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A Heart for God


Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:1-30

I. God is the hero of every story by defeating the snake.

A. Verse 1 says that the Philistine army was gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah. The Philistines are in the Promised Land and have, in effect, undone Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land for Israel a few centuries earlier. The 12 spies of Israel said in Numbers 13:33: “And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

B. Goliath was probably a descendant of these giant sons of Anak that Joshua and Israel had defeated centuries earlier. Verse 5 says that Goliath was armed with a coat of mail. The NIV translates this verse as saying Goliath wore a coat of scale armor. Literally, this verse says that Goliath is wearing scales. Goliath then is not just a giant. Goliath is a snake with scales. He is just like the snake in the Garden that defeated Adam. But David will defeat this snake.

II. God is the hero of every story by giving us a David.

A. The story of the Bible is not that we are called to save the world. The story of the Bible is that we have a Savior. The story of David and Goliath is not that we are supposed to be like David. Instead, the story of David and Goliath is good news that we have a David. Two times in our story, Goliath is called a champion (vs. 4, 23). This word champion literally means the man of the between. Goliath stands between the Philistines and Israel.

B. David then is Israel’s champion and representative. In the same way, on the cross Jesus was our champion. Jesus was our man of the between. He was our representative. He stood between us and the judgment of God, between us and death. Jesus is my Savior. Jesus is my victor. Jesus is not only the true Adam crushing the snake. Jesus is the true Israel, the true Son of David, trusting in God, defeating the giant and securing our salvation and our future.

III. God is the hero of every story by being the living God.

A. In verse 26, we hear David speak for the first time in the Bible. “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” To defy is to resist, mock or insult. But for the first time in chapter 17 David finally brings God into the story. We don’t hear anything about God in this story until David mentions His name. When you have a living God, that makes all the difference in fighting a giant. The living God is always the hero who acts for the glory of His name and the good of His people.

Application: Doesn’t having a living God make a difference in this fight I am facing?

Sources: The book of 1 Samuel Commentaries on 1 Samuel by Robert Bergen, Dale Davis and Tim Chester

Sermon Discussion Questions

1) Do you see yourself as the hero of your story? Or do you see Jesus as the hero who has crushed the snake and defeated death? How does having a hero affect your fears?

2) What will it look like in your life to respond to giants and opposition with faith rather than fear? How does the truth that Jesus is our man of the in between move you to praise and worship Him?

3) Is it normal for you to think about God when you come across a giant? How can we more regularly bring thoughts of God into our minds when we are challenged by a giant?