Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Story of David & Goliath

IN A TIME long, long ago, in a little town called Bethlehem far, far away, there lived an Israelite of the tribe of Judah named Jesse, who had 8 sons. Three of his older sons--his firstborn Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah--were in the army of King Saul of Israel, but David, his youngest son, was watching his father's sheep. One day, Jesse gave David grain and bread for his brothers, and cheese for their captain, and sent him to find out if his brothers were doing well.

When David arrived in the camp of the armies of Israel, he saw before him two armies arrayed for battle: the Israelite armies stood one mountainside, while the Philistine armies stood on the opposite mountainside with a valley between them.

Suddenly, a giant Philistine came striding into the valley that lay between the two mountains. His name was Goliath. He was over 9 feet tall and dressed for battle. He wore a bronze helmet on his head, and bronze armor on his body and legs, and a coat of mail. He carried a bronze javelin between his shoulders and a heavy spear with an iron head. A shield bearer walked before him.

Goliath stopped and began to shout: "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us!" Twice a day for 40 days, Goliath had come out to challenge the armies of Israel.

The armies of Israel were so afraid of him that they stayed in their tents! But when David heard his challenge, it only made him angry, and he asked: Who does this Philistine think he is, defying the armies of the living God? And King Saul was told that David would fight Goliath. But King Saul spoke to David, saying, "You are not able to fight with this Philistine because you are still a youth, and Goliath has been a man of war from the time of his youth."

Then David told King Saul that he used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, he went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth. And when it attacked him, he caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Now David said to King Saul that God had delivered him from the paw of a lion and the paw of a bear, and He would also deliver him from this Philistine. So David, who had killed both a lion and a bear, said that he would also kill this Philistine, because he had defied the armies of the living God.

King Saul said to him, "Go and the Lord be with you!" Then King Saul gave his armor to David, but it was much too big for him. So David took his staff in one hand and his sling in the other to go out to meet Goliath. He stopped at a brook that flowed through the valley and picked up 5 smooth stones and put them in his shepherd's bag.

When Goliath saw the youthful David coming to fight him, he said: "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And he cursed David by his gods, threatening to feed him to the birds and the beasts.

Then David said to Goliath: "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." Then David said: "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all of this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."

Then, as the Philistine walked toward David to fight and kill him, David hurried and ran toward the army of the Philistines to meet Goliath. He put his hand in his shepherd's bag and took out one of the smooth stones. He put the stone in his sling and quickly slung it. It struck the giant Philistine and sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. Then David ran and stood over Goliath, pulled the Philistine's sword out of its sheath, and cut his head off with it.

So David prevailed over the giant Goliath with a sling and a stone, which killed him. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they began running away, leaving their tents with all their belongings behind. And the men of Israel and Judah ran after them and chased them out of the valley, but returned and plundered their tents.

David loved God and believed that He would keep him safe. And so the Israelites overcame their enemies and all the earth knew that there was a God in Israel!


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