18 May 2008
David and Goliath
(1 Samuel 17)
During his ministry, Jesus taught with parables using common things around him. Mountains, stones, seed, birds, thorns, and water are some of many symbols used to illustrate spiritual lessons, which when researched, show to have a consistent meaning throughout scripture. The prophets and apostles used the same method, sometimes using actual stories allegorically, as did Paul with Abraham’s life (Romans 4:1-16; Galatians 4:22-31). This study is an attempt to bring out spiritual lessons from the story of David and Goliath. Read and become familiar with all of 1 Samuel 17.
The situation: The Philistine army was poised on one mountain facing Israel, who was across a valley on another mountain. Goliath, almost 10 feet tall (verses 1-4), presented himself morning and evening and challenged Israel to send a man to fight. Who ever was killed, their army would be the subjects of the winner’s army. This had been the scene for forty days when David arrived. (verses 8-10, 16)
In addition to Goliath’s large stature, he is described as having his head, body and legs covered with brass armament, carrying a large spear and having a sword girded on his loins (verses 6-7, 51). Daily he called for a man of Israel to fight: 10 And the Philistine said, "I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together." 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. (Revised Standard)
Spiritually speaking: Take this story and put all of it inward, as happening in the mind of a person who is committed to following Christ. The two mountains represent the battle in the mind of spiritual thoughts against fleshly thoughts, Goliath being the mind-set, which if destroyed will bring all other fleshly thoughts into subjection to the spiritual side. Jesus said: “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." (Matthew 17:20) Kill the giant!
Goliath: The root from which Goliath (1555) is derived is galah (1540), meaning to uncover, make naked, go or make go into exile. The giant symbolizes our ‘old man’ which is covered with impure, twisted thoughts, (brass is an impure metal), whose tongue is like a sword and his sharp words like a spear (Psalms 57:4). This mind-set is exiled from the kingdom of God, neither is it covered with God’s thoughts (naked). Isaiah 30:1: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: (The Christians armor - see Ephesians 6:13-18)
1 Samuel 17:16: And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. Before the time in which we come into an abiding relationship with Christ (enter promised land) is represented in figure as a wilderness, or desert - a dry place without water, not sown, a land of darkness and pits (cp Jeremiah 2:2, 6, 31; 17:6; Ezekiel 19:13). Israel was in the wilderness 40 years, because they were afraid to fight the giants (Numbers 13:31-33), Christ was tempted 40 days and nights in the wilderness. In figure, Goliath is the same thing as Babylon - It is a time of confusion about God, a time when a person has not been enlighten by the spirit of Christ.
David to the rescue: 1 Samuel 17:17-18: 17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren; 18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare (literally - attend to thy brothers welfare, or completeness), and take their pledge.
David, who eventually becomes a king, is a type of person following Christ, and Christ is bringing the spiritual food needed to slay the giant. Ten is the number for hearing and doing what God speaks to the heart, which begins to happen figuratively when a person enters the promised land. Cheese is made from the fat of milk, or the best part of the milk. Milk is a symbol for the word of God (1 Peter 2:2). Jesus is the ‘bread of life’ (John 6:35). Parched corn and unleavened things are eaten when one enters the promised land - after the men of war are dead (Joshua 5:4-6, 11-12) and the manna has ceased. Manna represents the written word, by which one is governed (by my own understanding) in the wilderness. The parched corn and unleavened things are Christ’s understanding of the law brought when he comes with the spirit of truth. (cf John 6:63)
Slaying of the giant: It is Christ who slays the giant in us! Joshua 5:13-15: 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15 And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou stand is holy. And Joshua did so.
Joshua, a person entering the promised land, is told to remove his shoes - i.e. remove man’s covering (fleshly understanding). The hand represents faith and works, the sword is the tongue, or words out of a person’s mouth. However, it is the two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) out of the mouth of Christ (Revelation 1:16) which slays the giant in the land (our ‘old man’).
1 Samuel 17:36-37: 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine... Remember, it is the words out of ones mouth that defiles a person: Job 36:12: But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge. Job 9:20: If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. From one’s thoughts come their words, and spiritually a person lives or dies by what they think.
Before the giant can be put away, the lion and bear must be killed. The unsanctified lion is pride, and the bear the unchanging attitude. The Son of God became a son of man and slew the lion and bear in our behalf. Joshua saw a drawn sword in the hand of the Prince of hosts, indicating that it was He who slays the giant. Just how is the giant slain?
1 Samuel 17:40, 45-46, 49: 40 And he took his staff (or rod) in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a [pouch]; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine... 45 Then said David to the Philistine, you come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite you, and take your head from you; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel... 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
David, carrying a rod (message - Revelation 11:1) of correction (Proverbs 22:15) in his faith and works (hand) brings the giant down to the earth - i.e. sees the earthly old man. He did this by using one of five (grace - Divine influence) smooth stones (spiritual concepts) from a stream of thought which source is the spirit of Christ. It is the cross that enables us to see our confused state and errors (fowls and beasts) by which we have been living our lives. If we listen, God will lead us out of man’s way of thinking (wilderness) into a new and living way (promised land).
Summary: 1 Samuel 17:51: Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. Literally, the head controls the body. When Christ is the head of the body (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23; Colossiansl 1:18), the human mind-set, or, the flesh’s way of thinking is removed. However, Saul is still king, and he must be removed so that David (type of Christ in the believer) can be crowned king. This process happens once the confusion about the Father and Son is removed, God’s love fills the void in our hearts and the rest of our sin problems begin to flee from us, i.e. they are brought into subjection (cf James 4:7). We become crucified with Christ and the “old man” is put to death, so that we become new creatures, resurrected in Christ (Romans 6:6-10).
2 Corinthians 4:16: For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Colossians 3:9-11: 9. Lie not one to another, having put off the old man with his practices, 10. and having put on the new, which is renewed in regard to knowledge, after the image of Him who did create him; 11. where
there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, servant, freeman - but the all and in all - Christ. (Young’s Literal translation) For by divine influence (grace) are we saved, by means of Christ’s faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesiams 2:8-9) Hear, and enter an everlasting covenant with Christ, and He WILL slay the giants in your land. Amen.
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