David Kills Goliath (1 Samuel 17:41–57)

The description the writer of 1 Samuel paints of David';s initial confrontation with Goliath is a frightening one indeed. As the young shepherd approached this battle-hardened giant, he looked at David with utter contempt as demonstrated in the account of what he said to David at that moment: “‘Am I a dog,'; he roared at David, ‘that you come at me with a stick?'; And he cursed David by the names of his gods. ‘Come over here, and I';ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!'; Goliath yelled” (17:43–44).

The sight of a nearly 10-foot-tall giant sneering down at you promising to turn you into food for birds and animals would be, to put it mildly, intimidating. But David answered Goliath with incredible confidence — the kind of confidence that only comes from absolute faith that his God would give him the victory:

You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven';s Armies — the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord';s battle, and he will give you to us! (1 Samuel 17:45–47)

As you read this passage, note that David had absolute and complete faith in God, and because of that he was absolutely sure how this battle was going to turn out. When Goliath began closing in to attack, David ran to meet the giant head on. As he ran, he reached into his shepherd';s bag and took out a stone, placed it in his sling, and hurled it at the giant hitting him directly in the forehead.

The stone from David';s sling sank into the giant';s head, and he stumbled and fell facedown on the ground. David then ran over to Goliath, pulled the sword out of the Philistine';s sheath, and cut off his head (1 Samuel 17:48–50).

Goliath had been the champion fighter for the Philistine army, and when the soldiers saw that he was dead, they turned and ran from the army of Israel, which chased them far away, killing many of the Philistine soldiers.

Study Questions

What was Goliath';s response when he saw the boy David coming at him?

What did David say in return after Goliath had finished taunting him?

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