Family memories in the sun are exactly what makes summer so special. Time well spent with loved ones, cuddled up around the beach bonfire, admiring the stars and all of God's creation—these are the memories we'll hold close to in years to come.
We've got a way to sweeten up your family time even more—a family devotional!
That's right, we're sharing a devotional the whole family can enjoy. This is the perfect excuse to curl up on the couch (or around the bonfire) and read from God's Word, together.
Today, we're taking a look at the ever-popular story of David in Goliath and sharing new tidbits we've learned about this time-honored tale on underdogs and God equipping the most unlikely of heroes to accomplish His will. We hope you and the kiddos have some new takeaways as well!
1 Samuel 17:1-11
The infamous standoff between the Philistine army and the Israelites has arrived. King Saul and his men are camped out between Sococh and Azekah, in the vast Valley of Elah, with the Philistines on the other side. Goliath, a giant Philistine soldier (anywhere from 8'5" to 9'2") presented himself to the Israelites, intimidating them with his sheer size and power.
Goliath urged the Israelite army to bring forth a champion worthy of fighting him.
“Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” (vs. 8-10)
King Saul and the entire Israelite army shuddered in fear. What mighty warrior could possibly defeat the power of Goliath?
It's important to note here how it says King Saul was "dismayed and greatly afraid." As the Enduring Word commentary says, "At one time he was known as a fierce and successful military leader (1 Samuel 14:52). But that was before the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). As the Spirit left Saul so did his courage." This is a man who has turned away from the Lord and has fallen from glory. The result? Fear and distrust.
The Shepherd Boy
1 Samuel 1:12-39
David, a shepherd boy and the youngest of eight brothers, visited the Israelite camp to bring food and gifts to the soldiers—three of his brothers included. When he met up with them, he was told of the intimidating Philistine warrior, Goliath. Many of the Israelite men cowered in fear whenever Goliath presented himself.
To encourage someone to fight Goliath, King Saul offered a three-part bribe, featuring a cash reward, a princess, and a tax exemption. David, filled with more courage than any other Israelite soldier, informed King Saul that he would fight Goliath.
Notice his bravery here. He isn't shifting the responsibility to someone else. Instead, he's facing the threat head-on and is doing something about it. This showcases David's true heart for the Lord. As the Enduring Word commentary states...
"But he showed the strength of the armor of God in his life and replied rightly. He didn’t care about his glory or success, but only for the glory and success of the LORD’s cause."
Of course, David's commitment was met with much criticism. He was just a young shepherd boy. Surely, he was no match for this giant warrior! King Saul doubted David because of his size and age. This goes to show that God often uses the most unlikely of people to accomplish His will.
David explains how his time as a shepherd has prepared him for this exact moment. He's fought lions and bears. The Lord has known for a long time that David would be called to fight Goliath, and introduced trials in his life to prepare him for this exact moment. David's faithfulness was proven then and it's proven now.
"Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Again, David's faith in the Lord is on full display here. If God delivered him from the lion and the bear, then He will certainly protect David against Goliath. We can learn a lot from David's steadfast love and commitment to God. Yes, the threat may be great, but God's power is greater.
1 Samuel 1:40-49
At last, King Saul reluctantly agrees to let David fight Goliath. To prepare him, Saul clothes David in his armor. Of course, because of his size, the armor didn't fit David at all—it was too heavy for him. This is another example of how Saul was still trusting his own insight instead of God's, believing David needed anything other than God's presence to defeat the Philistine warrior. Military technology was not needed to win this fight—God's power was.
In confidence, David says he has no use for the armor, and instead will use five smooth stones and a slingshot. He will use the tools that God has already equipped him with.
The moment has finally arrived. David, only armed with his stones and sling, approaches the great warrior. Goliath is shocked to find that Israel's chosen warrior is a small boy. He taunts David and laughs in his faith, to which David replies with a statement of faith.
"You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands." (vs. 45-47)
Wow, what a powerful testament to David's faith, and God's power! David doesn't need impressive weapons or training in order to accomplish God's will. All he needs is simply do what God has asked him to do.
As Goliath rises to attack David, David skillfully pulls out a stone and slings it toward Goliath's head, knocking him unconscious. To the surprise of both armies, Goliath has been defeated. It's clear that David was successful with his mission because he fully trusted God.
Key Takeaways & Reflection
There's a lot that can be said here, but we're highlighting a few points that encapsulate the spirit of the Scripture. What can we learn from David's victory over Goliath?
1. No matter what challenge lies before you, if you call on God, He will equip you to face it. Not only that, but He will never ask you to do something He has not prepared you for. Look at how David was prepared to fight Goliath—the Lord had him fight lions and bears to ward off his flock during his years as a shepherd. The great threat before is not new to God. He's known about it for a while and has meticulously prepared you for it.
2. Oftentimes, God uses unlikely people to accomplish his will. Consider David's age and size, both things that would seemingly disqualify him from battling against a giant. God loves to surprise us by equipping the underdog to win the day in His name.
3. God's way is higher than our own. King Saul and his men believed they needed to meet Goliath's threat with weapons and brute strength, which are both ways of this world. David proved that all that was needed was faith in the Lord and a willingness to obey. When faced with adversity, will you fully trust in God's supernatural power or will you cling to what is humanly possible?
A Blessed Reminder
These time-honored accounts from the Bible prove to us how faithful God is. With Him by our side, there is nothing we can't accomplish. In fact, this truth is what has inspired much of our faith-based clothing! We've crafted our Christian t-shirts and accessories to serve as the hopeful reminders you need to make it through the day. God is with you, He is for you, and He is empowering you to do great things in His name.
Great devotional to share with my daughter as we get ready to go back to school! Thank you!
To all things may we give God the glory!