God turns “what if” into “so what”: the Art of Battling Giants (conclusion)

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
 they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)


Goliath, despite all of his warrior training, his towering presence, his suit of armor, and his strength, was no match for this battle. David’s rock, propelled by a slingshot and directed by God, hit Goliath on the head and takes him out. Giant down.

See how frail and uncertain life is, even when it thinks itself best fortified, and how quickly, how easily, and with how small a matter, the passage may be opened for life to go out and death to enter. (Matthew Henry)

David completes Goliath’s slaying by cutting off Goliath’s head with his own sword. David had no use for a sword in the battle, and didn’t bring one of his own. His triumph was marked by using his enemy’s sword. David is more than a conqueror.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).

David’s victory over Goliath was typical of the triumphs of the son of David over Satan and all the powers of darkness, whom he spoiled, and made a show of them openly (Col. 2:15), and we through him are more than conquerors (Matthew Henry)

What happened to the Philistines, who relied wholly upon the strength of their champion?

Matthew Henry explains “When they saw him slain, they did not, as Goliath had offered, throw down their arms and surrender themselves servants to Israel (1 Sam. 17:9), but took to their heels, being wholly dispirited, and thinking it to no purpose to oppose one before whom such a mighty man had fallen: They fled (1 Sam. 17:51), and this put life into the Israelites, who shouted and pursued them (David, it is probable, leading them on in the pursuit) even to the gates of their own cities, 1 Sam. 17:52. In their return from the chase they seized all the baggage, plundered the tents (1 Sam. 17:53), and enriched themselves with the spoil.”

So while the Philistines were fleeing, running screaming for the hills, what happened to David?

Matthew Henry writes ” He brought the head of the Philistine to Jerusalem, to be a terror to the Jebusites, who held the strong-hold of Sion: it is probable that he carried it in triumph to other cities. His armour he laid up in his tent; only the sword was preserved behind the ephod in the tabernacle, as consecrated to God, and a memorial of the victory to his honour, 1 Sam. 21:9. 5. The notice that was taken of David. Though he had been at court formerly, yet, having been for some time absent (1 Sam. 17:15), Saul had forgotten him, being melancholy and mindless, and little thinking that his musician would have spirit enough to be his champion; and therefore, as if he had never seen him before, he asked whose son he was. Abner was a stranger to him, but brought him to Saul (1 Sam. 17:57), and he gave a modest account of himself, 1 Sam. 17:58. And now he was introduced to the court with much greater advantages than before, in which he owned God’s hand performing all things for him.”

David was a shepherd, a psalmist, and a commander. David lived a life filled with complexities and a hunger for God. Dr. Charles Stanley explains:

Shepherd: David was anointed king long before commanding anything other than sheep (1 Sam. 16:1-13). Protecting the sheep was a job he took seriously, even killing a lion and a bear to do so. During those days, he learned to be strong and brave, and to take care of creatures weaker than himself. An early life of obedience to his human father taught him the humility he would later need in order to depend on God.

Psalmist: David’s writings reveal his hunger for God. He is open about issues like fear, depression, defeat, loneliness, and sorrow. By describing valley experiences and communing with the Father in the night watches, David provided us with intimate glimpses of the God he knew so well.

Commander: Starting with David’s encounter with Bathsheba, the king’s life was plagued by heartache, pain, suffering, and conflict. David had sinned greatly, but God forgave him and continued to use him. He ruled Israel for 40 years, and his people called Jerusalem the “City of David.” His restoration teaches us about the consequences of sin and the limitlessness of God’s grace.

We’ll visit David again later in the series and learn more about the trial David faces with Saul. That story is packed with sword throwing, attempted murder, trials, and tribulations. Up next, Hagar, one of the most interesting women in the Bible, will show us that nothing is impossible with God.

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