1 Samuel 17:1-58

March 17, 2024

Boldness can sometimes seem crazy to the world. 

Like the boldness and courage of the firefighters who ran into the Twin Towers on 9.11. 

We celebrate those brave heroes, who put others before themselves and many of them knew going in that they would not make it out. 

That is boldness. 

The world may think it’s crazy to run into a building being consumed by jet fuel, but not them, they were truly bold. 

So, I want to thank all the men and women who serve in these extremely bold occupations like our military, firefighters, police officers, corrections officers and the like. Thank you. 

Your choice of jobs may seem crazy to the rest of the world, but you are truly bold.

As Christians we are to be bold as well, but our boldness looks a bit differently. 

A bold Christian isn’t afraid to live by God’s standards, as stated in His Word, regardless of what other people think, say, or do. 

This is the boldness that comes from a relationship with Christ, resulting in courage, strength, and purpose as we humbly spend time studying God’s Word and seeking God in prayer.

It means we are not afraid to voice what is morally right according to God’s Word and not the Worlds opinion. 

We all love true stories of bold faith.

The man who calmly quit his job because his boss put him in a position to either quit or compromise his beliefs.

The woman who shared the gospel overseas at the potential cost of her life.

The college student who took a stand for Christ among classmates and a professor eager to ridicule her.

We often marvel at these examples and respond with phrases like, “I wish I was bold like that”, “that takes some kind of bold faith”, or other similar reactions. 

It’s almost like we’re saying that kind of boldness is an exception to what we expect to see in ourselves and fellow believers. 

But what if these are not supposed to be the exceptions?

The Bible makes it clear that faith in Christ is a continual calling out of our comfort zone. 

How many of us are living in our comfort zone?

We are told to rejoice in trials (James 1:2), expect persecution as part of a godly life (2 Timothy 3:12), and especially as we follow Jesus (John 15:20). 

This morning as we look at the life of David we are going to see boldness in action. 

A boldness that looks crazy to the world. 

1 Samuel 17:34-37

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.” 


David teaches us two things in this passage, more, but two things I want to look at and then one thing to apply.


Now with this being said there are a couple of things we need to guard against so that we live as though God is our true source of strength. 

You see, Satan is going to attack us on at least two fronts and I want to point those out this morning, because these two enemies can lure us away from relying on God as the true source of our strength.

First, is our Pride

Our boldness is not to come from some inner strength that we muster up by pumping ourselves up, no, that’s the way the world does it. 

Our boldness to stand up to adversity, oppression and the like comes from the strength of God. 

And to our world, that looks crazy. 

Goliath was bigger and stronger than anyone in the Israelite Army. 

Our enemy is bigger and stronger than us. 

But God is bigger and stronger than the enemy. 

So, trust God’s strength and be bold in it.

If you try and defeat Satan’s attacks on a daily basis in your own strength, I can tell you for sure that you will not succeed, you will fail. 

That’s exactly what Satan wants us to do. 

Remember how Satan tempted Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:2-5, The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan was appealing to their own pride of strength…YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD. They forgot that they were already like God, created in His image. 

Satan loves for us to rely on our own strength and not the strength of God. 

And Satan tried to do the same thing to Jesus in Matthew 4. 

Jesus has fasted for 40 days, so he’s hungry right? 

And Satan tempts him to turn stones into bread, doesn’t sound like a big deal right, oh yeah, Satan is wanting Jesus to do this in his own strength and not rely on God’s strength. 

Now, I have just confused some of you and your are thinking, wait, isn’t Jesus God? 

So how is him turning stones to bread not relying on God’s strength. 

The Apostle Paul reveals that to us in

Philippians 2:5-7, In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,

    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7 rather, he made himself nothing

    by taking the very nature of a servant,

    being made in human likeness.

So, Jesus knew he needed to rely on God’s strength not his own strength. 

David knew he needed to rely on God’s strength not his own strength. 

