What The Story Of David And Goliath Is Really About

Text: 1 Samuel 17:4-10, 32, 41-51

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

Perhaps there is no greater Old Testament story than the story of David and Goliath. It is a familiar story that is told in Sunday School to children and yet admired by all.

Now, the reason why this Old Testament story is loved by so many is that it is the typical story of the little guy taking on the big guy. Who doesn’t like stories of the little guy sticking it to the man?

And so, every time we hear this story it has a way of grabbing us. We are immediately captivated when we hear about Goliath standing at some 7 to 9 feet tall with his bronze helmet, bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin. We can almost hear the echo of Goliath’s laugh as he shouted out,

“I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man that we may fight together.”  

And we can envision David’s face as he speaks before King Saul,

“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine . . . [this] Philistine shall be like [that dead bear and lion.]”

And we can also imagine Goliath moving towards David on that battlefield. A 7 to a 9-foot warrior with a 125 pounds of armor coming head-to-head with a ruddy and youthful shepherd who held a slingshot in his hand with five rocks.

It is at this point that we should pause and take note of what is happening in this story. In other words, we can do a great injustice to this story if we fail to realize what is occurring. Yes, this is a battle between the Philistines and the Israelites, but there is more to it. Yes, this is a battle between a prideful man and a faithful man, but there is more to it. Yes, this is a battle between human strength and God’s power, but there is more to it. You see, if we only think about this story in the ways just mentioned, we actually fail to consider what we learned last week from Genesis chapter 3.

Take a moment and recall what we heard last week from Genesis chapter 3. In Genesis chapter 3 the Lord God said that He would put enmity – that is war – between the offspring of Eve and Satan. Therefore, what we have before us in the story of David and Goliath is a great battle between the seed of Eve and the serpent – that is the Devil. That is to say; the Messiah was first promised in Genesis Chapter 3, and this Messiah was to come through the lineage of Eve. Therefore, what we have before us in the story of David and Goliath is a war between the lineage of the Messiah and Satan who opposes the Messiah.  It is a war between God’s promise of Genesis 3 and the serpent who wishes to undo the promise.   

Simply stated, David was a descendant of Eve, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the promised lineage of the Messiah was to come through David. Yes, David was a great-grandfather to Jesus, separated by some 28 generations. This is why we often refer to Jesus as the Son of David. So, what this all means is this: no David, means no lineage of the Messiah. No lineage of the Messiah, means no birth of Jesus. And no birth of Jesus, means no Christmas long ago. And no Christmas would mean no salvation for the world and that God failed to keep His promise of Genesis 3:15.

So, as we see, this skirmish between David and Goliath is not some local fight, but it is a cosmic battle – a war between the seed of Eve and the seed of the serpent. It is an epic collision of huge proportions between light and dark, heaven and hell, God and Satan. And what is at stake here in this story of David and Goliath is the salvation of mankind!

So, as we know, Goliath was first struck with a stone in the forehead coming from David’s slingshot, and then after falling to the ground, his head was cut off with his own sword. Now, it is not clear whether the death-blow was from the stone or the sword. Perhaps Goliath was as good as dead when the stone struck him in the head, and the sword finished him off. Or perhaps he was already dead, and the decapitation of his head demonstrated absolutely that the giant was dead. Nonetheless, the Lord God sustained His promise of Genesis 3:15 through His servant David defeating Goliath.

Dear friends, the Lord God kept His promise to you and me by defeating Goliath and ensuring that Christmas would happen. The Lord kept His promise in the defeat of Goliath and as we know, Jesus – the Messiah – was born in Bethlehem long ago. He was born to fulfill the promise of Genesis 3:15.

And like his great-grandfather David, Jesus did not appear to be much. As Goliath laughed at David, others also mocked Jesus, saying, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Indeed, Jesus did not look like a mighty warrior. He held no deadly weapons in His hands as He went forward to face not Goliath, but Satan at Mt. Calvary.

And like David – full of faith – Jesus flung His mightiest stone at Satan. The mightiest stone was Himself, the Rock that fell from heaven to crush Satan’s head. Yes, Jesus struck that giant serpent upon the head, as promised.

Christ did this by hurling Himself into death on the cross. Jesus let Himself be crucified for the sins of humanity. By shedding His Blood this way, He made the Devil powerless to hurt any of Christ’s people.

Because of this, we can say that Satan is as good as dead because his head was crushed by Christ, the Seed of the woman. However, Satan still withers and slithers as His head is under Christ’s heavy heal.  Indeed, Satan has been crushed and his head is under the heal of Jesus, but he is not entirely gone. You see, the final chop of the sword will come at the end when the ancient serpent is cast into the lake of fire, which is hell. Then the Devil will be eternally dead, never to return or trouble us again.

Dear Baptized Saints, all of this is the Lord God sustaining His promise for you – to give you forgiveness, life, and salvation. All of this is the Lord God keeping His promise to you, giving you victory over sin, death, and the Devil.

The stone hit Goliath and his head was chopped off.  Christ has crushed Satan and at the end of days, his head will be chopped off as well.  This is all most certainly true. This is the Lord God keeping His promise for you and for me – a promise made long ago. 

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

To listen to the first part of this sermon series, CLICK HERE

Note: The second half of this sermon is borrowed in part from Rev. Andrew Eckert's sermon on 1 Samuel 17:48-18:9.

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