1 Samuel 17: David and Goliath


  • The fear of Israel
  • The faith of David
  • The fear of Saul
  • The faith of David


David and Goliath is one of the best known stories in the bible, but what is it really all about? Some think that it is merely a rags to riches story about David the Shepherd who becomes king, and so we should all reach for our dreams. Others have applied it facing the giants in the your life, or standing up to bullies. The five stones of David that he took into battle are one of the most abused portions of scriptures made to represent any number of things. For example, David would have picked 5 smooth stones like river stones which had been eroded by water, like 5 principles that have been shaped by the Spirit. Five things to face your giants such as prayer, fasting, bible study, meditation and service. Or they could be the five points of Calvinism; or the five Solas. To come to such a familiar portion and get at the main message can be difficult when we have had so many wrong ways of looking at it.

My understanding of this text is that this chapter is here to unpack a big question that was raised in the last chapter. Saul was set aside for a man whose heart the Lord had seen and chosen. This chapter then puts on display David’s heart. David is a man who believes in God, and so is zealous for His glory and trusts that God will act to fulfil His promises to Israel. David is a man who walks as if God is real. Certainly there will be things to imitate as we look at faith in action, but it is as David’s heart after God’s own heart is being put on display.

We will look at four things, we will look first at the fear of Israel in the face of Goliath and then the face of David; we will then look at the fear of Saul and then the faith of David again.