David and Goliath Is about More than Having Courage

The Larger Narrative of Scripture

Every story in the Bible can be better understood through the lens of Christ and the gospel. One of the most famous ones, for example, is David and Goliath. So, if all you’ve got is the story of little David killing the giant, the message that you probably come away with is something like: Face the giants in your own life and use the five stones of prayer, Bible reading, meditation, etc., etc. in order to slay these big problems in your life.

It’s actually Jesus who winds up fighting and winning the greatest, most dangerous battle that Israel faces.

If you understand, though, the place of David and Goliath—first in the narrative of the Old Testament and then in the narrative of the whole Bible—the story takes on a whole different character and meaning. What’s going on in that story is not just David facing down a giant in his life. The big question behind that story is Who is the true king of Israel? There’s been this struggle going on, this tension in the narrative about whether Saul really is the king of Israel, whether he’s going to be a good one, and if he’s not a good one, who’s going to replace him.

Who Is Our King?

The real story of tension in the story of David and Goliath is that when Israel comes to its moment of greatest need, the king who is actually supposed to be appointed to fight the people’s battles is actually cowering in his tent because he’s scared of the giant. And then here comes this little shepherd boy who says, I’m here, and I—in the power of the Lord—am the one who’s going to go out and fight your battle, O Israel. So, there’s this heightened tension about who the real king of Israel is. Is it Saul or is it the little guy who’s actually functioning as the king of Israel?

Well, as that narrative plays out, you find out in the gospels as the story unfolds that it’s actually Jesus who winds up fighting and winning the greatest, most dangerous battle that Israel faces—which is against sin and Satan.

So the great question of Who is the king of Israel? gets answered in glory at the very end. Well, it’s not Saul. He’s cowering in his tent. It’s not even David because of how things play out in his own life. It’s Jesus and he is the victor at the very end.

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