Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

How a weak person can defeat a strong enemy

1 Samuel 17:37

David knew clearly that Goliath was much stronger than him. Without Godís help, David would certainly die in the fight against such a strong enemy. However, David was not acting without Godís help. He trusted God to save him; he was not trusting in his own strength.

With Godís help, a weak person can defeat the strongest enemy. That is one of the most important lessons in the Book of 1 Samuel. Its author repeats the lesson on several different occasions.

The lesson appears clearly in Hannahís prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. God is the judge of his enemiesí proud words. He gives strength to his poor people. He acts powerfully to save them from those enemies.

That was what happened to Israelís men in 1 Samuel 7:7-12. They had to defend themselves against a much stronger army, and they did not have any opportunity to prepare for battle. However, God helped them, and so they defeated their enemy.

Jonathan expressed this principle well in 1 Samuel 14:6. Just two men - Jonathan and a young man who supported him - attacked Philistiaís vast army in 1 Samuel 14:13-15. Then God acted and he gave success to Jonathan.

Now David was ready to act in a similar manner. Even Saul could see that David was trusting completely in God for the fight against Goliath.

Saul then did something which, for him, was very unusual. Saul blessed David. That is, Saul asked God to help David. Saul had become an evil man and he had ruined his own relationship with God. However, he was still Israelís king, and that gave him the authority to bless David. Saul was not just praying that God would help David. On Godís behalf, Saul declared that God would be with David in his fight against Goliath.

Next part: David refuses armour (1 Samuel 17:38-39)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.