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David & Goliath: The Unlikely Hero

July 8, 2012 Series: Gospel Witnesses: The Unfolding Glory of Jesus

Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:1–17:52

The whole Bible is about Jesus. Every story exudes the aroma of Christ. Whether it's the Ark that saves Noah from the wrath of God or a serpent lifted up in the wilderness -- it's all about Jesus.

Often times the Christian preaching of the Old Testament ends up not being Christian. A sermon is Christian because it's about Christ. David and Goliath -- go and face your giants. Grab life by the horns. Jesus didn't have to die and rise again for that message. That's a man-centered message.

Teaching of that flavor is all over the place -- Therapeutic Moralistic Deism. Feels good, compels you to live a good life, and "God" is the cherry on top.

Sunday School needs a reboot. A Christ-centered orientation. We need lessons of life change, that find our hope and power in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

With that being said, take your Bible and please go to 1 Samuel 17 as we are going to look at David and Goliath -- The Unlikely Hero.


Israel and the Philistines are at war. They are going for control over the Valley of Elah.

v.2-3 -- Israel is on one hill, the Philistines stand across on the other hill.

And instead of the two armies engaging in battle -- Representative Battle is taking place. Each army sends out their guy, they square off to determine the outcome of the battle.

Out comes Goliath.

v. 4

He is 9' 9" tall. An impressive specimen. Coat of Mail armor -- 125 lbs. Spear -- 15 lb tip. He isn't like Manute Bol, tall and gangly. He's massive and strong. Picture Brock Lesnar, and three feet taller. Handles a heavy bowling bowl on a stick, able to throw with speed.

Israel's reaction? v. 11 "Dismayed" the Hebrew word carries the idea of "broken" or "cracked". They were done for. Goliath broke them. They've already lost and it hasn't even started yet.

Here's the first thing we learn from this; we need to...

1) Know, Believe, and Act upon God's Word -- all three.

The Israelites should not have been shaking in their sandals. God promised them -- when you go into war -- don't worry -- I'll take care of it.

Dt. 20:1 When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

The people are not trembling because Goliath is a sinister and formidable foe; they are paralyzed because they don't trust God. 

When we are anxious, shaky, fearful, or fill in the blank -- it's not our circumstance -- it's our view of God. Our lack of belief in God. We, as people who claim to follow Jesus, must know his word, believe his word, and then act upon his word.

I pray that we will be a people of the book. If we are going to be a church all about Jesus, we also have to be about His book. Facebook, twitter, TV, hobbies all serve as a testimony to us that lack of bible knowledge is not because we lack time. We have more biblical resources available to us today than in history -- and yet we seem to know God's book less.

Sometimes, our issues are brought on by ignorance. We didn't know.

The army is scared out of their wits -- this is right after the period of the Judges, where everyone did what was right in their own mind, they didn't really follow God -- so maybe they didn't know that God would help them.

But Saul, he is the king, it was his job to know, and write out the first five book of the Old Testament -- The Torah. He knew. But he didn't believe. It's not enough to know it -- have to act upon it. Saul was, what James in the New Testament calls, a hearer of the word only. He wasn't a doer of the word. Saul was a hypocrite.

We all know this scenario. Kid standing on the side of the pool. Skiddish. Won't jump. Dad is preaching, "I'll catch you. Jump." What's going on in that brain? "I don't know. I don't believe you. I'm not going to act."

Church, is this not us? We are often times not doers of the word. We know what it says, but we don't do it.

This is why non-Christians say we are a bunch of hypocrites.

If you aren't a Christian, you are right to call Christians hypocrites. We are, a lot of the times, I'll admit that. God is still changing us -- Christians don't claim to be perfect, or even do all that we are called to.

But the worst hypocrite is one that won't admit he's a hypocrite. Everyone is a hypocrite. Everyone is fundamentally broken. The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is that we've been forgiven for our hypocrisy. You can be too by the cross of Christ. He died for this hypocrite.

One of the basic requirements to be a part of Jesus church is that you are woefully broken. And he, wonderfully saves us and is changing us -- by the power of the Word and the Spirit.

So Christian -- are you trying to know God's word? Intentionally. "Man doesn't live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." I need the Bible more than breakfast. When I pray for the members of our church, I pray that our Bible will become a prized possession in our homes. Get a plan, read a chapter a day, anything is better than nothing.

Are you believing ---- by seeing action in your life? Changed thoughts, feelings, behaviors. Joy? Mission? Evidence of trusting God. Where are you not trusting God?

Our lives would all be radically different if we trusted God more than we currently do.

Let's not be like the Israelites, especially Saul -- but like David. He knew God's word, he believed it and he acted upon it.

He marched up and said VERSE 32 --"Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight this Philistine."

"I'll kill Goliath."

Now, before we start raising the roof for David --- He isn't being radical. He is being biblical. He is being faithful.

Radical Christianity and Faithful Christianity are one and the same.

David only looks radical because everyone else is disobedient. If we think someone to be "really sold out" or "radical" -- we need to look at ourselves, do we think them to be radical because we are unfaithful? Dynamic Christianity is one that knows the word, believes the word, and acts on it.

