David and Goliath

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The story of David and Goliath is well known. The giant Goliath challenged the Israelites, and David stepped forward to accept the challenge. His only weapons were a sling, five smooth stones he put in a pouch, and his trust in the Lord.

This story pictures how the Lord battled evil during His life on earth, and how we can overcome evil in our own lives. The key is the five smooth stones.

The Story

Read (or retell) the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.

  • Goliath challenges the Israelites - 1 Samuel 17:1-11
  • Jesse sends his son, David, to the camp - 1 Samuel 17:12-19
  • David arrives in the camp – 1 Samuel 17:20-31
  • David talks with King Saul – 1 Samuel 17:32-37
  • David challenges Goliath – 1 Samuel 17:38-47
  • David kills Goliath – 1 Samuel 17:48-51

Summary of the Story

Goliath and the Philistines were on one mountain, and the children of Israel stood across the valley on another mountain. Goliath challenged the Israelites to send one man out to fight him. If Goliath was defeated, the Philistines would serve the Israelites. But if Goliath won the battle, the Israelites would serve the Philistines.

David had been taking care of his father’s sheep but was sent to take food to the camp of the Israelites and bring back news of his three brothers there. Goliath issued his challenge again, and the men of Israel were afraid. David told Saul that he would go and fight Goliath. He explained that the Lord helped him kill a lion and a bear to protect his father’s sheep. Unable to move in the armor Saul gave him, David went out to meet Goliath with only his staff, his sling, and five smooth stones from the brook.

When Goliath taunted David, he replied, “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…” (1 Sam. 17:45). As the giant came toward David, the boy ran to meet him. David put a stone into his sling, and it struck Goliath’s forehead. Goliath fell down, and David used the giant’s own sword to kill him. The Philistines fled.

Ideas for discussion

  • Who was David? (a shepherd boy taking care of his father’s sheep)
  • Who was the king of Israel at this time? (Saul)
  • Who was Goliath? (a giant fighting with the Philistines against the Israelites)
  • How did Goliath challenge Saul’s army? (Send a man to fight me. If I win, you will be our servants. If he wins, we will be your servants.)
  • How did David convince Saul to let him stand up to Goliath? (He said that he had already killed a lion and a bear with the Lord’s help.)
  • What weapons did David use to fight Goliath? (a sling and 5 smooth stones)
  • What kinds of weapons did Goliath have? (a helmet, armor, shield, spear, and sword)
  • How did David defeat Goliath? (David used a sling to strike him with a stone, then took his head with Goliath’s own sword)
  • What happened when David killed Goliath? (the Philistines ran away)

Further ideas

How can this story help us when we face “giants” in our lives? Here are some thoughts that may help us follow David’s example.

  • David pictures believing in the Lord and trusting in Him.
  • Goliath pictures selfish loves and being proud of our own intelligence.
  • The five smooth stones stand for truths from the Word that can help us fight evil influences in our lives. The Ten Commandments are especially helpful.

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