The Israelites were at war with the Philistines. Instead of fighting, the two armies had camped across from each other and shouted insults. The Philistine champion, Goliath, had challenged any Israelite soldier to a one-on-one fight to the death. But no one would fight him. They were too afraid! Why? Because Goliath was a giant of a man, 9 feet, 9 inches all, and a skilled warrior with massive weapons. Surely no single man could stand against him.
The insults and challenges went on for 40 days. David was probably a young teenager, too young to fight in the army. His father sent him to his three oldest brothers with food supplies. While there, he heard the insults of Goliath and said, “I will go and fight with this Philistine.”
I Samuel 17:40-50a:
40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.
48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him;
David won a great victory because he had faith in God. He had been preparing for this moment when he practiced with his sling in those lonely pastures while watching over the flocks of sheep. He had been tested when he fought and killed the lion and the bear. When the great test came against Goliath, he was ready. Like David, we need to do our best in the little things so we will be ready for the big jobs. We need to have courage. We need to stand up and face problems, and trust God for victory.
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart…” - Psalm 31:24