1 Samuel: The biggest enemy

1 Samuel 17:1ā€“30

When we first met king Saul, we get a story about lost donkeys. Not the most impressive introduction.

But this story here of David, this is the origin story of a hero worthy of a great king. Let’s not forget the contrast. And let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Here we have one of the most memorable and artfully told stories in all of the Old Testament. There’s a level of detail given (place names, measurement weights, etc) that doesn’t happen elsewhere in the stories of 1 & 2 Samuel.

We start out with 11 verses establishing the scene. The Philistines have camped for battle. In this war culture for them the battle was not to fight army against army, but the single best fighter against the single best fighter. That determined the winner and the entire army became prisoners of war and slaves.

So the Philistines present their very best fighter, Goliath. In reality, he was probably the size of the largest NFL lineman you’ve ever seen. And there’s not just his size.

We get details about all of his weaponry. He’s got guns. Big guns. Essentially, we’re told he’s got the latest and greatest, state-of-the-heart instruments of death at his disposable.

He’s also got a mouth. A big mouth. He’s a relentless insult machine.

So between his size, his weapons, and his insults, the Israelites are frozen in fear for forty straight days. Saul can’t find anybody to fight this guy. Saul the king isn’t even willing to fight.

Enter stage right: David.

And watch how his character unfolds. A youngest son, not even old enough for the army. Teased by his older brothers. He knows how to talk a little trash of his own.

We can see where this is headed.


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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