Tuesday, February 21, 2012

David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

The story of David and Goliath is found in the Bible, in a book called 1 Samuel, in chapter 17 of that book.

Over 3,000 years ago, the people of Israel and the people of Philistia were fighting each other. At one time, the army of Israel camped on one side of a valley and the army of Philistia camped on the other.

The Philistine army had a great hero named Goliath. He was a huge man: 9 feet (3 m) tall. Each day Goliath would walk into the valley. Then he would tell the Israelites to send out their great hero to fight him. If their great hero won the fight, then the Philistines would serve the Israelites. But if he, Goliath, won the fight, then the Israelites would serve the Philistines.

This went on, once in the morning and once in the evening, for forty days. Each day Saul, king of Israel, and all his men were too afraid to answer.

At this time, a man named Jesse lived in Bethlehem. He had eight sons. Three of them were in the army with Saul. His youngest son, a teenager named David, had the simple job of caring for the family’s sheep.

One day Jesse told David to take some food to his older brothers in the army. When David got to the army, he gave the food to them.

As David talked with his brothers, Goliath once again asked the army of Israel to send someone out to fight him. Everyone in the army, even the king and David’s three older brothers, were still too afraid to answer.

David was surprised. David thought the god of Israel was the one true god. He was sure the god of Israel would help any man of Israel win a fight with Goliath. David said he would be happy to fight Goliath himself. When Saul, king of Israel, heard David say this, he sent David to fight Goliath.

David walked into the valley toward Goliath. As he walked, he picked up five smooth stones. He put them into his bag and his sling into his hand.

When Goliath saw David coming toward him, he saw only a teenager with no sword. He thought David was stupid. He told David he was about to die.

But David believed that his god was the one true god and that he would win this fight. David said this to Goliath. Then David ran toward Goliath, took a stone from his bag, put it into his sling, and slung it. The stone hit Goliath in the head. Goliath fell to the ground. Then David took Goliath’s sword and cut off Goliath’s head.

This story has been told, over and over, for more than 3,000 years. David has come to mean anyone who is small, says the truth, but has no power. Goliath has come to mean anyone who is big, bad, and seems to have all the power. This story is celebrated each time some small truth wins a fight against big bad power.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.