1. Home
  2. Bible Characters
  3. David
  4. King David Invites You To Come & Listen To His Biography – Part 4: David & Goliath
  1. Home
  2. Monologue
  3. King David Invites You To Come & Listen To His Biography – Part 4: David & Goliath

King David Invites You To Come & Listen To His Biography – Part 4: David & Goliath

Have you ever been lonely? Did you experience rejection from your family? What is the worse way of handling these painful moments?

Let me tell you how I handle these unpleasant atmospheres especially by my oldest brother.

Who can measure the results of those years of toil and wandering among the lonely hills? The communion with nature and with God, the care of his flocks, the perils and deliverances, the griefs and joys, of my lowly lot, were not only to mould my character and to influence myfuture life.

The psalms I wrote and composed in my lonely years kindle love and faith in the hearts of God’s people, bringing them nearer to the ever-loving heart of Him in whom all His creatures live.

In my young manhood I was preparing to take a high position with the noblest of the earth. My talents, as precious gifts from God, were employed to extol the glory of the divine Giver. My opportunities of contemplation and meditation served to enrich me with that wisdom and piety that made me beloved of God and angels.

 As I contemplated the perfections of my Creator, clearer conceptions of God opened before me. Obscure themes were illuminated, difficulties were made plain, perplexities were harmonized, and each ray of new light called forth fresh bursts of rapture, and sweeter anthems of devotion, to the glory of God and the Redeemer.

The love that moved me, the sorrows that beset me, the triumphs that attended me, were all themes for my active thought; and as he beheld the love of God in all the providences of my life, my heart throbbed with more fervent adoration and gratitude. My voice rang out in a richer melody, my harp was swept with more exultant joy; and I, a lonely forgotten shepherd boy proceeded from strength to strength, from knowledge to knowledge; for the Spirit of the Lord was upon me.


I was shocked when I heard that the Philistines declared war on us. My poor king was emotionally to weak to confront the enemy. This is what usually happens when we forsake God.

During my life time I had to wage many wars against God’s enemies.  But God was so kind and protective that He gave me the victory by His grace.

In a war with the Philistines about this time, my older three brothers followed Saul’s call to arms and left for the battlefield, about 24 km. west of Bethlehem. Here a Philistine champion, Goliath, challenged the Hebrews to appoint an opponent, but the challenge remained unanswered and for about 6 weeks the two hostile armies faced each other without being involved in actual fighting 16).


I will allow my biographer to give us the background of the military event.

1Sa 17:1  Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. 

1. Shochoh. Correctly spelled Socoh in Joshua 15:35. The modern Khirbet ‘Abbâd, situated about halfway between Jerusalem and the Philistine city of Gath, was a town belonging to the tribe of Judah. It was about 17 mi. (27 km.) southwest of Jerusalem.

Ephes-dammim. Or, Pas-dammim, as in 1 Chron. 11:11–13, where the roster of David’s mighty men is given. The name is of uncertain meaning.

1Sa 17:2  And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. 

2. Valley of Elah. A fertile valley with gentle slopes rising on the east and the west, running for several miles in a north-westerly direction from Socoh.

2. Valley of Elah. A fertile valley with gentle slopes rising on the east and the west, running for several miles in a north-westerly direction from Socoh.

1Sa 17:3  The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley bet3. A valley between them.

The Valley of Elah has a wadi running through the centre called the Wadi es–Sant spoken of in this verse as a “valley,” Heb. gaye’. This is quite different from the “valley,” Heb. ‘emeq, of Elah (v. 2). The first Hebrew word is used of a ravine watered by a torrent during the rainy season, the latter, of a wide fertile valley.

This gaye’ was well-nigh impassable except at certain spots, and in this respect like the wadi in front of Mishmash (see on ch. 14:4–10). Saul and his army encamped in the hills on the eastern side of this gaye’, and the Philistines fortified the hills to the west (see 1 Chron. 11:13) beween them. 

1Sa 17:4  And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 

4. Goliath. A resident of Gath, but probably not a Philistine except in the sense that he lived among that people. He is thought to have descended from the Anakim (see on Deut. 9:2). His height of 6 cu. and a span, or 6 1/2 cu., would be equivalent to 9 1/2 ft. (2.9 m.). Others have suggested that the name Goliath may mean “conspicuous.” But this, like “exile,” is based on the possibility that Goliath was a Semitic name.

Gath. One of the five chief towns of Philistia. The exact site is not known. (See on 2 Kings 12:17.)

Sa 17:5  He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 

1Sa 17:6  And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 

1Sa 17:7  Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. 

When war was declared by Israel against the Philistines, three of the sons of Jesse joined the army under Saul; but David remained at home. After a time, however, he went to visit the camp of Saul.

By his father’s direction he was to carry a message and a gift to his elder brothers and to learn if they were still in safety and health. But, unknown to Jesse, the youthful shepherd had been entrusted with a higher mission. The armies of Israel were in peril, and David had been directed by an angel to save his people.

The armies of Israel were depressed. Their courage failed. They said one to another, “Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up.” In shame and indignation, David exclaimed, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

Eliab, David’s eldest brother, when he heard these words, knew well the feelings that were stirring the young man’s soul. Even as a shepherd, David had manifested daring, courage, and strength but rarely witnessed.

The mysterious visit of Samuel to their father’s house, and his silent departure, had awakened in the minds of the brothers’ suspicions of the real object of his visit. Their jealousy had been aroused as they saw David honoured above them, and they did not regard him with the respect and love due to his integrity and brotherly tenderness.

They looked upon him as merely a stripling shepherd, and now the question which he asked was regarded by Eliab as a censure upon his own cowardice in making no attempt to silence the giant of the Philistines.

The elder brother exclaimed angrily, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”  David’s answer was respectful but decided: “What have I now done? Is there not a cause?”

My words were repeated to the king, who summoned me before him. Saul listened with astonishment to my words, as I said, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

Saul strove to me from my purpose, but I was not to be moved. I replied in a simple, unassuming way, relating my experiences while guarding my father’s flocks. And said, “The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to me, “Go and the Lord be with you.”

You know it is so very sad. For forty days the host of Israel had trembled before the haughty challenge of the Philistine giant. Their hearts failed within them as they looked upon his massive form, in height measuring six cubits and a span.

Upon his head was a helmet of brass, he was clothed with a coat of mail that weighed five thousand shekels, and he had greaves of brass upon his legs. The coat was made of plates of brass that overlaid one another, like the scales of a fish, and they were so closely joined that no dart or arrow could possibly penetrate the armour.

At his back the giant bore a huge javelin, or lance, also of brass. “The staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and one bearing a shield went before him.”

Morning and evening Goliath had approached the camp of Israel, saying with a loud voice, “Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”

Though Saul had given me permission to accept Goliath’s challenge, the king had small hope that I would be successful  in my courageous undertaking. Command was given to clothe me in the king’s own armour. The heavy helmet of brass was put upon my head, and the coat of mail was placed upon my body; the monarch’s sword was at my side.

I decided that I would rather be equipped with God than this heavy stuff and then I returned it the king.

I laid off the king’s armour, and in its stead I took only my staff in my hand,  and I chose  five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which I had, and my sling was in my hand. And I drew near to the Philistine. 

The stones in this little brook will tell you next time what happened to one of them.

Updated on 22nd Nov 2022

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles