Biblical Brunch #4 ~ David and Goliath

I will be sharing stories from the Bible.  I am NOT trying to influence your beliefs or tell you what to believe.  I also expect you to respect me and my beliefs.  If you do not believe in the Bible, that is okay, you don’t have to read the post or you can take it simply as a story. 

Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. […]  A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. […]  He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.  […]

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.”  […]

Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, [..] Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war.  […] David was the youngest. 

For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

Now Jesse said to his son David, “[…] See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. […]

Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. […] Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.  Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

 

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

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.”

But David said to Saul, “[…]  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.”

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.  David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.  Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.   He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him.  He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  […]  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David [..] reach[ed] into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

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.

[…] When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. […]

“Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.

David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

 

I am taking this story from Bible.org. (1 Samuel 17:1-58)

This is the classic story of the underdog who won.  This tiny boy from Bethlehem defeats the giant from Philistine.  It’s an incredible story.   Followers of Christ know that David did not defeat Goliath alone, he was aided by God.

There is some criticism of this story.  Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book about this concept.  He believes that Goliath was really the underdog in this story.  David had advanced technology for that time period, he didn’t have to go anywhere near Goliath to defeat him.  I’m not sure I agree with this viewpoint, but it is one out there.

No matter who you believe the underdog of this story is, it is clear to see that what you see is not all that is there.  There are other strengths besides build and athletics.  Especially in high school, it is hard not to feel that activities and intellectual competitions don’t get the recognition that they deserve.  It is easy to feel that only athletic ability is valued, but it is not.  Bodies wear out, but minds last much longer.  I don’t want to discredit any athletes, they train very hard and deserve praise, but so do those in any other form of club, activity, or competition.  Be proud of your strengths!

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