Bible Readings for August 25th
The story of David and Goliath is one of the more well known stories of the Bible, and with good reason. While the entire nation of Israel was quivering before the booming taunts of the giant Philistine named Goliath, the youngest son of Jesse arrives at the battlefield and quickly volunteers to fight as Israel’s champion. David faces opposition from his brother (1 Sam. 17:28), from Saul (1 Sam. 17:33), and especially from Goliath (1 Sam. 17:43), but ultimately David ends up victorious. This story has much to teach us about the Christian life.
First, David is not deceived by Goliath’s outward appearance, but rather he sees the situation rightly: “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26). God had chosen David not because of David’s physical strength or size but based on the spiritual realities of his heart (1 Sam. 16:7). Here, David looks at the situation in the same way, recognizing that the spiritual power of the living God far exceeds the physical power of this uncircumcised Philistine. As we face opposition and persecution for our faith—even from people who appear to have an extraordinary amount of power—we should remind ourselves of the spiritual realities of the situation.
Second, just as David does not assess the threat of Goliath according to appearances, so he also does not lean upon the armor that, according to appearances, would give him the greatest chance of victory. He has not tested Saul’s armor, so he declines to use it (1 Sam. 17:39). Instead, he depends upon the armor he has tested many times in the past—the armor of God. David has learned to trust God while protecting the sheep under his care from the attacks of vicious animals (1 Sam. 17:34–37), so he confidently goes out against Goliath, insisting to Goliath that “the battle is the LORD’s and he will give you into our hand” (1 Sam. 17:47).
Third, and most importantly, the true value of this story comes not as an example for us to follow but as a shadow of another champion whom God would send into this world to protect his people. Our greatest problem is not any uncircumcised Philistine of our own day but rather the curse of sin, death, and the devil—and even more so, the wrath of God against us because of our own guilt before him. This story does not teach us to try to be David against our own Goliath but to trust the Son of David who went to the cross to slay our great enemies as well as to reconcile us to the Father by taking upon himself God’s wrath in our place.
One champion went out to battle for you, and by trusting in his victory, you will find salvation.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.