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David and Goliath: What Can You Defeat with God’s Help?

By Mormon.org
David facing Goliath with a stone and his sling

Scholars and biblical accounts estimate that Goliath’s height was somewhere between 6’5” and 10’. He was the champion of the Philistine army and had a lot going for him. So how did a shepherd boy named David walk away the victor? More importantly, what can we learn from the story of David and Goliath that can help us defeat our own giants?

Battles Aren’t Won in a Day

It’s important to remember that this wasn’t David’s first fight. In 1 Samuel 17:34–36, David tells King Saul that he had previously killed a lion and a bear. As a shepherd, David was fiercely protective of his flock, even to the point of risking his own life. This element of the story shows us two things. First, David wasn’t just any scrawny shepherd. He had prepared himself physically to protect the sheep. Second, by defeating these lesser giants, David came to the battlefield with the faith that God had protected him before and God would protect him again. Faith is gained one day at a time as we follow the commandments of God and see the blessings that come because of it.

It’s Not Just about Physical Stature

When David came on the scene, the Israelite armies had already been there for 40 days. Each morning and evening, Goliath came near the armies of the Israelites and challenged them to battle. Even King Saul, who was the tallest man in all of Israel (see 1 Samuel 9:2), was afraid to go out to battle against the giant. By this point in his life, Saul had been through many battles. So what was different about Goliath? One thing that we can learn from this is that no battle is purely about physical stature. Neither King Saul nor the giant Goliath won the battle. When we face challenges, we need to remember that even if we are small in stature, young in age, or lacking in experience, God will sustain us when we are in His service.

Spiritual Armor Trumps Physical Armor

Before David walked onto the battlefield, Saul tried to put his royal armor on David. He initially tried on the helmet of brass and the coat of mail but then took them off. The bewildered Saul likely thought that David was walking to his death, but the young shepherd had a different plan. The inspired David carried his trusted shepherd’s staff and his sling to the brook and chose “five smooth stones” (1 Samuel 17:40) that would ultimately win the fight. This is a reminder that before we walk into battle, we need to first “put on the whole armour of God,” which is the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (see Ephesians 6:11–17). When we wear the Lord’s armor of righteousness and spiritual preparation, there is no giant too large and no challenge too great for us to overcome.

To learn more about putting on the whole armor of God, find a meetinghouse and come worship with us.