David Confronts Goliath
1 Samuel 17
Our next story begins after Samuel, under God’s direction, anointed David to be the king of Israel. But the anointing was done in secret because David would not officially become the king until Saul died or was removed. In the meantime, David was appointed as harpist to play for the king when the evil spirits attacked Saul’s mind and sent him into a rage. Not only did David’s playing settle the king’s spirit, but David’s personality captured the hearts of the king and his family—particularly the heart of Jonathan, the king’s oldest son.
A Philistine Giant Challenges Israel’s Manhood
Not so long after David began playing the harp for Saul, the Israelites were in a major battle with the Philistines. One of the Philistine leaders, a giant named Goliath, challenged the Israelites to a one-on-one battle with him. He said it was foolish to kill so many of each army. He asked, “Why not let one person from each army fight it out, with the losers becoming slaves for the victorious side?” This does not sound like a fair fight since Goliath was not only a giant but also a great warrior.
Goliath was an impressive sight. He was almost ten feet tall and wore a bronze helmet with a suit of armor that weighed 125 pounds. He had a bronze javelin slung across his chest, carried a spear with a head that weighed fifteen pounds, and had a large sword tucked in his belt. Who would be stupid enough to accept his challenge?
All of Israel’s soldiers cringed each morning as Goliath came to the center of the battlefield to challenge and degrade the Israelites. And each day, Goliath came forth more confidently than before, knowing the Israelites were becoming more and more afraid of him. He believed no one would accept his challenge, but it would serve to belittle the Israelites so much that when it came time for the actual battle, they would crumble before Goliath and his fellow Philistine soldiers. Saul offered great riches and Merab, his daughter, in marriage to any man who took on Goliath and was victorious. Of course, no one was willing to risk his life for a battle he was sure to lose. Or was there someone? Let’s find out.
This is a preview from Volume 2.
Each story is followed by "For Further Discussion" questions and a "For Further Study" section which includes Scripture references.