“And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.” 1 Sam. 17:49
The David and Goliath battle has always been a very popular Bible story, for Christian and even secular people. For most, there is a certain satisfaction reading about the underdog David, defeating the formidable foe Goliath. Comparing God’s tiny nation of Israel to the vast secular and hostile world is like comparing David, the small shepherd boy, a mere child– to the behemoth giant of a man, Goliath. There is however one very significant factor in this apparent mismatch—God! It is imperative to remember that God chose and set His eternal covenant love upon David and Israel. Therefore, no enemy can harm “the apple(s) of God’s eye” (Ps. 17:8, Zech. 2:8). God would deliver His beloved from their enemies and do so in miraculous fashion.
That said, under the leadership of King Saul, the army of Israel went up against the Philistines in battle. When they saw the imposing Philistine champion Goliath approaching, they became terrified and fled (1 Sam. 17:21, 24). When the young shepherd boy David saw his fellow Israelites stricken with terror, he went before King Saul and vowed he would slay the giant Philistine, with God’s help (1 Sam. 17:32, 36-37). When King Saul saw young David’s zeal, he capitulated to his request. Now Goliath was well-armed and adorned with heavy protective armor: “Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [nearly ten feet tall]. And he had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze [one hundred and twenty-five pounds]. He also had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders. And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron [fifteen pounds]; his shield-carrier also walked before him.” (1 Sam. 17:4-7–brackets added).
Armed with a shepherd’s staff, a sling and five smooth stones retrieved from a nearby brook, the small shepherd-boy was unafraid and filled with confidence as he proceeded to battle Goliath (1 Sam. 17:40). David was secure in knowing the God of Israel would deliver Goliath into his hands: “Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and 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 taunted. This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” (1 Sam. 17:45-46a). Not even a moment of doubt, as fearless David took a stone and slung it at the heavily armored giant Philistine. The divinely placed stoned smashed into Goliaths head, sinking into his skull—causing him to fall and crash onto his face. Not the last to fall prostrate before God’s chosen. David proceeded to draw Goliath’s own sword, cut off his head as he valiantly killed him.
Ironically, as the Philistine army witnessed their champion slain, they were the ones who fled in terror (1 Sam. 17:51). Though seemingly behind the scenes, it was God who miraculously and strategically made that small stone land in the only unprotected area in Goliath’s iron fortification. God knew where the “chink” in the enemy’s armor was.
Goliath erroneously trusted his great size and strength would easily prevail over the small and seemingly weak David. However, David knew his small size, age and lack of battle training were not a factor; for his God would enable him to move mountains if need be. While Goliath relied on one hundred and twenty-five pounds of armor to protect and aid him to battle victories, the young shepherd solely relied on his God-given “spiritual armor” to triumph over the forces of evil (cf. Eph. 6:11-17). Goliath placed confidence in his massive iron sword for weaponry, while David’s confidence was the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (cf. Eph. 6:17). The sword of the Spirit would deliver David from evil while delivering evil over to him!
In conclusion, the pagan Goliath foolishly defied Israel and David: “And the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.” (1 Sam. 17:43, cf. 1 Sam. 17:10, 25, 36, 42, 45, 47). For cursing Israel and David Goliath paid with his head and his life (1 Sam. 17:51).
God’s Word attests that no one can curse Israel or His chosen ones, without paying severe consequences: “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse…” (Gen. 12:3, cf. Num. 24:9). Woe to those who curse Israel!