Lessons from David and Goliath

Recently I spoke to my church’s youth group from 1 Samuel 17 – the story of David and Goliath, and I found it really exciting how many parallels there are to Jesus, and some of the lessons we can draw out of that passage. I’ll start with those lessons and then look at Jesus and David.

The world loves the story of David and Goliath – most people think that it’s all about conquering you’re own giants, about being yourself in the face of fear and hardship, of overcoming hardship on your own strength.

They’re dead wrong. The whole point of the passage is that David trusts God and acts on that trust when no one else does. The whole point is that David can’t do it – but God can, and God will vindicate his name.

God makes Israel wait 40 days before he gets David to rescue them. God doesn’t promise us that he will rescue us from our struggles here and now, and he definitely doesn’t promise immediate rescue. In fact he tells us that everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12).

God doesn’t promise to save us from depression or financial difficulty or broken relationships. He doesn’t promise to heal us of cancer or other sickness.

But he does make big promises. He promises that he works everything for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), and that these hardships are for our growth and to purify us (1 Peter 1, James 1:2-4). And he promises that although he may not “rescue” us from them in this life, if we trust in him then we already are rescued from them, and will be free of them in heaven (Revelations 21).

Will you trust God with you’re giants? Will you wait on his timing to save – be that in this life or through death and into his arms?

 

Here are some of the cool parallels I was talking about before:

David obeys his father. He has been told that he will be king of Israel. He has every reason to be proud and selfish and not do the low jobs that his father makes him do. But instead he obeys selflessly and humbly.

Jesus obeys his Father. Jesus is God, he has every right not to come and give his life for us, the people who have rejected him. Yet he obeyed his father to the full – even to death on a cross. He gave up his glory and humbly gave his life for us to save us. Philippians 2.

David is a good shepherd. He looks after his Fathers sheep – he makes sure that when he goes away to obey his father more fully that he provides someone else to care for the sheep.

Jesus is THE good shepherd. He looks after his Father’s sheep – us. He is the good shepherd who lays his life down for the sheep. And when he did that in obedience to his father. and when he rose again and went to heaven, he sent someone else to look after the sheep – the Holy Spirit (John 14).

David was to be a king after God’s own heart. David trusts God and obeys God fully – and his willingness (in fact eagerness) to fight Goliath shows his faith in God. Yet David did sin and stuff it up.

Jesus is THE true king after God’s own heart. He did not sin.

David conquered Goliath and saved God’s people from slavery to the Philistines

Jesus conquered sin and death when he died for us and rose again, freeing us from slavery to sin.

But Jesus did more than David, as we’ve already seen. He didn’t just fight the enemy and win. He gave his life to win the victory for us, and rose again to prove it.

Will we trust Jesus? He is the true and better giant conquerer. He is the one who crushes the serpents head. He is the saviour – will you trust in him?

He is the only one who can save us from our biggest enemies – sin, satan and death. But he does if we repent and believe and follow him. Will you?

 

Note: Another common misconception about David and Goliath – people think Goliath was a giant in temrs of “Jack and the Beanstalk” Giant. No – he was probably about 3m tall. Only about a foot taller than the tallest man recorded in the 20th century. Not all that unfeasible.

Remembering God’s Promises

Last Friday my Grandfather died.

It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it is still tough to process and work through. Nevertheless it would be far tougher if he wasn’t a Christian. As far as I know he trusted in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, and if that is true then these promises apply to him.

Since my Grandfather was a Christian, there are a number of promises that God has reminded me of from his word – promises that comfort and encourage. Here are a few.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

God has promised that he will bring all who are Christians back to life. He has promised that when he returns he will bring my grandfather and my grandmother with him – and if I have died by then, he will bring me too. He will bring us back to life and if we are his people he will take us into his kingdom where we will be with him forever. What a glorious promise and encouragement!

Psalm 23:6

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me 
all the days of my life, 
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. 

God has promised that his people will live with him forever. David trusted in that promise in Psalm 23, and even hundreds of years later we Christians can trust in that promise. We won’t dwell with God because we are good enough or because we deserve it. We will dwell with God because Jesus died in our place. He took our sin – what separates us from God and makes us unworthy of his love. Jesus died to take that punishment, and if we put our faith in him we will dwell with God forever. Therefore when I die I will see my Grandfather and Grandmother again “in the house of the Lord forever”. What a wonderful promise!

Philippians 3:20-21

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Revelations 21:3-4

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

God has promised that when he brings us into heaven he will give us new bodies – with no more suffering, no more death. Therefore I know that my grandfather is out of his pain and suffering. That is far better than him staying here another few years and being sick for longer.

 

I trust that my Grandfather is in heaven glorifying God, as he was created to do. In reality only he and God knew if he truly was a Christian. But assuming he was then these promises apply to him. And what a comfort they are!

Do you know and trust in these promises?

 

P.s. if you’re a Christian, I’d really appreciate prayer for our family as we mourn. I’d also appreciate prayer to have the opportunity and courage to share the gospel out of this and to tell people of the hope we have in Jesus.