Its not easy to tell a story when you are sure that everyone knows it all ready. In this story we want to look at David and his battle with Goliath the giant. Even though David was a young lad, he did beat the 10 foot giant; actually Goliath was 9 feet 9 inches tall.
It must have taken a lot of courage on David's part to go out against Goliath, but I'm sure he wouldn't have been able to do anything if he didn't have a very strong belief in God. David must have also been very confident that God would keep His word to help the people of Israel in wars for their homeland. Goliath's people, the Philistines, were attacking and trying to conquer the people of Israel.
That's what we want to look at in this story; the way trusting in God's word works in an everyday way. I call it Faithing. That means acting (doing some action), based on God's promise, with the confidence that God will keep His word.
You see, we can all learn from David because, even though he was chosen by God, he, David, didn't have a sense of being anyone special or important. All he knew was that one day a few years ago, that great man, the prophet Samuel had showed up at the house, poured oil on his head and said he was to be king of Israel. Being in his early teens, I suppose David didn't understand all that too well. After Samuel left, David went back to his old job of tending his fathers' sheep.
The Bible says when Samuel annointed David-poured on the oil-that " the Spirit of the Lord came on him from that day forward." This probably explains an exciting fight that David had with a lion and a bear.
One night while David was out sleeping with the flock, a lion attacked. David chased the lion and saved a lamb out of its' mouth. When the lion jumped for David, the lad grabbed its tail and smashed the lion against the ground. He had a similar fight with a bear. The Spirit must have given David a bunch of extra strength. Lions can weigh four hundred pounds, and are very hard to swing by the tail.
So David was very strong and quick, and handsome. But we don't find that people around there were making a big fuss over him, or that he acted as though he was due for some very great feats of skill and courage. If anyone could say anything about David, it was that he believed fiercely in God and His power.
At the time just before the story of Goliath starts, all we have is this healthy God-fearing young shepherd who, it's claimed, killed a lion and a bear. A staff and a sling are his only weapons. And wait 'till you hear how Goliath was decked out.
Remember, Goliath was ten feet tall. His spearhead, by itself, weighed over twenty pounds. It might have looked something like a huge nail that was twelve inches long and three inches thick. His top or breastplate weighed one hundred eighty pounds. That's more than I weigh. His spear was so big he carried it over his shoulder. He needed several men to carry all his armor. He had a big copper helmet and leg protectors. What a sight Goliath was!
Now, David knew there was a war going on because his three oldest brothers were there with army. In fact, if his brothers hadn't been there, maybe David would never have met Goliath. David certainly had no idea of fighting when he arrived at the army camp. He was just bringing his brothers some loaves and wine to give them a little extra to eat. That wasn't even David's idea. His father wanted to hear news of the boys to see if they were all right.
I don't blame David for getting mad at the Israelite soldiers when he got to the army camp and heard Goliath making fun of Israel and God. Every day for forty days, Goliath and paraded up and down the little valley that separated the Philistines and the army of Israel. He'd shout that all Israel were cowards, and couldn't find one person good enough to fight him alone. Goliath tried to fool the Hebrews by saying that if he was beaten the Phillistines would surrender.
The Isrealite troops were afraid, but that wasn't the problem. They were having trouble because of forgetting and doubt. Most of Israel's army and forgotten or didn't believe God's word. Remember, God had said He would help David's people against their enemies.
David hadn't forgotten and didn't think that God would not come through and help. He said,
"Why do you let this heathen make fun of you like this? Go and kill him." The soldiers, and especially David's brothers, told David to quit fooling around and go back home to the sheep where it was safe.
David was causing such a stir in camp that word got to king Saul and he sent for David. David was so strong-minded about the matter that he talked Saul into letting him go out to Goliath. David argued that Goliath couldn't possibly the more dangerous than a lion or bear, and that God would also protect him now against this giant.
That was an act of trust in God, telling the king that. It's a little like telling the future. David was saying that with God's help, Goliath was going to the dead. David didn't have any special plan of battle or anything. He just believed God, and God's promise enough to act like it was the truth. He faithed.
Another way David faithed was to refuse the kings' armor and sword. Goliath was big and well armed, but David didn't feel right about using things he wasn't sure of. He knew that in trying to protect himself with the armor, he'd be slow and easier to kill. When we faithe in our regular lives we have to remember, like David, to use only what God has given us. David let God do the protecting, while he did what he could do best: move quickly and sling a stone with strength and good aim.
And of course the biggest and final way that David acted in trust was to make his way out to meet a warrior that was almost five feet taller than him. That's like a two foot baby going to fight a professional basketball player. But, courage his ninety percent of faithing. Trusting God is simple, but it's also very hard. Most of the time we can only see things that look impossible to overcome, like ten foot giants. And we can't see God. It would have been nice for David if he could have looked back at the Isrealite army and seen God standing on the hill with them smiling and waving him to go on.
From then on, David did the next thing he could see to do. That's the how faithing works. We're not to try and see how our whole problem will be solved. We must do the next thing we can, trusting that God, at each new step, will help us get closer to our goal.
David stopped a little way from Goliath because the giant was laughing and jeering at David for being a boy. The next thing that David saw to do was to inform Goliath at the didn't need a spear, sword or armor to fight when God was calling the shots. David said he'd cut off Goliath's head and feed his body to the beasts. Then David waited for the next thing he could do.
He didn't have long to wait, 'cuz Goliath had had enough of that kind of talk. Angrily he lumbered forward to get David. He was still too far from David for a staff to be of use, so the next thing David could do was use his sling.
He fitted a stone in the sling and quick as a cat whipped the stone at Goliath's head. Of course with God helping David, his shot missed all the giant's fancy armor and struck Goliath's forehead. The stone actually went a little way into Goliath's skull. The giant fell right on his face.
There weren't too many steps left for David to take, but clearly his next one had to be to kill Goliath while he was out. Maybe the giant wouldn't have gotten up anyway, but David wasn't going to chance it.
In those days it was common to cut off the head of your enemy. I guess as proof that he was dead. David couldn't do that with his own weapons, so he used the giant's own sword to take off his head.
The story of the battle with Goliath ends there. Although the Philistine army ran away in fear, they were caught by the Isrealites and were almost completely killed off. David was a great hero. In fact, King Saul was somewhat suspicious of David because the people liked him so much.
I hope that next time you get into a sticky spot you will remember how David faithed on God's promise. God will help you to if you ask, and act.
David went on to the the greatest king Israel ever had. In fact, David it so much to please God that his kingdom never lost a war and became very rich and prosperous. God did an interesting thing. He made David a special promise that is good for all time; even today.
God told David, you can find this promise in Psalm 89:5, 6, 7, that as long as the sun was shining or the moon, that a descendant of his, a grandson or granddaughter, would be king over Israel. That means, somewhere in the world today there is a king or queen out of David's family ruling over the descendants of David's nation Israel.
That means more than just the Jews. There are eleven other tribes beside the Jews. Between 700 BC and 1O66 AD these other tribes migrated mostly to northwest europe and the British Isles. The kingly line of David was already there to rule starting in 1103 BC with the British king Brutus who came from Troy. Again, in 583 BC, Jeremiah brought the Jewish king's daughter, Tea Tephi, to Ireland where she married the high king. His name was Eochaide, and he was a distant relation to Brutus. They were both of the family of Judah on the Zarah side. King David was from the family of Judah on the Pharez side.
Out of the marriage of Tea Tephi and Eochaide, came all the kings and queens of northwest europe and the British Isles. This includes Queen Elizabeth II of England!
I have fun telling you about the Heroes of Faithing in the Bible. I hope you like them, too.