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David and Goliath

Before he became the king, God gave David victory over what seemed like an impossible situation! David was “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), and because of this, he trusted God would help him do the impossible and prove that His God was greater than even a very strong army!

David was a young man who came from the town of Bethlehem, who God had chosen to become the future king of Israel. He was the youngest of all of his seven brothers, and David’s job was to help his father, Jesse, as a shepherd. While David was a shepherd, his three oldest brothers were a part of the Israelite army, whose leader was King Saul. At this time, the Israelite army and another army, called the Philistines, were preparing to fight one another, each one camping out on one side of a valley across from each other. There was something very interesting about the Philistine army - they had a champion warrior named Goliath. Goliath was HUGE - the Bible says he was over nine feet tall and, “He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed over 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and a bronze javelin on his shoulder” (v. 17:5-6). He also carried a very large, heavy sword and even had a helper in front of him who carried his shield! I’m sure his height and size were very intimidating, and he knew he was bigger and stronger than anyone else in his or the Israelite army. Goliath would stand in front of the Israelite army and ask them, “When are you coming out to fight?... I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me!” (v. 8). When he said this, the Israelites were terrified and did not want to face the Philistines. Every day for forty days in the morning and the evening, Goliath walked out in front of the Israelite army, waiting for the Israelites to send someone brave enough to fight him, but no one was brave enough. One day, David’s father asked him to bring some food to his brothers who were a part of the Israelite army. The next morning, David left his sheep with another shepherd and went down to where the two armies were staying.

When David arrived and was talking with them, suddenly Goliath came out from the Philistine army and taunted (ask kids if they know what this word means) the Israelites with his usual request to fight someone. This scared the Israelites and they ran away, but David was curious about this man and didn’t like that he was trying to fight God’s army. When he started to ask questions about him, his brothers got mad and accused him of only being there to “watch the battle”, though David was originally there to give food to his brothers. Eventually, the word spread that David was asking about Goliath, and King Saul asked to talk to him. When King Saul and David talked, David told Saul that he would fight Goliath. Saul didn’t agree with this idea at first, but David told him about how he had protected his sheep from lions and bears, and eventually, King Saul agreed to let him fight. Saul even gave David his own armor to help him in the battle, but David decided not to use it.

As David prepared to fight Goliath, he chose five stones from a stream. Then he started walking across the valley to meet Goliath, carrying only his shepherd’s staff and sling. Goliath did not expect a simple opponent like David and he mocked him. But David stood firm, knowing that God was on his side in this battle. He said, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies - the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied” (v. 17:45). Goliath started walking towards him, and immediately David took one of the stones out of his bag and hurled it in his sling at Goliath. Before he knew it, the rock hit Goliath in the forehead and, “Goliath fell face down on the ground” (v. 17:49). David had victory over Goliath!

When the Philistines saw that Goliath had been defeated, they ran away, and the victorious Israelites chased them far away. Because David had trusted in God’s power, he was able to defeat even the mightiest warrior - something no one else in the Israelite army was brave enough to do. This week, we have been learning about the Armor of God. What pieces of armor have we learned about so far? The belt of truth, the body armor of righteousness, the shoes of peace. David was able to defeat Goliath because He trusted in God. He knew his God was the true God, and He fought to defend Him. What piece of armor does this remind you of? The belt of truth. David also had a heart that loved God. When we love God, we act in ways that show our love for Him. David did this too! What piece of armor does this remind you of? The body armor of righteousness. Finally, when preparing for battle against Goliath, the Trailbook never once says that David is afraid or feels he will fail. All that is important to him is defending God by defeating Goliath, who was mocking God’s army. He was peaceful and confident. What piece of armor does this remind you of? The shoes of peace. Though David didn’t wear any actual armor people could see, he was armed with the armor of God! This isn’t armor we can see - but an armor we always have in our minds if we trust in God! When we trust in God, He gives us the power to defeat anything that goes against Him, even if it seems impossible! David was able to do the impossible because He knew that God would give him victory over Goliath, who went against God. When we trust in God, we are always victorious, even when sometimes it doesn’t seem like it! I want you to think about what you know about the story of Jesus. While Jesus was on earth, many people began to realize He was God and that He would save them! One day, though, Jesus told his disciples (those who he chose to follow Him closely) that he would be killed, but that three days later he would rise. They were confused by this. They believed Jesus to be the Savior! But a Savior dying doesn’t sound like a victory, does it? But even after Jesus died, and His followers thought all hope was gone, Jesus did what He said he would and rose from the dead three days later - showing that He was victorious over sin and death! Without Him doing this, all people would have been separated in our sin from God forever. But thanks be to God, Jesus did the impossible by defeating death and sin, which goes against God, and made a way for us to be with Him again. Sometimes God giving us the power to defeat anything that goes against Him doesn’t always look like hard things going away. Sometimes it looks like giving us faith & peace (our armor of God) to get through the hard things, knowing that God is with us! David trusted that God would help him defeat Goliath, but he still had to go through the scary task of facing him in battle; similarly, Jesus had to go through dying before defeating the power of sin. Sometimes in life, we have to go through hard things where we can't see or understand how God will be victorious, but we can continue to trust that in these things, God is good and will defeat these things in the end, even sometimes in ways we don’t expect. One of my favorite verses in the Trailbook, Psalm 121:1-2, says this: “I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” When we follow God, we can trust that He will help us defeat anything that goes against him, even when it seems impossible!

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