The text for this lesson is 1 Samuel 17:1—58.
- As David slew the giant Goliath, so David’s greater Son—Jesus—slew the jeering Goliaths of sin, Satan, and death with the weapon of His own death.
- Law: The enemies that face Christians are hardly pipsqueak rivals easily trounced. The devil is a roaring lion, not a hissing kitten. Danger and death await the believer who belittles these foes. Beware.
- Gospel: We do not fight our adversaries alone. In fact, there is one who fights for us: Jesus Christ. With His word of truth, He fells them as easily as David downed Goliath with a sling. His victory is our victory. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). More than conquerors are we, for we are kings and queens with the King of Kings Himself.
The Philistines, who lived along the coast of the Mediterranean, had been Israel’s archenemy for generations before David. Gradually moving eastward, they presented more and more of a challenge to God’s people—a challenge met by such men as Samson and Saul. Their threat was not only geographical (they took Israelite land) but also religious. Wooed by the sensuality of the Philistine religion, many would fall prey to its seductive charms.
Goliath challenges the Israelite army to send out someone to fight him. This practice of two warriors from opposing sides going head-to-head against each other was not unknown in the ancient world. Each soldier embodied the army he represented. Should Goliath win, all Philistia would win. Should an Israelite win, all Israel would win. At this point in the story, David is known by Saul (1 Samuel 16:14–23), but David’s lineage is evidently not known (1 Samuel 17:55–58). He has also already been secretly anointed by Samuel as the successor to Saul (1 Samuel 16:1–13).
Discussion Points and Questions
- Read 1 Samuel 17:1–11. What effect did Goliath wish to have on the Israelites? How did he accomplish this goal?
- David comes onto the scene in 1 Samuel 17:12–16. Read 1 Samuel 17:12–16 and 16:18–19. What kind of young man is David?
- Read 1 Samuel 17:17–27. How does David’s view of the situation differ from that of his brothers and the rest of Israel’s army?
- Read 1 Samuel 17:28–37. How does David get Saul’s attention? How does David’s picture of the situation differ from that of Israel’s king?
- Read 1 Samuel 17:38–39. How does David’s rejection of Saul’s armor represent the difference in the way that they consider the kingship of Israel?
- Read 1 Samuel 17:40–47. Again, David sees the situation differently than others do. How does David’s perspective differ from Goliath’s? Why? How does David’s words testify to this all-important difference?
- Read 1 Samuel 17:48–54. What was the significance of the fact “There was no sword in the hand of David” (v.50)?
- How does David’s victory over Goliath illustrate God’s power to work in ways that we do not expect? What is the greatest example of God working through a means that we never would have predicted?
- David had a different view of the battle than did Saul, his brothers, and Goliath because he recognized God’s presence on the battlefield. How does God’s presence in Christ change our view of our greatest enemies: sin and death?
David has been anointed as king, and he has already shown that he will be a faithful shepherd of God’s people. Yet David’s success against Goliath does not please veryone. Saul’s jealousy will turn him against David. Still, David will have a close friend in Saul’s household—Saul’s son, Jonathan. Read 1 Samuel 18:1–5 and 1 Samuel 20:1–42. Join us next week as we discuss how God created the friendship between David and Jonathan, and how He used that friendship to bring glory to His name.
Additional CPH Resources
|Arch Books: David and Goliath (59-1559)
This book retells the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
The Arch® Book series tells popular Bible stories through fun-to-read rhymes and bright illustrations. This well-loved series captures the attention of children, telling scripturally sound stories that are enjoyable and easy to remember.
Spanning the events of just over one hundred years, 1 and 2 Samuel describe a time when Israel rebelled against God, demanding an earthly king to lead her. However, these books also tell the story of how a merciful God intervened to usher in the reign of King David, Israel’s greatest king and an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1-16). In the pages of 1 and 2 Samuel, you will:
Also available as a downloadable resource (20-3395).
|People’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Samuel (12-8201)
Christ-centered Bible truths unfold as you read this complete series of commentaries designed for spiritual growth and reading enjoyment. These trustworthy commentaries help you comprehend what you’ve read in Scripture as well as apply it to your life.