Call to Worship August 15 2021

Expository Thoughts on 1 Samuel 17:26-58

May 17th, 2021: Kevin did what he usually does about eight months out of the year. He watches a spherical object hurled at him from 60 feet away at 95 miles an hour several times per day. This time was different: the hurler lost control and the baseball hit Kevin Pillar in the face. As one writer noted, “Pillar fell to the ground and immediately grabbed his face. As he tried crawling, blood poured out of his nose…”[1] A usual day of staring down mostly controlled, but extremely fast pitches, as they whiz by turned into a nightmare. Thankfully, after the aid of doctors and time spent healing from facial fractures, Kevin Pillar returned to his normal days at the ball field. The same is not true for that Giant of Gath who faced that hurler from Bethlehem.  

David’s ability to adapt and overcome as a warrior is not the main theme of 1 Samuel 17. Yes, he was skilled with a sling and stone, which shepherd’s often slung around 100 miles per hour, but his faith was in the LORD. [2] When David heard the confrontational mocking of Goliath, he was concerned that it was aimed at the “living God” (vs. 26). Even then he did not pretend to take on Goliath from his own strength and skill. Saul questioned his youth and inexperience as a warrior. So he noted his previous battles with bears and lions, only to mark that it was the “LORD who delivered me” (33-37). When mocked and jeered at by Goliath, he showed no cowardice in his words, and further proclaimed, “This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands” (43-46).

David was not a brash young man with a warring ego. [3] He was a chosen man with “the Spirit of the LORD…mightily upon [him]” (16:13). God had raised him up as a shepherd with the mentality of protection and the skill to defeat prowling carnivores. As one knowing what it meant to wander in the wilderness as a shepherd, he knew his “help comes from the LORD” (Psa. 124:8). Even with all his skill with a sling, which he had undoubtedly practiced with and used countless times, David’s whole foundation and perspective concerned the one living covenant God.

David understood that Goliath would be defeated ultimately by God and through means chosen by Him alone. Not only had God chosen his man, God predetermined the weapon and the very stone of Goliath’s demise (Prov. 16:33). God even used human weakness to reveal His power and authority. “David overcame the Philistine with the ‘sling and stone’; there was no sword in David’s hand…Yahweh gave victory but he gave victory through what the world regards as weakness.” The almighty God used a small young shepherd boy, meagerly armed, to kill a scornful strong giant armed to the hilt. God’s enemies never stand a chance while in mocking mutiny. Just as Goliath fell to the ground, so will all God’s enemies fall face first in fear when confronted by His returning Son.

God’s people always have faith and hope in their covenant God. May we remember our battle is not against flesh and blood, so the victory is never finally founded in flesh and blood. God is our help, refuge, and stronghold in the day of trouble. Through the weakness of the cross of Christ our greatest help comes from the covenant God. Many will laugh and jeer at the claims of Christ. Many will be indifferent to His humanity, deity, perfect life, and the weakness of His crucifixion, yet He reigns forevermore! He will not lose one of His children and He will reconcile the whole of this earth to Himself at the appointed time. May all our faith at last be in the Triune God and Him alone. Soli Deo Gloria!



[3] Dale Ralph Davis, I Samuel: Looking on the Heart, (Christian Focus Pub., 2014.), 183-84.