sums it up, “So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

Now I am certainly not giving all of the credit to a boy who loved his sling shot.  More than anything he loved God and had faith in the abilities God had given him.  Because the ending of this story points to the fact that it was obviously God who delivered the Israelites from the Philistines by using the hands of a boy he had prepared.

May we have strength in the challenges we face today, knowing that God has prepared us for this day and having faith in knowing He is preparing us for something else in the future.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

~Ephesians 2:10