Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Samuel 17:4-11 1
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves 2, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. 8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

Background

This is the most notable story about David and Goliath. This event took place in Sucoh, about 17 miles south west of Jerusalem. The land belonged to the Israelites but the Philistines were attacking it. This time the Philistines did not fight with all of their army or want the Israelites to kill any of their soldiers. Instead, Philistines came up with a creative plan. They wanted an Israelite soldier who was a champion to fight against Goliath, the Philistine champion. The Philistines were certain that they would win. Goliath was a very tall and strong man. He had armor to protect him. Goliath’s spear had an iron point, stronger that the typical Israelite point made of bronze. What the Philistines did not count on is when Goliath opposed the army of Israel, he also opposed the God of Israel.

Saul was a tall man (9:2). He was a strong soldier. In chapter 11, the Holy Spirit had made Saul strong to fight the Ammonites. But Saul did not trust God now and he was afraid of Goliath. As we know the story from our Scriptures, David a simple shepherd, would use his slingshot and kill Goliath.  There are two very good reasons for this victory.  First, David’s life as a shepherd was filled with danger, training him to know how to defend himself and his flock with a slingshot. David was an expert with a slingshot.  Second, David was God’s choice to lead the Israelites.   With God on David’s side, he could not lose.

Items for Discussion

  • How would you define bravery?
  • Why were both men, David and Goliath, confident?
  • Can you think of any modern day examples of the “David and Goliath” battles that have gone on?
  • In your examples, how and where was God?
  • David’s life experiences conditioned him to be brave and skilled. How does that happen in today’s society? (developing bravery and survival skills)

 

Mark 4:35-41
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Background

Why was Jesus asleep during what must have been a bad storm? Matthew Henry, theologian, tell us it was to test the faith of his disciples, and to get them to pray. Their faith appeared weak, and their prayers strong. Our hearts, sinful as they are, are like the troubled sea which never rests, when our passions are burning because of no control over life, this story tells us be silent. When chaos is around us and fear is within us, Jesus says, “Peace, be still,” there is a great calm at once. So why are we so fearful?

There are good causes to be fearful but this story says that no fear should be so great as to overcome your faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus cares about us and cares that  we should not be paralyzed by fear. Remember, Jesus came to save us, imperfect as we are! Faith and fear take their turns while we are in this world. The challenge is not to ever let fear overcome us or else  we can lose sight of our own faithfulness.

Items for Discussion

  • How was Jesus like David?
  • Since the disciples were fisherman, what can you conclude about the severity of the storm?
  • Why are the disciples still “terrified” even after Jesus calms the storm?
  • How are bravery and faith linked together?
  • How does one keep fear from overcoming faithfulness?
  • Jesus shows us that faithfulness needs practice – How is this done in our world today?

Discussion Challenge

  • How can a Christian become an ambassador for the “Peace of Christ?”

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. a piece of armor used to protect the shin
Share