I noticed something interesting this week. I have been preaching for over 10 years now and I’ve preached through a lot of different Bible stories. In fact, many of those great Old Testament stories are some my favourite sermons to preach! But as I looked back through my archives this week, I realized that I have never preached through the story of David & Goliath! I’ve touched on many of the other stories of David’s life – David & Jonathon, David & Saul, David & Bathsheba – but never David & Goliath!
So today is going to be a first for me, because in our study of 1 Samuel, we’ve now reached chapter 17 – which includes of course, perhaps the most famous Bible story of them all – the story of David & Goliath.
However, the title that I’ve given to today’s message is actually “The Story of Saul & Goliath” because as you read through the chapter, you see that this story revolves around Saul just as much as it does David. It actually continues the contrast that we saw last week between these two characters.
Because of Saul’s earlier disobedience, God had determined to end Saul’s dynasty and replace him with another – and David was the man that God had chosen. (Although at his time, he was still just a young lad.) But you’ll remember from chapter 16 that Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David at his anointing, and at the same time, the Spirit of the Lord left King Saul.
This is just the first of many contrasts that the author of 1 Samuel will draw for us as we go through these next few chapters. Saul is fearful – David is courageous. Saul is hesitant, David takes action. Saul becomes jealous of David, David remains loyal to Saul. These contrasts will continue for the next 14 chapters – right to the end of the book when Saul is finally killed in battle and David actually becomes king.
But of course, that’s getting ahead of ourselves! We’re not there yet. But this chapter, chapter 17, really begins to emphasize this contrast between Saul and David. And there is a lot of stuff that goes on in chapter 17, so I think I’ll divide this story into two parts. We’ll do Saul and Goliath today and then next week we’ll do David & Goliath to finish up.
So chapter 17 opens up with a familiar scene. It says…