The story of David killing Goliath s easily the most beloved story in 1 and 2 Samuel. So compelling and well-known is the drama that it has become the primary historical metaphor in Western culture for describing any individual or group who overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to defeat an oppressor.
But the biblical narrative is not primarily a story about human courage and effort; instead, it is about the awesome power of a life built around bold faith in the Lord. The story of David and Goliath is familiar and carries with it many practical lessons for the Christian life. All of us face giants of one kind or another, but we may overcome them through the power of God.
Goliath’s most remarkable feature was his height; he was nine feet, nine inches tall. Whether this measure refers to Goliath in or out of uniform is immaterial; his physical stature was awesome and psychologically overpowering, especially to the typically small Israelites. He was “the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:8), their great champion, and so terrifying was he that he threw the Jewish army into panic (1 Samuel 17:11). Had Saul been a godly leader, he would have led his army to victory; but when people are out of fellowship with God, they can only lead others into defeat.
David arrived with provisions for his brothers he find the Lords armies hiding. David immediately was interested in the challenge of the giant. Note that his own brothers accused him and tried to discourage him; Satan always has somebody to tell us “it can’t be done.” Even Saul tried to discourage him: “You can’t go fight!” (1 Samuel 17:33). Indeed, David was not able, but in the power of the Lord he could overcome any enemy. (Phil. 4:13; Eph. 3:20–21.) Saul tried to give David some armor, but since he had not proved it, David refused the armor. Imagine Saul telling somebody else how to have victory! David had proved the power of God privately in the fields caring for his sheep; now he would demonstrate this power publicly to the glory of God.