Saul understood well how to encourage soldiers to be brave. That was probably his greatest skill. However, on this occasion, his efforts were not successful. None of Israelís men dared to fight Goliath.
Saul had made such impressive promises that all the soldiers were discussing them. The man who killed Goliath would become a member of the kingís own family by marriage to the kingís daughter. The king would make that man rich, and the manís entire family would receive great honour.
Of course, there was a simple reason why nobody would fight Goliath. Goliath was much stronger than anyone in Israel. It seemed certain that Goliath would kill his enemy. That was why Saul could not find anyone to fight him.
David was completely loyal to Saul as his king. He had seen Saulís problem, and he wanted to help. The plan that David himself should fight Goliath does not appear until later in the passage. First, David encouraged Israelís soldiers to have hope. He spoke to many of them. He reminded them about Saulís promises to the man who fought Goliath.
Then David added a statement of his own. David called Israelís army: Ďthe armies of the living Godí. Israel was the only nation that served the real God. All the other nations, including Philistia, had false gods (17:43). The defeat of Goliath would be evidence to everyone that the real God, Israelís God, was alive and active (17:45-46). Israelís soldiers did not have to defeat Goliath by their own strength. They could not do that. Instead, they must trust God. Goliath had offended God by his evil words against Godís people (17:36; 17:45). When Israelís people trusted God, God would defeat not just Goliath, but all their enemies.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.