1 Samuel 17:1-52


This is the most well known story of David. It’s a story of fear and courage. We all face fear throughout our lives. How we deal with those fears is important. In this story of David and Goliath, we naturally put ourselves in the role of David. But what if we really are represented better by Israel? 


The only way we can live with true courage is by looking to the victory of the king. … Israel went from fear to courage as they watched David defeat Goliath.  


Background & Context


The Philistines

  • Perpetual enemies of Israel
  • One of the most technologically advanced civilizations of this era
  • First to have weapons made with bronze and iron
  • At this time they controlled three major cities in Israel


4 types of courage in this story

  1. Goliath : Self-Based Courage … Goliath was bigger than everyone else. He was strong and physically impressive, a victor of many battles. He also had superior armor and weapons. His courage was based on himself and his tools. 
  2. Saul : No Courage … Saul was terrified. He saw Goliath and his weapons and armor and was scared. Saul was the tallest of the Israelites but he was still considerably smaller than Goliath. God had promised victory to Saul if he stayed true to God, but Saul failed in that and lost his courage. And since the king lost courage, so did Israel. The soldiers were scared. The people were scared. 
  3. David : True Courage … David went to take food to his brothers and heard Goliath’s daily challenge and insults. He was shocked no one was taking the challenge after such insults towards God, so he decides to take it and is sent to Saul. Saul wasn’t sure this little shepherd boy could win, but sent him anyway. David refused the armor and faced Goliath with a staff, a sling, and some smooth stones. Goliath was offended by such a weak opponent. The two trash talk, because that’s what guys do before any kind of battle. They ran towards each other and David slung one of those stones straight into Goliath’s forehead, who fell to the ground. Then David used Goliath’s own sword to kill him and behead him, a sure sign of victory. The Philistines fled. 
  4. Israel : Renewed Courage … Israel had been lacking courage as Saul refused to battle Goliah. But when David defeated Goliath, Israel found their courage again and chased the Philistines off. How does this apply to us? It’s easy to see how David’s victory reminded the Israelites of God’s promises and granted them courage. This battle also points forward about 1000 years to another battle, a bigger battle. The battle where Jesus defeated sin and death. Jesus died on the cross and fought Satan and sin and death and walked out of the tomb victorious. 


Three things we no longer have to fear because of the victory of Jesus:

  1. Rejection … No one likes being rejected, but we can handle it in Christ because we are accepted by the One who matters
  2. Failure … It feels awful to fail, but we know that the final outcome is already decided. 
  3. Death … If we have placed our faith in Jesus, we do not have to fear death. We know that when we die, we will spend eternity with Christ in Heaven. 


For Further Study/Resources the Pastor Used to Prepare This Message

  • Great Lives: David: A Man of Passion and Destiny by Chuck Swindoll
  • Preaching the Word Commentary
  • Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary
  • ESV Expository Commentary
  • New American Commentary