Monday, November 17, 2014

David vs. Goliath = Christ vs. Satan

Please read 1 Samuel 17
This is one of the most well known stories in the Bible. Even lost people that have never read the Bible use the expression, "It is like David vs. Goliath" (many sayings and expressions used in the English-speaking world originated with the KJB which has had a major influence on our culture, many use scriptural expressions without even knowing it). I am sure that those of you that had the privilege and blessing of being raised in a Bible-believing church have heard many Sunday School lessons and sermons on this passage of scripture. But this is much more than a story- it is the word of God and as such it cannot be exhausted no matter how many times you have read it or have heard it taught. God can speak to our hearts fresh and new through this passage and perhaps we can even learn something new from it.

David killing Goliath by faith in God was a literal and historical event that was full of significance for the nation of Israel. This is the event that God used to cause the man that He had chosen and anointed as the next king of Israel to begin to rise in prominence among the people. This event is one of the greatest illustrations of David's love for God and of his faith in Him.  

There is much more that lies under the surface of this story. I see in this passage a spiritual picture of how Jesus Christ defeated Satan. It also contains spiritual principles and applications for believers today concerning the life of faith (Rom. 15:4). 

Goliath = Satan (v.1-10)
Goliath is referred to as "the giant" in another passage of scripture (2 Sam. 21). There is some debate as to what was the exact measurement of a cubit and a span but at six cubits and a span he stood somewhere between 10 and 15 feet tall (I would guess 13 feet). He was big enough to wear armor that weighed over 150 pounds, wield a huge spear that weighed about 35 pounds, and use a shield so big that a man was designated to carry it out in front of him. He was a literal giant (not just a tall man of 7' as some claim). The Bible refers to giants about 20 times and they are spoken of in a literal sense.

Giants were part of Satan's plan of evil. Based on Gen. 6 we know that giants were the offspring of the union between fallen angels and women. They were "mighty men" and "men of renown". Upon the fall of man God told Satan that the coming Redeemer would be the Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). The eruption of giants in the earth was the result of Satan's attempt to corrupt the seed line and prevent the Redeemer from coming to bruise his head. Only Noah and his family were pure in their generations and thus were spared from the universal flood that God used to destroy the corrupt race. But there were also giants in the earth AFTER the flood (Gen. 6:4).  

After God revealed that the promised seed would come through Abraham and God gave Abraham and his seed the land of Canaan, the giants showed up again but were localized in the land of Canaan. This explains God's strict forbiddance for Israel to mix with the Canaanites and His command for Israel to utterly destroy them (including women and children). Satan used the giants to discourage the children of Israel from taking the land of promise (Num. 13:32-33). In Deuteronomy Moses refers to battles with the giants that lived on the border of the land. Joshua led in the destruction of many giants but when Israel possessed the land there were still giants left in Gath (Josh. 11:21-23).     

• The Philistines were the enemies of God and God's people. Goliath was the champion of the Philistines (their greatest warrior). Satan is the greatest enemy of God and God's people (1 Pet. 5:8).

• There are 3 sixes associated with Goliath in this text. Six is the number of man and after the fall man is in defiance and opposition to God (Rev. 13:18, Satan in the flesh, 3 = completion, man in complete opposition)

• He was a proud and defiant enemy that blasphemed and challenged God (Isa. 14:12-14; 2 Thess. 2:4)

• His size and armor was such that flesh and blood could not overcome him (Job 41:8-10, 15-34; Isa. 27:1)

• He was a relentless enemy (v.16, 40 days, Matt. 4)

David = Jesus Christ
The name David means "beloved". Jesus Christ is God's beloved Son. Both David and Jesus were born in Bethlehem. 

• He was anointed as King (16:13) but before he took the throne he was a good shepherd that was willing to lay down his life for his sheep (v.12-15; 34-37; Jn. 10)

• He was sent on a mission by his father for the good of his brethren and was perfectly obedient to carry it out (v.17-27; Jn. 6:38)

• He came into the camp of his brethren in lowliness but was misunderstood and falsely accused by his envious brother (v.28; 16:6-7,18). Later, David's brethren will receive him when he becomes their king and so will Israel receive Christ when He comes again to set up His kingdom. 

• He was motivated by a great reward (v.25-27) but more than that by the great cause of God's glory (v.29, 45-47)

• David had no fear of the giant (v.48) just as Jesus had no fear of the devil (Matt. 4)

• David left the mountain top to descend into the valley to face the giant on his own turf and he took 5 stones (5 is # of death, Gen. 5) out of the brook to defeat the giant (v.48-49). A young man with a sling and 5 stones would be considered foolish, weak, base, and despised compared to the giant (1 Cor. 1:27-29). Christ defeated Satan through weakness (Phil. 2:5-8). He died on the cross with 5 wounds in His body.

• As he faced the giant he was the object of mockery and ridicule (v.40-44).

• He took the sword (instrument of death) from the giant and used Goliath's own sword to cut off his head (v.50-51). Satan's sword was death but Christ took that very sword from Satan and used it to destroy him (1 Cor. 2:7-8; Col. 2:14-15; Heb. 2:14)!

• As a result of this victory Israel could arise and shout for joy and experience victory over a defeated foe (v.52). 

• The intended result of this miraculous victory over the giant was that "all the earth may know that there is a God". 

• This victory was accomplished at Ephes-Dammim (the boundary of blood) and the valley of Elah (the mighty one). This speaks of victory through death and resurrection.

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