“And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled” (1 Samuel 17:42-51).
While Goliath ranted and raved, David calmly ran out to meet him on the battlefield, which just goes to show that it is not the excitable ones that get the victory.
Goliath, a fully trained and well armed warrior, must have take David’s appearance before him as an insult. Were the Israelites mocking him by sending out a mere youth to take him on? Maybe they were thinking that he was all mouth and no trousers. No wonder then that he cursed and swore by his pagan gods that he would rip the shepherd boy apart limb by limb. If they thought that he was a dog, then David was no more than a flea in comparison. As far as he was concerned, his bite would be worse than his bark. His pride was deeply wounded before his flesh was.
The name of the Lord
The giant came against Israel in the name of his gods, but David stood before him in the name and authority of the true and living God. David foresaw the end result because he had faith in his heart. He warned Goliath that in a few moments he would be dead and the Philistine army thoroughly defeated, not by his strength but by the power of the God of Israel. Goliath was concerned about his own honour, but David was only concerned about God’s honour. These two points of view would determine the outcome of the duel. “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31) … “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).
We can imagine that all the soldiers in both the Israelite and Philistine camp were dumbstruck as they heard David speak like this to such a mighty foe. For forty days and nights there was noise, shouting and insults, but now in deathly silence they watch as the boy went out to meet the warrior.
It would be wrong to say that David could not miss as they slung the stone towards Goliath, for he was not operating with the same courage as when he fought the lion and the bear. He could not miss because God was guiding the stone to its preordained destination. That one exposed spot on Goliath’s forehead offered David the chance to bring him down.
Some have questioned the facts of this story. Could David have done what Scripture reveals? Was his aim so good that he could kill the giant with pin-point precision? In Judges 20:16 we read of seven hundred men of the tribe of Benjamin who had such accuracy with a slingshot. “Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.” “The sling was in fact the rifle of the period, and men who practiced the art would make their bulls-eyes with this weapon as well as our modern rifle shooters” (D. Fraser).
The Philistines could not believe their eyes; their champion was laying at the feet of the smallest member of the Israelite camp. They must have been totally beside themselves as David raised Goliath’s sword and chopped off his head. They would never have dreamed that they would be fleeing from a shepherd boy!
This factual story is not just for the historical record, but to show us what even the weakest saint can accomplish if God is with him. We should never underestimate anyone of the Lord’s people, because if they walk in faith even the mountains can tumble down. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20) … “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).