Old Testament: 1 Samuel 17:1-18:4
1 Samuel 17: 1 – 19 Big Man On Campus
The Philistines were getting set to attack the Israelites again. Saul and his men were camped on the mountain opposite them with a valley in-between. Goliath was a mesomorph, apparently glandularly challenged. He was probably about 9’9″ tall (cf. Bible Knowledge Commentary). Imagine if the NBA could have gotten a hold of him! He wore a bronze helmet and scale-armor which weighed about 125 pounds. He carried a spear with an iron tip that weighed about 15 pounds.
Goliath challenged the Israelites to a fight. He would take on whomever they set against him, as Hemingway would say, mano-a-mano. This scared the mucous out of all the Israelite warriors.
David went back and forth from the battle line to his home to tend the sheep. David’s three oldest brothers were already at the scene but David was only serving part-time (LB, v. 14-15). Every day for forty days Goliath took his stand on the mountain taunting the Israelites. David’s Dad had him bring some bread and cheese to his brothers and some also for Saul.
1 Samuel 17: 20 – 30 Little Big Man
While David was bringing his supplies and visiting his brothers, he heard Goliath’s challenge. David found out the offer made by Saul, to slay Goliath meant riches, a place in Saul’s family, married to his daughter and a tax exemption for life. David asked, “What does a guy get for offing this guy who is such an insult to God and His armies?”
David’s oldest brother got mad at David. “You’re such a brat! You just want to see the battle for entertainment. Why don’t you just go back and tend the sheep?” David said, “I was just asking a question.”
1 Samuel 17: 31 – 58 Gollll-leeee!
Saul sent for David when he heard David was asking around about Goliath. David said he’d go fight the dude. Saul told him he was too young to go fight him. David told Saul it’d be no problem since when David was tending his sheep he’d have to ward off lions and bears and rescue the sheep. He said the big guy would be about the same especially since he was razzing Yahweh’s host. David expressed his faith telling Saul that Yahweh would deliver him.
David must have been a sight. He was probably still just a teenager but Saul put his armor on him. Remember Saul was the tallest Israelite alive (1Sam. 9: 2). David chose not to use the armor but the weaponry he was more used to, a slingshot. The slingshot was basically a children’s toy (cf. Wiersbe). He brought five stones with him in case he missed the first four times. No. Actually, he brought five stones because he thought Goliath might have four brothers that would try to avenge his death!
Goliath was little offended that a boy was coming at him with a slingshot. Goliath taunted David personally. He said, “You really look like Robert Redford. “Ruddy” (v.42) means David had a red complexion and Goliate really got dirty and said he looked handsome. The nerve.
David then preached a sermon at Goliath, telling him Yahweh would give him the victory and that he’d do a very precise procedure on his neck, separating his head from his body.
When Golly came out towards David, David ran out to meet him. He took a stone and fired! Bonk! Precise hit to the forehead. In fact, it “sank into his forehead” (v. 49). Shades of Ehud sinking the knife into (Judg. 3: 22) Eglon so far that his fat enclosed the handle. Uh. Anyway, after David sank the stone into Golly’s forehead, he ran over to him, drew Golly’s own sword and moved Golly’s head away from his body.
When the Philistines realized what had happened they absconded (v. 51). The men of Israel and Judah pursued the Philistines into the valley leaving a trail of dead Philistines for about ten miles all the way to Goliath’s hometown of Gath (v. 4). The Israelites plundered the Phillies and David even kept Golly’s armor which he later dedicated to the Lord and gave to the priests for safekeeping (21: 9).
Saul asked his commander, Abner, who the heck that little guy was. Abner answered, “I Dunno.” Saul told him to find out. Abner brought David back to Saul who at that time was holding Goliath’s head. Saul asked him who he was and he told Saul, “I’m Jesse’s son from Bethlehem.”
1 Samuel 18: 1 – 4 Jonathan and David, BFF’s
Jonathan kind of liked the ruddy kid. In fact, in a totally platonic way, he really, really liked him. He like liked liked him. They were BFF’s. Jonathan liked David so much he made a covenant with him. Jonny took off his robe, armor, sword, bow and belt and gave them all to David.
New Testament: John 8: 21- 30
John 8: 21- 30 The Great “I Am”
Jesus told the religious leaders He was taking off but they wouldn’t be able to follow Him. They thought that He was maybe going to kill Himself. Jesus told them that He was from above but they were from below, on the earth and in the world. He told them that unless they believed He was the Great “I Am” (v. 24, Ex. 3: 14) of the OT, they would die in their sins. They weren’t getting it when He was talking about His Father.
He told the religious leaders that when they “lifted Him up,” a symbol of his crucifixion, then they would know that He was the Great “I Am” (v. 28) and that He didn’t do anything without checking in with the Father.
Jesus said He always pleased the Father, no matter what He did. A lot of people who heard Him “got it” and believed in Him.