Goliath intended by his words in 1 Samuel 17:43-44 to insult and to frighten David. However, David replied very carefully to everything that Goliath had said.
Davidís speech sounds very much like the judgement that a judge gives in a court. In fact, it really was a judgement. David was declaring Godís judgement against Goliath. It was necessary for Goliath to know that his bitter and evil words against Godís people had offended God himself. It was God, and not merely David, who would punish Goliath.
Goliath had laughed at Davidís staff, that is, his stick (17:43). David knew that Goliathís weapons (tools for war) were much better than his own. Goliath trusted in his own strength and in those powerful weapons. However, David did not trust in such things: he was trusting only in God (17:37). David knew that God is more powerful than any weapon (Psalm 18:1-2; 1 Samuel 2:2-4; Isaiah 54:17).
Goliath had asked his false gods to punish David. David declared that the real God would punish Goliath. Goliathís false gods had no power. The God who leads heavenís armies had brought Israelís army to fight against Goliath and the army of Philistia. The events during that dayís battle would prove that God was on Israelís side. Israel was the only nation where people served the real God. So therefore, Israelís army really belonged not to its king, but to God himself.
Goliath had cruelly promised that wild birds and wild animals would eat up Davidís body. David replied that, after the battle, wild birds and wild animals would eat the bodies of Philistiaís soldiers. That was what happened after a battle: there were too many bodies for people to bury. It would be clear evidence that God was on Israelís side.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.