1 Samuel 16–17

David Stands Tall

Teach the Story

Teach your students what this story tells us about God and about us. {5 minutes}

One day “the Philistines gathered their armies for battle” against Israel, and they sent forward “a champion named Goliath” (1 Sam. 17:1, 4). Goliath was not a sports champion or a chess champion. He was the big winner in beating people up! And he was a big man. “He is seven feet tall,” said one of Israel’s soldiers. “No, he’s got to be nine feet tall!” said another. “And look at his armor,” someone whispered to King Saul. On the giant’s head was a bronze helmet and his body was covered with heavy metal. He was invincible! Unbeatable!

“Choose a man for yourselves,” Goliath barked out, “to fight me. If I kill him, we win. But if he kills me, Israel wins” (see 17:8–9). Every single man in Israel’s army was “greatly afraid” (17:11). No one would go forward to fight. Every day for forty days, Goliath made this challenge. One day, when young David was there to bring his big brothers some food, he heard Goliath. “Enough is enough. This big bully should not make fun of our great God. I’ll fight him!” (see 17:26). David told Saul about the times God saved him from getting killed by lions and bears, and he said, “The Lord . . . will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (17:37). This shepherd could not stand Goliath’s defying God, and he trusted God to deliver him and the Israelites. What courage! What faith! Saul said, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” (17:37).

The Lord was with David! Indeed, the Spirit of the Lord was David’s strength. David took his slingshot and five smooth stones and marched forward. “Ha!” Goliath laughed. “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (17:43). David answered, “The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand” (17:47). He placed a stone in his sling, swung it around, and let it fly. Whoosh! The stone flew like a bullet and sunk right into the big winner’s big head. Down he fell—dead! Goliath had defied God. The Lord used faithful and courageous David to defeat this enemy.


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Dialog illustration