David was deeply disturbed that a Philistine, who was uncircumcised and therefore outside of a covenant relationship with the Lord, would so boldly heap shame on (1 Samuel 17:26) “the armies of the living God.” Goliath’s words were not just an insult directed against the Israelite army; they were also an assault on “the living God,” since the army was composed of members of the Lord’s covenant community.
David’s faith and courage were as extraordinary as his logic was simple. The king, disarmed by David’s impressive presentation, decided to make what was perhaps the greatest military gamble of his career and accept David’s offer. In a word of blessing that was certainly also a prayer, Saul asked that “the Lord be with” David in his fight.
Throughout this entire episode, David gives glory to the Lord. The practical lesson here is that God gives victory in response to our faith. God had tested David privately with a lion and a bear; now he was to test him openly with a giant.
If we are faithful in the private battles, God will see us through the public trials. Too often God’s people faint at the smallest test that comes their way, little realizing that the “little tests” are but preparation for the bigger battles that are sure to come (Jeremiah 12:5).
- David used simple, humble weapons: a sling and five stones (see 1 Cor. 1:27–28 and 2 Cor. 10:3–5).
- David knew how Gideon was given victory with weak weapons, and he knew that Gideon’s God was not dead.
Neither his brothers’ criticism nor Saul’s unbelief kept David from trusting God for victory. The stone hit its mark; the giant fell down, and David used the giant’s own sword to cut off his head! This one victory opened the way for Israel to attack the Philistines and spoil their camp. “This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:4). We are “more than conquerors!”