The soldiers were afraid. But young David didn’t let the giant scare him. He knew Goliath was wrong to defy God. God would help David defeat him.
The soldiers of Israel were afraid. Every day a huge man almost 10 feet tall threatened them.
This Philistine giant’s name was Goliath. His heavy armor and large weapons made him even more fearsome.
The giant’s offer
Each time Goliath came out, he made fun of Israel and God. He offered to fight any soldier from Israel if he was brave enough. But no one was.
Until one day. …
David had seven older brothers, and three of them were soldiers. But David was home helping take care of the sheep.
Then his father asked him to take some food to his brothers. David was happy to go. But when he got there, he saw the giant coming out to threaten Israel.
How could this enemy defy the God of Israel and get away with it? Why weren’t any of the soldiers willing to fight him?
Some soldiers even told David about the reward the king was offering. If a soldier would kill Goliath, he would become rich and could marry the king’s daughter. But still no one tried.
David’s older brother got mad at David for asking questions. He thought David was just a boy excited to watch a battle.
But David asked, “What have I done now?” It seems he was used to being picked on unfairly.
Still, when the king heard that David was willing to fight the giant, he sent for him.
King Saul was surprised at how young David was. He told David he wouldn’t be able to fight with the giant. “You are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
A lion and a bear
So David told King Saul about how he had protected his sheep by killing a lion and a bear. “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
So King Saul said, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”
Even though King Saul was not willing to fight Goliath himself, he offered to let David wear his armor. But King Saul was a big man. The armor was too big for David, and he had not trained using it. So David took it off and wore the clothes he was used to. He took the shepherd’s rod he was used to carrying. He took the sling he was used to using.
David picked up five smooth stones to use in his sling. Then he headed toward the giant.
David stands up for God
Goliath and the man holding his shield headed toward David. But the giant was disgusted. He could tell David was young. He was not dressed like a soldier, but like a shepherd.
Goliath shouted, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” Then he cursed David by his pagan gods. He said he was going to kill David and feed him to the birds and animals.
But David answered, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
David said God would defeat Goliath’s whole army. Then everyone would know that “the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
So he ran toward the giant. He put a stone in his sling and whipped it around. He let it fly at just the right time to send it into Goliath’s forehead.
And the giant fell forward with a crash!
One down …
David took Goliath’s sword and finished the job. The entire enemy army turned and ran. King Saul and his army chased after them, and God helped Israel win.
Afterward, the women sang songs about what David had done. But David knew that it was God who should be praised.
He thanked God in many of his songs. In Psalm 23:4 David wrote about God being a good shepherd. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Even in the valley where Goliath threatened to kill him, he was not afraid. Why? “For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
God can be our shepherd too. He can protect us. He can help us win against any type of giant we face. We should ask God for His help and thank Him too.
You can read more about David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.
Here are some questions to think about or talk about as a family:
Why wasn’t David scared of Goliath?
Why did David’s brother get mad at him?
Why didn’t David wear Saul’s armor?
Why did David say that the battle was God’s?
For more stories of the Bible, see the articles in this section: “Bible Stories: The Purpose Behind the Stories.”