Jesus in the OT – David & Goliath
1 Samuel 17:1-58
David and Goliath
1 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim (the border of blood drops), between Sokoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
(Between the five cities of the Philistine confederation and Jerusalem. Both armies took the high ground. For the battle to begin, one army would have to give up their advantage and come down)
Christ Jesus who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
4 A champion (Bane: a cause of great distress and annoyance) named Goliath (Hebrew word meaning: Carried into exile), who was from Gath (City state. Hebrew word meaning: winepress.), came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him. (The details are here to show that Goliath was a serious enemy. Armour and weapons were uncommon and expensive. Goliath’s weapons outmatched the Israelite’s weapons.)
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? (He is living up to his name.) Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? (Man’s king.) Choose a man and have him come down to me. (Intimidation technique. Common practice in the ancient middle east, spared a lot of lives.) 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” (Living up to his name.) 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. (Their confidence was shattered and they were overcome with fear.)
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:17)
12 Now David (Just when all hope seemed lost, David enters the story.) was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. (Who else was born in Bethlehem?) Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. (In the Bible, 40 often represents a period of trial, testing or probation.)
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)
17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them.19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.” (There wasn’t much fighting going on. At this point it was more of a standoff.)
20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. (Here we see evidence that David, like Jesus, was a good shepherd and an obedient son.) He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear. (David was expecting to witness a battle, what he saw was anything but.)
25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. (Satan keeps accusing.) The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” (The king was willing and able to abundantly bless anyone who could overcome the enemy on behalf of Israel. This sounds like the blessings for keeping God’s laws recorded by Moses in Deuteronomy.)
26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (David reminds them who they belong to. They were not the servants of Saul or the armies of Israel, they were the armies of the one true God.)
27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? (Here his brother insults him and questions his motives.) I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. (He came to his own and he was not received so he turned his attention to those who would receive him and hear what he has to say.) 31 What David said (v 26) was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. (John 1:11)
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16)
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he (Goliath) has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 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.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. (Saul expected David to fight in the usual way, but David could not use the same weapons of warfare as the enemy to defeat the enemy. He knew he had to rely on God.)
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (Why five stones? Read 2 Samuel 21:15-22. I wonder if David knew there would be other giants? David didn’t fight the other giants but his servants defeated them in his name. I wonder if the four extra stones were symbolic?)
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 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. (The weapons of Goliath’s warfare were big and strong, but they were no match for the name of God.) 46 This 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. 47 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.”
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching 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. (In one shot, Goliath fell to his death.)
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
50 So 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.
51 David 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. (Beheading represents execution for crimes committed. Not only was Goliath defeated according to the terms he set out, but God’s judgement was executed against him.)
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath[f] and to the gates of Ekron. (Their confidence and courage is restored. Contrast with v.20) Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron.53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.
54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent. (Goliath’s mouth of accusation was silenced and his weapons could not be used against the people of Israel because they were in David’s possession.)
No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17)
55 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?”
Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.”
56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”
57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.
58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him. David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”( Matthew 21:9-11)
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” (Luke 9:20)
Who do you say Jesus is? That’s the most important question you can answer. I hope your answer is, “My Lord and my God.”