Day 110: David and goliath

1 Samuel 17:1-58 The Story of David slaying Goliath the Philistine demonstrates that the power of God is far greater than that of any warrior. Christian tradition has long seen in this story a figure of the Church’s battle with Satan and her ultimate triumph. This chapter appears to be an alternate introduction of David into the story, as Saul does not seem to know David before the duel. (CCC 268-269, 303-306)

Psalm 12 This psalm touches on several manifestations of falsehoods that violate the Eighth Commandment: lies, flattery, duplicity, and boasting. This category of deceitful spirit would also include calumny, detraction, perjury, and rash judgement. Lies are damaging because they undermine trust and goodwill, which in turn has ill effects on relationships with others and creates discord and strife.

Who is our master?: The ultimate lie is that falsehood will prevail or, worse still, that there is no absolute truth as if truth could change with particular circumstances. This denial of eternal and immutable truth is called MORAL RELATIVISM, which is a dramatic contradiction of the objective truth given by natural law and Divine Revelation. (CCC 2476-2486)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 37: David Kills Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1-31)

Against all odds, the young shepherd David kills Goliath, a giant Philistine warrior. For centuries, the Philistines had been a thorn in Israel's side. Only with David does Israel begin to gain the upper hand.

David and Goliath

  • David’s contest with Goliath serves as a sort of overture for the rest of 1 and 2 Samuel.

  • Not only are David’s strengths as a warrior showcased in this encounter, but he also is cast as the one who delivers-and who will deliver-the people of God from the affliction of the Philistines, whose might is represented by the intimidating icon of Goliath of Gath.

  • Day and night, Goliath’s taunts dismay and terrorize the heart of Saul and all Israel.

  • David’s response to Goliath is starkly different from that of Saul’s men.

  • The latter are fixed on the rewards that would come to Goliath’s victorious challenger: “The man who kills him, the king will enrich with great riches, and will give him his daughter and make his father's house free in Israel” (1 Sam 17:25)

  • David’s gaze, in contrast, is directed to the honor of God and his people: “What shall be done for the man who kills the Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam 17:26)

  • Despite David’s flaws, which will come to the fore later in the story, his passion for the Lord and for Israel will remain one of his greatest and most memorable virtues

  • Throughout this narrative, appearances deceive

  • Eliam, whose appearance deceived Samuel into assuming he was chosen by God, accuses David of merely being a curious spectator

  • Saul and his active army of men are paralyzed by the stature of Goliath

  • Saul, who is “taller than any of the people,” is clearly the one to fight the towering giant, but he lacks the courage

  • David requests permission to fight Goliath, and as far as we know, he is the only man to do so

  • Saul, however, brushes him aside as too young and inexperienced

  • David argues that just as he rescued his flock from predator lions and bears, so he can now rescue Israel

  • Most important of all, he rests his case on the power of God:

The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. (1 Sam 17:37)

  • This daring trust in God is a hallmark of David

  • For him, it is the God of Israel who is the true King over Israel and her Deliverer; as he says to Goliath, “The Battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam 17:47)

  • Saul acquiesces, and David marches out to face Goliath-not with the king’s armor (which he tries on but finds oversized and cumbersome) but with the unsophisticated weapons of a shepherd: a slingshot and five smooth stones

  • This time, it is Goliath who is deceived by appearances: “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (1 Sam 17:43)

  • Undaunted, David brings down Goliath with one shot of his sling and cuts off his head with his opponent’s own sword

  • His victory spurs the Israelites armies to a great victory, and David brings Goliath’s head, the token of his triumph to Jerusalem

  • This foreshadows two of the greatest acts in David’s imminent reign: Israel’s deliverance from the Philistines and the establishment of her religious and political center in Jerusalem

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

  • 1 Samuel 17 Is Fr. Mike’s favorite story in the Bible :)

  • We don’t always need to have our armies kill each other, why don’t we just have one warrior vs one warrior to see which army wins

  • David’s father Jesse sends him to get food for his brothers and on the way, David hears about the Philistine army

  • David is inspired to fight

  • Remember Jonathan?