Do you know that you must rely on God’s strength not on your own strength? 

So, the first thing Satan tries to do is to get us to not rely on God’s Strength and he tempts us to rely on our own strength.

Second: Is our Weakness

Trusting God’s strength means you don’t worry about your own weakness. 

We all have weaknesses right? 

Of course we do, none of us are perfect, but we can’t let our weaknesses paralyze us from doing what God has prepared us to do. 

And we see that in David’s story here. 

David comes to Saul and volunteers to fight Goliath. 

Saul tells David, “You can’t, you’re only a boy and Goliath has been fighting since he was your age.” 

Saul looks at David and immediately pinpoints his weaknesses. 

David is young, too young even to join Saul’s army. 

David is inexperienced. 

He lacks the training and combat experience that Goliath has.

But David doesn’t let that deter him. 

In fact, David is the one encouraging Saul in this situation: “Don’t let anyone lose heart on account of this Philistine (1 Samuel 17:32).”

You see, when you’re trusting God’s power, you don’t have to worry about your weakness. 

Saul was quick to point out David’s weaknesses right? 

There are people who are quick to point out our weaknesses to and that can cause us to lose heart, am I right? 

How many times have you had people come to you and just encourage your socks off and you are having a great day and then all of a sudden, one person comes a long and makes that one negative comment and it just flushes all those positive comments down the toilet? 

That can be hard to recover from can’t it? 

And Satan knows this and so he does all he can to whisper our weaknesses in our ears and sometimes he uses other people to do this. 

The Apostle Paul battled this also, so you’re not alone. 

Paul is considered by many scholars to be one of the most profound of all Biblical writers and he was considered this in his day as well and so there was the temptation for Paul to boast and become conceited. 

So Paul speaks to this in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Many explanations have been put forward about whether Paul is referring to a physical, spiritual, or emotional affliction—or something else entirely—has never been answered with satisfaction. 

Since he was not talking of a literal thorn, he must have been speaking metaphorically. 

Some of the more popular theories of the thorn’s interpretation include temptation, a chronic eye problem, malaria, migraines, epilepsy, and a speech disability. 

Some even say that the thorn refers to a person, such as Alexander the coppersmith, who did Paul “a great deal of harm” (2 Timothy 4:14). 

No one can say for sure what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was, but it was a source of real pain in the apostle’s life.

I personally tend to lean toward a person, a messenger of Satan…

What God is teaching Paul in this, what David had learned as a youth, and what we can learn is this: God’s strength is made perfect in weakness because He delights in taking situations where human strength is lacking to demonstrate the greatness of His power. (Write That Down).

God’s denial of Paul’s request for healing turned out to be a blessing in the apostle’s life. 

One commentary explains that the thorn “kept Paul from imagining himself as a spiritual superman, and revealed to him the reality of his human mortality and weakness despite his extraordinary revelations. The ‘thorn’ also kept Paul pinned close to the Lord, in trust and confidence.” 

The same can be said of David. 

His small stature, his youth, his inexperience all these things made him rely on God and kept him pinned close to the Lord, in trust and confidence. 

How about you, are you remaining close to the Lord, in trust and confidence through your weaknesses? 

It’s like this. 

Imagine you have an 800-pound crate and a forklift. 

And you need to lift that crate up and put it on a truck. 

If you’re trusting in your own strength, you’re in trouble. 

But as long as you use the forklift, you don’t need to worry about your weakness in relation to the crate. 

It’s the same way with God. 

We’re all weak compared to the enemy. 

But as long as you’re trusting God’s strength, you don’t need to worry about your weakness.

GOD IS THE TRUE SOURCE OF STRENGTH and crazy people trust in Jesus. 

Second: We need to remember that: THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD (45)

Look at 1 Samuel 17:45, 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.

David shows us clearly that his boldness doesn’t come from himself it comes from the Lord. 

Too many times in life we are trying to fight our battles through our own tactics. 

Instead we need to learn to seek God’s tactics for the battles we are going to have in life.

Yes, David’s was a physical battle, but it was also a spiritual battle. 

Goliath was insulting David’s God and threatening God’s people Israel. 

What David said in verse 45 is perhaps one of the greatest statements in all of the Bible. 

Ray Fowler says, “Here’s where we see David’s heart for God on full display.”

This is where we all fall in love with David, and so will all of Israel.

Notice David’s zeal for God’s honor again. 

Let your zeal for God’s honor outweigh any fears you may face.

Well, David is facing Goliath, and David is not intimidated in the least. 

He has no fear. 

Goliath comes against him with sword and spear and javelin, but David comes against Goliath in the name of the Lord Almighty, whom Goliath has defied. 

David is confident of victory. 


Because the battle is the Lord’s. 

Let God get all the honor. 

Let the whole world know that the Lord, he is God. 

Let everyone 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 the Philistines into Israel’s hands. 

Now that’s faith!

I love what Chuck Swindoll calls this part of the story. 

He doesn’t call it “David and Goliath” or “David and the Giant.” 

He calls it “David and the Dwarf!” 

David sees Goliath not through his own eyes, but through God’s eyes. 

And in God’s eyes Goliath is a puny dwarf who’s going down. 

Look at verses 48-50, 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. 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. 

The battle is over before it barely begins. 

This is a knockout punch in the first round, on the very first punch! 

Reminds me of all the Mike Tyson fights back in the 80’s.

Man, I’d rent the fight and it’d be over before a minute had gone. 

Anyway, David triumphs over Goliath without a sword in his hand. 

Trusting God’s strength, David triumphs over the Philistine with just a sling and a stone. 

I like what A.W. Pink says here: “One stone in the hand of faith was worth more than all the Philistine’s armor on the giant of unbelief.”

We read in 2 Chronicles 20:15: “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” 

You can apply that to any situation in your life. 

Do not be afraid or discouraged whatever you are facing this morning. 

For the battle is not yours, but God’s, THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD and crazy people trust in Jesus.

So, you may be wondering, how does all this battle and fight language apply to me today, if I go out and take a stone and a sling and throw at sink the stone in the forehead of those who defy God, of which there is no shortage of people who defy God today, I will go to prison. 

Is that God’s will for me? 

NO! I will say it again NO! 

Don’t go out and take a sling and stone and hit people in the head who defy God.


As Christians we are to put on the full armor of God so that we will be ready for battle. 

It doesn’t look like much to the world, but we don’t dress for the world. 

We dress for success, not to impress. 

And Goliath was not very impressed with David. 

Look at 1 Samuel 17:41-44, 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 only a boy, ruddy 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 of the air and the beasts of the field!” 

Goliath wants to fight a champion, a worthy opponent. 

So, when he sees that David is only a boy, he despises him. 

First, he insults David; then he curses him; then he threatens him. 

This is now the third person who has tried to discourage David from fighting Goliath. 

First, David’s older brother Eliab falsely accused him of wrong motives. 

Then Saul told him he was too young, that he couldn’t do it. 

Now Goliath curses him to his face.

In the eyes of the world, David was Crazy for trying to take on Goliath. 

But once again, David is not dissuaded, and neither should we. 

You need to be prepared for battle. 

You need to put on the full armor of God.

So, what is the armor of God? 

God tells us through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:14-18: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” 

How do you prepare for spiritual battle? 

Seven things – with truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God and prayer. 

That’s God’s armor. 

This armor is not recognized by the world, but it is essential to winning our spiritual battles.

David approaches Goliath, and Goliath keeps coming closer to David. 

Goliath’s shield-bearer goes before him.

But do you know who goes before us? God 

The Lord went before David. 

And that makes all the difference.

The world may think we are crazy, but  the Lord will go before us if we are wearing the full armor of God, because crazy people trust in Jesus. 

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