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2. God Uses David to Kill Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

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Main Point: Remaining with God every day is the key to trusting Him in difficult times.

Key Verse: If anyone remains joined to Me, and I to him, he will bear a lot of fruit. You can't do anything without me. - John 15:5b

Props: A tape measure that is over 9 feet long (or pre-measured string that is over 9 feet long, with a knot tied at 7 feet); 3 5-lb. bags of flour

Background/Review (1 Samuel 8 - 9)

Last week, we talked about the nation of Israel. God was their King but they wanted a human king so they could be like all the other nations. That is sort of like trading in an all-you-can-eat buffet for a baby-sized happy meal! Even though God warned them that this was a bad idea, they insisted they wanted a king. God’s prophet, Samuel, appointed Saul. Saul started out well, but before long he became proud and he disobeyed God. So God chose a different king. God led Samuel to appoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the new King.

David was the youngest of Jesse’s son. He was small and insignificant. Just like in most families back then, the job of the youngest son was to take care of his family’s sheep. David spent all day in the fields alone with the sheep. He didn’t seem to have much importance by worldly standards.

Ask: Who can explain why God chose David to be king? Because he was a man after God’s own heart, he loved and trusted God. Say: David did not become king right away. Samuel poured oil over David’s head as a promise that he would one day be king. David was anointed by Samuel in front of his entire family. For many people, this would change everything. Imagine going from a nobody to the most important man in the country.

Ask: What usually happens to people who become famous or get a lot of money? Sometimes they are just treated differently. They get a new home, new car, and people to serve them.

Ask: What would happen if you were signed to play in the NBA? Say: You would be offered a contract to make a LOT of money. You would probably move into a big house and buy several really cool cars! People would ask for your autograph wherever you went. All of these things are fine if you use them to glorify God. But sometimes when people become important, famous, or rich, they start acting differently. They begin to think more highly of themselves than others.

Application: Many times we use the good gifts God has given us for things that aren’t so good. We’ve all sinned against God in this way. Have you ever gotten the highest grade on a test in your class? Did it make you feel better or smarter than your classmates? Did you ever feel like bragging? When God blesses us, we are often tempted to act important or selfish. Sometimes we think more highly of ourselves than we should.

Say: But David didn’t do this. The news that he was now the anointed king over Israel didn’t change him at all. After being blessed by Samuel, David went right back to tending his flock of sheep. He stayed faithful to the job his father had given him. He didn’t desert his family. He continued to obey God in the small things, listening and waiting for God to tell him what to do next.

Ask: What would you call this character trait in David? Humility. Ask: Who can tell me what humility is? Listen for answers. It’s having a proper view of yourself and of God. It’s knowing that every good thing that you have comes from God. It’s using your gifts for God’s glory, instead of your own. It’s not taking credit for anything, but giving all the credit to God. It’s praising God, instead of praising yourself. It’s the opposite of pride.

Say: David was ready and willing to serve God as king, but he knew that serving God as the son of Jesse and shepherd of sheep was just as important for the time being.

Very soon Saul started to be tormented in his mind. David was called in to play his harp to sooth Saul. Saul liked David and made him his personal attendant. David went back and forth between serving Saul and being a shepherd for his dad in Bethlehem (1 Samuel 17:15).

David Fights Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

Say: It wasn’t long before David was called to serve God in a big way. An army of Philistines was attacking the army of Israel. The Philistines were enemies of God, and therefore enemies of Israel. There was a giant among them. His name was Goliath, and the Bible says he was over 9 feet tall! Teacher: Have your tallest student stand up front, and use the tape measure to show how much taller Goliath would’ve been. His armor alone weighed 125 pounds. That weighs as much as two (or three) of you guys! The tip of his spear weighed 15 pounds. That’s as much as 3 bags of flour! Ask your volunteer to lift the 3 bags of flour.

David’s oldest three brothers were fighting in Saul’s army. The Philistine army was on one hill and the Israelite army was on another. The giant Goliath shouted to the Israelites:

Choose one of your men. Have him come down and face me. If he's able to fight and kill me, we'll become your slaves. But if I win and kill him, you will become our slaves and serve us." Goliath continued, "This very day I dare the soldiers of Israel to send a man down to fight against me." - 1 Samuel 17:8b-10

Saul and his whole army were terrified! Goliath kept taunting the Israelite army. He shouted insults at them for 40 days.

Meanwhile, Jesse sent David to the battlefield to check on his brothers, but God had something else planned for this obedient young man. David heard Goliath daring the Israelite soldiers to fight him. The soldiers ran away from Goliath in fear. David started asking questions about Goliath. Saul sent for David.

David said to Saul, "Don't let anyone lose hope because of that Philistine. I'll go out and fight him."

Saul replied, "You aren't able to go out there and fight that Philistine. You are too young. He's been a fighting man ever since he was a boy." - 1 Samuel 17:32-33

Say: Saul liked David very much. He was worried about letting David go up against a fighting monster like Goliath.

