One of the most famous stories in the Bible is the story of David and Goliath. It’s a story that is often taught to children in order to teach them about courage and belief in God. Yet after Sunday school is over and we mature into adulthood, we often don’t hear much about David and Goliath anymore. Now why is that? Do we think that we have fully explored this story and extracted all of the truth out of it, in our Sunday school classes when we were children?
There’s a lot more to this story than an encouragement for children (or adults) to face their fears… but in-fact, as with the rest of the Bible, Jesus can be seen in it.
What I am excited to share with you today, is how the famous story of David and Goliath, actually shows us a wonderful picture of Jesus and His finished work for you. Buckle up, because this is going to be an amazing ride!
So most of us are familiar with the story of David and Goliath, most of us are familiar with how a young boy named David was delivering supplies to king Saul’s army and as he was doing so, he took notice of Goliath the Philistine mocking them, and ended-up taking five smooth stones and a sling, making a declaration of faith, and then proceeding to deliver a skull-piercing deathblow to the giant, and beginning David’s rise to fame and glory.
All of that is true, and I’m not taking away anything from it… however as I always like to remind people, the entire Bible is ultimately about Jesus, and showing us pictures of Him and His completed work; and the account of David and Goliath is no different.
There’s actually more to the story than what we typically hear about in Sunday school; so as we examine this today, let’s take a look at some of the finer details here, because remember that there are no insignificant details in the Bible. Everything that we read in the scriptures – every detail – is there for a reason, and nothing listed there is just filler.
Let’s begin a bit farther back than what is typically mentioned about the story, by taking a look at the description of Goliath himself: found in 1st Samuel 17:4-7:
“And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was four cubits and a span.
And he had an helmet of brass on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
And he had greaves of brass on his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.”
Now as we read the description of Goliath here, we can see that Goliath, was from Gath which means “winepress” – now this is significant because in Isaiah 5:2, Lamentations 1:15 and Revelation 14:19-20, the winepress is representative of the wrath of God.
We can also see that Goliath’s height was four cubits and a span, which is almost, but not quite seven feet tall. In the scriptures, seven is considered the number of Divine completion. There are seven pillars of wisdom, seven years of judgment during the tribulation. The Lamb of God pictured in Revelation has seven horns and seven eyes; the seven spirits of God.
The beginning of Genesis, starts with seven perfect words of creation, with God’s signature exactly in the middle of it.
And the entirety of creation, was made in six days, but it was not divinely complete, not until the seventh day of rest – it was rest that made creation complete. Those who have ears let them receive that truth.
So seven is the number of divine completion, and here is this description of Goliath we see that he is slightly shy of seven feet tall.
Next we have a description of Goliath’s armor, and if we are paying attention here, we will notice an interesting trend… Every piece of Goliath’s armor is made of brass. Now again this is interesting because brass in the scripture is a picture of judgment and condemnation. For example, in Deuteronomy 28:23, one of the curses for disobedience in the Old Covenant, is that “the Heavens would be as brass” – in other words, you would be under judgment and God would not hear you.
Another example of this is when Moses told the Israelites who had been bitten by the fiery serpents, to construct a brass serpent, and put it on a pole, and everyone who looks upon it will live. It is a picture of the thing that is killing you being judged and condemned by God. The deadly thing is judged – it dies and you live; just as your sin was judged in the body of Christ on the cross… He died, and you live.
So what we can see here, is that Goliath as a whole, represents, the wrath and judgment of God, as well as the imperfection of sin… just an all around nasty picture.
Now this is the first piece of the puzzle, and the second piece comes from the descriptions of what Goliath was doing, verses 25-27 of this same chapter:
“And the men of Israel said, Have you seen this man that is come up? surely to reproach Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.
And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should reproach the armies of the living God?
And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that kills him.”
Here we can see that Goliath was continually reproaching Israel, and additionally in verses 11 and 24, it is said that the people were greatly afraid because of Goliath.