  • The armies of Israel are hiding in holes

  • Jonathan sees this and rallies the troops to go fight

  • David has the same heart and is the same kind of person

  • David’s older brother Eliab hears him and talks smack to him, in effect saying, “I know what you’re doing. You just want to talk big…”

  • David’s response was, “What have I done now? I was just talking!”

  • Typical younger brother response by the way

  • David’s boldness and courage lead him to say to the king, “Let your heart not fail because of Goliath. I will go down and fight this Philistine. I know you’ve led people into battle. I know you’ve been fighting the Philistines but don’t let your heart be troubled. I’ve got this.”

  • This is INCREDIBLE

  • This shows us the HEART OF DAVID

  • Saul then says, “You can’t fight against him because you’re young, etc.”

  • David then tells Saul how he spends his summer

  • He tends his father’s sheep

  • It wasn’t just playing the lyre all day, which he performed for Saul earlier

  • It wasn’t just playing Xbox all day

  • He’s fought lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!!

  • David has been training for this moment by doing his dad, Jesse’s, will

  • David is in charge of protecting the flocks of sheep

  • David has to place his life on the line and LEARN HOW TO FIGHT

  • Because he could do that THEN

  • He can do this NOW

  • None of us know the battles we will have to face in the future


  • When we do the task at hand, WE ARE PREPARING OURSELVES


  • If we AVOID the battles of NOW, we won’t be prepared for the battles of LATER

  • David did not AVOID the earlier battles in life

  • So when he needed to rise up in the moment when all Israel needed a WILLING AND ABLE HERO to face Goliath

  • You and I are going to have GIANTS in our lives



  • Then Saul clothes David with his own armor and sword

  • Remember, Saul is a pretty big guy, head and shoulder taller than anybody

  • The armor didn’t fit David

  • Also, David trained with other weapons, not a sword

  • There is a moment when David goes out against Goliath and in v 48 “When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.”

  • This is CRITICAL

  • David RAN

  • Sometimes we dawdle

  • Sometimes we wander

  • Sometimes we hesitate

  • Sometimes we dilly dally

  • When it’s time to move, when it’s time to go, when it’s time to FIGHT


  • WE LINGER (Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it lingggggeeeeerrrrrrr??? You know I’m such a foooool for yooooouuuu ok sorry ahem 😁 )

  • But David RACES to the battle line

  • God, when do you want me to RACE towards the battle line?

  • David is a man after God’s own heart in this battle

  • David doesn’t fight because he wants all the prizes

  • David doesn’t want glory

  • David doesn’t want to be a hero

  • David is fighting because Goliath is INSULTING the NAME OF THE LIVING GOD

  • The worst thing about Goliath is not that he is a Philistine

  • The worst thing about Goliath is that he is OFFENDING THE NAME OF THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD

  • David’s LOVE FOR GOD led him to DEFEND GOD’S HONOR

  • Pretty remarkable eh?

  • Fr. Mike is honored by your prayers

  • We need to PRAY FOR EACH OTHER


  • ESPECIALLY WHEN WE ARE FACING GIANTS (but don’t be afraid of the New York Giants, who don’t scare anybody 🤪)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we give you glory and honor. We give you just thanks. Thank you, God, for all that you have given to us. The very fact that our existence comes from you, I mean you are the ground of all being, Father in Heaven. You are the source of everything. You are being itself. Just the fact that we get to exist is because you share your being with us. You share the gift of existing with us. If you are to forget us for a moment, Lord God, we would cease to exist. So thank you. Thank you for remembering us at all times. Thank you for holding us in existence at all times. Thank you for being so faithful and for being such a good Dad. Help us to not forget you, help us to remember you and remember your love, remember your faithfulness. Help us to walk in faithfulness as we walk in thankfulness as well this day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”