Radical Christianity, is faithfulness in the here and now. You can go to Malaysia and be on fire and then be lukewarm at home -- somethings off. We need more faithful/radical people in everyday mundane places.

David wasn't in the army. He was bringing his brothers lunch. He wasn't looking for a giant. He was faithful, obscure, and used by God to do something great. Be faithful now. You don't know that God might be preparing you for.

And here David shows us something we need to always be reminded of; something we must do often --

2) Excommunicate Self-Confidence and Embrace Confidence in God

How did David know he would kill Goliath?

v. 37

God will do it! David knew he didn't have the power, the skills, or the ability to defeat Israel's enemy. But he knew God did. God was David's strength. God was David's stronghold and confidence.

He gave God the praise for delivering him from the lion and the bear. David knows he can't do this without God. Notice here, David isn't talking about doing a devotional. Which is true -- we need God to understand the Bible.

David is saying, "God will help me in this war. God helped me at my job." Are you embracing the power of God during an open bible and then relying on your power behind your desk? Raising your kids?

For David -- there is no divide. He needs God's mighty arm in his whole life. That's Christianity. Christianity is the constant confession that we can't do a thing without Jesus. Bring our self-confidence and high-flying thoughts of self to the cross -- see what we really are. Broken sinners. Saved by the blood of Jesus.

Notice, David already speaks of the death of Goliath as a sure thing. "He will deliver me from the Philistine."

But notice David wasn't putting on false humility. "Ah shucks. I'm just a shepherd boy. Gee-whiz, little old me?" No way. He embraced the power of God and said the Lord will do this. Pretty bold. Too confident?

David was this bold because God had already promised it. Be bold from the truth. Boldly proclaim and courageously act upon what God has promised.

Give you a personal example: As a young preacher, I can worry and fret about sermons, but by the grace of God I can come up here, open the Bible, with confidence, not in myself of any gifting I may possess -- but upon God who says his word will never return to him void.

Let's be a people that live courageously from the word of God by crucifying self-confidence and embracing the power of God --- the gospel. Want to be more missional? Kill your self-confidence and embrace the power of God. Defy self -- and depend upon God.

David approaches Goliath...


David slays Goliath, cuts off his head with Goliath's own sword -- I love it. I imagine David lifting it up high, screaming!

And in the screaming match between David and Goliath -- did you catch why David is facing Goliath? See his motivation?

v. 46 - 47

That God would be famous!! Fueled by God's renown -- that all the earth would know about God. That's godly ambition. That's a vision.

I was the Acts29 annual retreat, they gave us these cool water bottles. On the side it reads, "Until the World Knows." I like that. Until the world knows about God. His fame. His love. His gospel! We'll be planting churches, sharing the gospel, living missional lives -- until the world knows!

Here's what we can learn from David...

3) The Fame Of God is Our Fuel

Do we want all the world to know that God is great -- do you want to live for the fame of His name? That's living. You are a part of something huge. The Fame of the Eternal God.

Notice, David's motivation was two fold... I want the world to know AND... v. 47 "that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves..."

Know -- God saves. Doubters, skeptics -- God saves sinners. That's the message of the Bible -- God saves. That's the primary message of David and Goliath -- not face your giants -- it's that God saves. God will save his people from a great enemy -- one that is too much for them -- but no match for God.

Get this. . . what was David's reward? Verse 25 -- He gets a bride.

Sum up this story -- Kill the enemy, get the bride. Like every great hero story.

Is this not the whole story of the Bible?

6 Words to sum up the Bible: KILL THE DRAGON, GET THE GIRL.

David and Goliath is all about Jesus.

- David slays the great foe, and wins a bride. Jesus slays sin, satan, and death and wins himself a girl -- The Church, The Bride of Christ.

- David went out as Israel's representative, stood in their place, and fought the battle for them. He achieved their victory, while they didn't have to lift a finger.

- Jesus is the truer and better David. He served as our representative on the cross, dying for our sins, our substitute, being punished for our crimes, conquering sin, achieving our victory, rising from the dead -- all by grace -- you can be saved if you believe in Him.

David was the unlikely hero. He serves as a type, a foreshadowing of the unlikely hero to come -- Jesus of Nazareth.

Many thought Jesus was a no body. His own brothers thought he was nuts. They tried to keep him from preaching at one point. But when Jesus rose again -- many changed their tune.

The key question for us all today is -- Is Jesus Alive?

- Know it?
- Believe it?
- Act upon it?

If you aren't a Christian, you may believe that Jesus died -- but do you believe he died for your sins, to forgive you, to give you a new life.

That he is alive to today, and can make you alive? Cry out to God to forgive you, save you. He will hear you.

When David won, the towns people rejoiced, no one sat back in fear, or shuffled their feet. It makes no sense for us to live a weak life, in fear of Satan and death. Remember the army was broken, but they were soon to rejoice, and had a newfound courage.

Christian, Jesus is alive! What trumps that message!

Death is broken. He is alive. We are free. Our enemy is done for.

Rejoice & Live.