Today, this is also what the Old Covenant Law does to us:
– it holds us in bondage to fear (Hebrews 2:15),
– and it causes us to be a reproached because of disobedience (Daniel 9:11-16)
Indeed there are still many people who are still in this exact same bondage… They may go to church each week and hear sermons and do Bible studies, yet they are still enslaved just as much as before, only now they wrap it up inside a cloak of religion, but it’s still the same Goliath, and they are still held captive without victory.
Friend, I am here today to declare to you the real Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ; that He has removed your reproach and conquered death and hell for all time!
Romans 15:3 records for us that our reproach actually fell on Christ. He took our reproach! It happened on the cross. Jesus was utterly despised, rejected, shamed and reproached in every way.
This divine payment on your behalf is what enables you to live in victory today.
You see in verse 26 of our text, David’s question gives us a clue to the solution: What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine (Goliath) and takes away the reproach of Israel?
There are many people today who are trying to improve their performance and behavior in an attempt to please God through their self effort. However that is missing the point. All of us were originally born in a state of sin due to the fall of Adam, and the perfect standard of God requires absolutely perfect performance – the Old Covenant Law does not bend; not even in the slightest. Galatians 3:10 tells us that as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse.
Meaning as long as we try to cling to the Law and justify ourselves by it, the curse is still there, Goliath is still alive and reproaching us.
However, the way to truly remove the reproach, is not through our behavior modification, but through death.
When Christ died on the cross, He did not die as Himself; He died as us. This is a fact that many of us still have yet to truly understand and receive; but it is essential to comprehend what Jesus accomplished for us. This is what Romans 6:3-7, tells us:
“Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Modern church religion tries to take these verses and use them as a blunt instrument to teach more performance and sin-consciousness – but that is actually the exact opposite of what these verses are actually saying here!
Notice that as many of as as were baptized (immersed) into Jesus Christ were immersed into His death – when He died, you died. Your old nature, your old identity of a “sinner” died on the cross. It is not who you are anymore. That old sinner known as “you” is dead and buried with Christ and now we walk in newness of life (that is, His life, Jesus’ life). The life He gave you as a free gift of His mercy and grace.
Walking in newness of life, does not mean “try your best not to commit sinful acts” – although that’s what some religious-minded people would have you believe, in order to keep you bound.
Instead, “walking in newness of life actually means, “live according to the truth of your new identity in Christ”. Receive the righteousness that Christ has given you, and own it as yours, right now! He paid for you to have it!
The English text does not make it absolutely clear, but it may surprise you to learn that every occurrence of the word “sin” in these verses of Romans here, is the noun form of the word, and not the verb.
What this means is that these verses are not talking about the verb (or action) of sin, but they are talking about the noun (the place, person and identity) of sin.
Jesus Christ removed that old identity from you, He removed the mark and stain of sin, and freed you from that guilt and condemnation that so many people secretly hold in their heart!
As Joshua 5:9 puts it, God “rolled-away” the reproach from Israel, the day that they cut covenant.
Today we have cut a new covenant with God in Christ Jesus, and the reproach has been likewise rolled-away from us, just as the stone was rolled-away from Jesus’ tomb, as He rose again, signifying that all of our sin has been done away with.
In verse 40 of 1st Samuel 17, we see that David took five smooth stones from a brook. No-one ever talks about this, but remember that there are no insignificant details in the Bible. The word for brook in Hebrew here is נַחַל (nakḥal), but it’s root can also mean an inheritance.
David drew the stone for his weapon, from the stream of his inheritance.
Likewise, we have an inheritance in Christ, and many believers are neglecting it, and allowing their Goliath’s to continue reproaching them, and it’s absolutely needless.
In verse 49, we see that the stone from David’s sling, struck Goliath square in the forehead, and “sank” in. The Hebrew, טָבַע (ṭâva‘) means that it was “planted in”, and this is when Goliath fell face-down dead, and was beheaded.
My friend, it is when the truth of the finished work of Christ truly “sinks in” and is “planted” into our mind, our soul, that Goliath will die, and the reproach well be no more.
When we truly claim our inheritance, founded securely on the finished work of Christ (Hebrews 9:15-16) is when we will have victory. It is nothing to do with our efforts, but with the New Covenant of Christ founded on His finished work for us.
Truly, I declare to you today, Jesus has slain your Goliath.