Tell a Bible Story (part 2) - David and Goliath
Children’s Story: David and Goliath
The Philistines invaded the land of the Israelites - they wanted to take everything from them
On two hills on the banks of the valley of Elah, they were set up against each other - it was a stalemate - the Philistines on one side and the Israelites on the other…
No one dared making the first move, because that would have meant that they had to go down through the valley where they would be at their most vulnerable
They were there for weeks, in this stalemate, until one day the champion of the Philistines came up to valley with a challenge: “Send your best to fight me, and the winner will take all - the losing side will become the subjects of the winning side” (It was common practice in the day to have a challenge like this to avoid mass bloodshed) Goliath taunted them for forty days
But the thing is, Goliath was huge - he was a giant! If you convert the ancient measurements to feet, he would be 7 Ft 10 inches!
And Goliath was dressed with the best of armour and equipment - for he was a close combat champion
The poor Israelites were overcome with fear, because they just did not have a fighter that would stand a chance against Goliath in close combat
A man named Jesse had three sons in the Israelite army and on day he sent his youngest son, David, to take some food and supplies to his brothers and the Israelites
Just as David was entering the Israelite camp, Goliath was at it again - challenging the fearful Israelites - and then David turned to them: “What are you going to do about it?”
They answered: “Are you out of your mind? No-one can win this giant in close combat!”
David then said: “I will go” and they took him to the Israelite king, Saul
David said to king Saul: “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
David explained that God was with him and helped him to kill a lion and a bear as he was watching over his sheep - surely God will help him to conquer this giant: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
King Saul agreed and offered his own armour for David to wear, but it all was to heavy for David
David took his staff, five smooth stones from the stream and his slingshot and walked towards the giant
With his shield bearer in front of him, Goliath came closer and when he saw how small David was, he was angry: “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
David answered: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.”
“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
As Goliath move closer to attack David ran quickly towards Goliath and with one stone from his slingshot he hit the giant right between his eyes - piercing his skull - the giant fell over on his face to the ground
David took the giant’s sword and beheaded him
When the Philistines saw this, they turned around and ran for their lives
This was a great victory in the name of the Almighty God!
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 17: 45 - 51 (NIV)
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
Message: Tell a Bible Story (Part 2) - David and Goliath
Our love for underdog stories
We just love our underdog stories, don’t we?
The theory of good storytelling actually incorporates our affection for the underdog
A plot for a story is formed when the there is a hero (or a main character) that faces a challenge, caused by a bad guy (or an antagonist) and he ends up overcoming the challenge in a victory at the end…
This is the basic pattern of story… the framework for the juicy stuff in-between… the details that makes it interesting
But we always love the underdog
In fact, David and Goliath is so well known that it is used as a metaphor for the underdog by people that has never even opened a Bible
Just think what a wonderful opportunity we have as believers start a meaningful conversation about our faith around the story of David and Goliath… tap into the affection we all have for a good underdog story
Out of the box rather than underdog
Delving into the story, there’s another angle to David and Goliath that we may consider
In his book “David and Goliath”, Malcolm Gladwell has a different take than the underdog theme
He portrays David as being a lot smarter than Goliath and obtaining the victory by outsmarting Goliath - or by thinking out of the box…
Many scholars speculate that Goliath had a vision problem with the shield bearer - that is one way of explaining his size it that he might have been suffering from a pituitary tumour that would have also impaired his vision
Then there is the Israelites shivering with fear of close combat with the giant and king Saul wanting to put on his armour for David - everyone’s mindset was close combat
David was thinking something else - it’s like the old coming-to-a-gunfight-with-a-knife saying
David chose a weapon that was the closest you can get to a gun it that time and Goliath had a spear and limited range and limited movement
Goliath did not stand a chance!
The God of possibilities - opens up minds
The theory of story also suggests that there is third character in story that changes the plot by helping or coaching the main character to overcome the challenge
David says to king Saul: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
It is an element of faith in this story that trumps the underdog theme and even the outsmart theme
David has a reference of faith, an experience of faith functioning in him overcoming challenges that swings this story in a different direction
It is God that opens David’s mind - it is faith in God that lifts David’s mind to courage in an environment of fear and hopelessness
It is God that changes the storyline through the faith of his servant David!
The God of the victory
This is why believers should be telling the story of David and Goliath more often…
It is so well known and well loved - the underdog kid overcoming the giant before him
We all identify with that, because we all have to face our giants, don’t we?
In the story we need to discover and re-discover the God that changes the direction of the story
He is the God of conquering giants
He is the God that walked with a little shepherd boy in the field… the God that was there when the lion and the bear came
He is the God the inspired when there was doom and gloom all around
He is the God of the victory
Like David said: “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s”
Add your comment