Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Apr 30 2019 - 1 Samuel 17:38-18:16 – David the conquering hero

The story of how David defeated Goliath is well known. David refused the weapons and armour offered him by Saul because they were unfamiliar to him and served only to weigh him down. He went out to meet Goliath armed only with his staff, his sling and a few pebbles picked up from a stream bed.

Goliath took one look at David and roared, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" (1 Samuel 18:43). But David shouted back, "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. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 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" (18:45-47).

As the giant moved towards him, David ran forward and hurled a stone at Goliath using his sling. The giant was knocked unconscious and fell to the ground whereupon David quickly killed him with the Philistine's sword. He then removed his head as a trophy to be taken back to the king. The Philistine army fled pursued by the Israelite army. Many of the Philistines were slaughtered that day. Israel's soldiers seemed to regain their courage once Goliath was dead.

David was co-opted into Saul's court and into his army. Jonathan, Saul's son, was so deeply moved by David's act of bravery that he entered into a covenant with David and gave him his robe, tunic, sword and belt. It is as if he is already recognising that David has a better right than him to be treated as heir to the king.

So David continued to fight Saul's battles and soon gained a great reputation for himself in Israel. But as the people celebrated how David had even more victories in battle than the king, Saul began to fear David and then even to hate him. He sensed that David will begin to take over his kingdom and so – despite David's faithful service – he tried to kill him by pinning him to the palace wall with his spear.

As we were seeing yesterday, Jesus Christ the Son of God has entered the battlefield on our behalf and has slain the giant that held us captive – he has destroyed sin and death and has put Satan and his army to flight. But that does not mean that there is nothing more for us to do. We also have a battle to fight and a kingdom to gain. David could not go into battle with Saul's armour and neither can we fight the battle of the kingdom with the weapons of this world: "Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Let's be ready to do battle today, putting on the armour of God that will enable us to take our stand against the devil's schemes – weapons before whom no giant can stand. The battle belongs to the Lord.

God of heaven's armies, help me to see clearly those things that oppose Christ, especially when they are my own thoughts and attitudes. May they come crashing down before the power of your word and your Spirit. May the gospel of peace persuade many to flee from you no longer but to come and find life and hope in our Lord Jesus.

Peter Misselbrook