But David said to Saul, "I've been taking care of my father's sheep. Sometimes a lion or a bear would come and carry off a sheep from the flock. Then I would go after it and hit it. I would save the sheep it was carrying in its mouth. If it turned around to attack me, I would grab hold of its hair. I would strike it down and kill it. In fact, I've killed both a lion and a bear. I'll do the same thing to this Philistine. He isn't even circumcised. He has dared the armies of the living God to fight him. - 1 Samuel 34-36

Say: If David stopped here, we would almost think he was bragging. But what he says next is SO important! Don’t miss these words:

PPT CUE: Verse

"The Lord saved me from the paw of the lion. He saved me from the paw of the bear. And He'll save me from the powerful hand of this Philistine too."

Saul said to David, "Go. And may the Lord be with you." - 1 Samuel 17:37

Ask: Who saved David from wild animals in the past? God did! And Who would save David from Goliath? God would!


Ask: Do you remember how God described David? A man after My own heart. Say: Here we see exactly what that means. David knew exactly what God thought about a man who insulted the people of God. David knew that God had promised to curse anyone who cursed Abraham’s family, the Israelites (Genesis 12:3). And David knew that God had promised to conquer the Israelites’ enemies, no matter how big they were (Deuteronomy 28:7). David knew that God ALWAYS keeps His promises! So, even though David was small, he didn’t even think twice about fighting the giant, because he knew God was HUGE. David trusted God.

Say: Let’s not forget about Saul in this battle. He was the King, the leader of the army. The Bible tells us that he was a head taller than all of the other Israelites (1 Samuel 9:2). If an average man is 6 feet tall, this means Saul was about 7 feet tall. Let’s see where this would put him in comparison to the 9 foot Goliath. Teacher: Show 7 feet on your tape measure. Compare 7 feet to 9 feet. Humanly speaking, this would have been a much more fair fight than David fighting Goliath. But since Saul was out of God’s will, he was just as terrified as the others soldiers.

Say: It would seem that the Lord had been preparing David for this battle all of his life. Each day as David was protecting his sheep, God was by his side. David remained with God. God was slowly preparing David for the BIG DEAL of fighting Goliath through the daily small stuff of being a shepherd. Each time God sent an animal for David to fight, it made David trust God more. When it came time for David to face the giant, he relied on the power of God without hesitation.

Application: God wants to train you in the same way. God is always there, waiting for you. He wants to speak to you and teach you about Himself every day. God wants to you to invite Him into every part of your life - even the small stuff. If you abide in Him, or remain with Him, every day, and obey in the small things, you will be able to rely on Him in the BIG DEALS without hesitating.

Say: As David prepared to fight Goliath, Saul dressed David in his own armor. You can imagine that Saul’s 7-foot tall armor did not fit the young David very well! David took it off because he wasn’t used to it.

He went to a stream and chose 5 smooth stones. He took his sling and his shepherd staff and went out to meet the giant. Goliath was not alone. The man who carried his shield walked in front of him.

Goliath looked David over. He saw how young he was. He also saw how tanned and handsome he was. And he hated him. He said to David, "Why are you coming at me with sticks? Do you think I'm only a dog?" The Philistine called down curses on David in the name of his god. [Remember what we said about curses!]"Come over here," he said. "I'll feed your body to the birds of the air! I'll feed it to the wild animals!"

David said to Goliath, "You are coming to fight against me with a sword, a spear and a javelin. But I'm coming against you in the name of the Lord who rules over all. He is the God of the armies of Israel. He's the One you have dared to fight against. This very day the Lord will hand you over to me...Then the whole world will know there is a God in Israel. The Lord doesn't save by using a sword or a spear. And everyone who is here will know it. The battle belongs to the Lord. He will hand all of you over to us." - 1 Samuel 17:42-47

Say: God was going to win the battle for David and the Israelites, but His ultimate purpose was to show His glory to the nations, to demonstrate that the battle was HIS. He is all-powerful, and displays His glory for everyone to see. Let’s see what happened:

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet him. He reached into his bag. He took out a stone. He put it in his sling. He slung it at Goliath. The stone hit him on the forehead and sank into it. He fell to the ground on his face.

So David won the fight against Goliath with a sling and a stone. He struck the Philistine down and killed him. He did it without even using a sword. - 1 Samuel 17:48-50

Say: Not only did David fight Goliath, but he ran to meet him. David had COMPLETE confidence in God’s amazing power. Can you imagine all the men watching as David took on Goliath? The Israelites (including Saul) probably held their breath. The Philistines probably laughed as they saw little David coming out without even a sword. However, after God used David to kill Goliath, those Philistines turned and ran! The Israelite army chased them and destroyed them. God handed His people complete victory that day.

Application: David remained with God and God remained with David - in the small things and the BIG things. David knew God’s heart. He knew God’s promises, and he trusted that God was strong enough and good enough to keep them. In the same way, God wants us to remain with Him, and He will remain with us. When we get to know God in our everyday lives, then when a difficult time comes, we will not hesitate to rely on Him.

PPT CUE: Key Verse

Key Verse: If anyone remains joined to Me, and I to him, he will bear a lot of fruit. You can't do anything without me. - John 15:5b

PPT CUE: Main Point

Main Point: Remaining with God every day is the key to trusting Him in difficult times.

1 © 2008 All rights reserved worldwide. May be reproduced for personal, nonprofit, and non-commercial uses only. Unless otherwise noted the Scriptures taken from: Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version, (NIrV®)

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum

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