The story of David and Goliath is ultimately not about David. It points to the Son of David-Jesus Christ.
I’ll admit, for many years, I positioned myself in David’s sandals. My troubles were my “goliaths.” Thankfully, the Holy Spirit transformed my perspective. He illuminated His Sword (the Bible) and wielded it to slay my pride. I’m not the hero.
Centuries before Jesus’ birth, God leveraged people, places, and events to teach us about His Son — Jesus. He inspired the Old Testament writers to pen promises and predictions which found their consummation in Christ. In God’s eternal wisdom, He designed human history to reveal His Son’s character and His mission. David and Goliath’s story is no exception. David’s triumph foreshadowed Christ’s victory.
Approach the next few paragraphs with an open mind and open Bible. As I summarize 1 Samuel 17, memorize the details surrounding David’s battle and compare with Christ’s.
In the years leading up to the historic victory, the humble shepherd mauled bears and lions to protect his sheep. God planned those wilderness triumphs to bolster David’s faith.
David’s father sent him on a mission to deliver bread to his brothers. While on a hillside amongst Israelite ranks, Goliath’s voice boomed. It pierced David’s ears. The giant’s veins bulged. He clenched his fists. His massive sword and spear clashed. Yet, David never shuttered. Instead, Goliath’s defiant blasphemes ignited a table-flipping zeal in the young shepherd’s heart. He asked, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
While the Israelites’ knees knocked and teeth chattered, David volunteered to fight the Everest of a man. His bravery incited mockery. Many rebuked him, including his brother. “Why have you come down here?” he scorned. They thought he stood no chance against 9’9” Goliath. They judged David’s outward appearance, but the LORD saw his heart. And what did God see? A man after His own heart; a lion to the core!
The future king of Israel trod out from the musty, paralyzed battalion. Behind him? Ten thousand Israelites. Before him? One behemoth. You could’ve heard a cricket. He stuffed a cold stone into his tattered leather sling. The familiar weapon felt like an extension of his arm. David set his face like flint toward the titan and charged him. With every muscle fiber, he slung the smooth stone. It buried deep into Goliath’s skull. With a loud thud, the giant face-planted. Dirt flew. Israelite praise erupted. Then, David unsheathed Goliath’s fifteen-pound sword – the weapon forged against him – and decapitated the Philistine with his blade!
Jesus, the great Shepherd, opposed a roaring “lion” in the wilderness. The lion (Satan) sought to “devour” Christ, but Jesus chose to save His sheep, instead.
God sent His Son—the Bread of Life—on a mission. Jesus, the future King of Israel, told his disciples He planned to confront the cross and grave. His courage incited mockery. Many rebuked Him, including His brother in the faith, Peter. “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” Besides their human concerns, Jesus’ disciples thought He stood no chance against the 9’9” cross. They judged Jesus’ outward appearance: no feathered hair. Young. Nothing which screamed “giant slayer.” But His Father saw His heart. And what did He see? The LION of the tribe of Judah!
From the hillside of Gethsemane’s garden, Jesus heard the mob’s footsteps and weapons. Behind Christ? Ten thousand angels. Before Him? One rugged cross. The disciple’s jaws quivered, and soon they scattered. Although twelve legions of angels had His back, Jesus forged ahead alone. The Son of David set His blessed face toward His adversary and never deviated. Zeal consumed Him. Death slandered. The grave mocked. Yet, Christ the Victor delivered death’s fatal blow. With a thud that will echo for all eternity, the burial stone slammed into the ground. Dirt flew. Jesus defeated the goliath-sized enemies and rose victorious. Praise exploded. “We have seen the Lord!” The cross—the very weapon forged against Him—He used to serve His end!
Minutes before David’s battle, Saul advised him to wear his armor, but Saul’s suit didn’t suit him. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” David wielded no spear or sword, and neither did Jesus. David declared, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves.” How’d the LORD ultimately save, you ask? Jesus. His Name means LORD saves.
“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. (1 Samuel 17:8-9)
Slavery and freedom hung in the balance. When David severed Goliath’s neck, it cut slavery’s chains. Likewise, Jesus led captivity captive! When the Son of David punted the burial stone, He purchased freedom for anyone who places his trust in Him.
JESUS IS THE GREATER DAVID.
So, if we’re not David, who are we? We’re the anxious Israelites, shaking in our armor. The greater David fought to free us. The Bread of Life tasted death for us. And nothing – no cross, grave, or sword – can ever separate you from His love. Do you trust the greater David?
Written by Logan Stogner, 2022 copyright
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