Key Victory for David—in Waiting for God’s Time

Details Build Performance in David versus Goliath

David’s victory over Goliath illustrates the importance of details in every mission. A detail of his father’s errand required he interact with his brothers physically to assess their conditions. Therefore, he followed them to the battlefront to complete the errand, observed Goliath’s defiance was unanswered because the Israeli men were terrified, was motivated to defeat the Philistines to advance the name and image of God, and won a victory that became the foundation for his reputation as a potential future leader of Israel.

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David’s victory over Goliath laid foundation for his reputation as a potential future leader of Israel. He encountered Goliath while visiting with his brothers in an Israeli army setup for battle against Philistines. A detail of his father’s errand took him to the battlefront to meet with his brothers. While talking with them, he observed Goliath’s defiance of Israel was unanswered because the Israeli men were terrified. Therefore, David became motivated to kill Goliath and defeat the Philistines to remove “this disgrace from Israel” and establish supremacy of “the armies of the living God” [1 Samuel 17:26]. His determination to fight Goliath was reported to king Saul, who tried to discourage him but was convinced by David’s exhortation that God will lead him to victory over the Philistine. David killed Goliath, led Israel to victory over Philistines, and, thus, established his name as a potential future leader of Israel. His reputation would grow later as his involvement in the army increased.

Victory parade from killing Goliath
Victory parade from killing Goliath
Sweet Publishing freebibleimages.org

Therefore, David’s victory over Goliath launched his preparation to become king of Israel. The victory illustrates the importance of details in any mission. David understood his father’s errand in enough detail to recognize he needed to interact with his brothers physically to assess their conditions and report back to his father. He went to the battlefront because of his understanding of the detail and commitment to completing the errand accordingly. As we discuss in a previous study under David Called to Mission, the errand took David to the battlefield but his understanding of the details took him to the battlefront where he encountered Goliath. His success in transitioning from the errand to the encounter with Goliath underscores the importance of detail in every mission. David listened to his father, understood his father’s errand, intended to complete the errand according to details specified by his father, but instead was ushered into the mission for which God had called him to the battlefront.

His interactions during the events illustrate working with God while waiting for God’s time, which manifested as listening to parents to understand and implement details of parental guidance, motivation against Goliath’s defiance of God, and unwavering commitment based on his motivation and faith. His interactions during the events resulted in victory over Goliath, leading Israel to victory over Philistines, and laying foundation for his recognition as a potential future leader of Israel.

Building from Details of Father’s Errand

Father sends son on errand
Errand for David
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David’s understanding of his father’s errand and diligence in completing the errand led him to the encounter with Goliath. His father identified several tasks for the errand: taking supplies to his brothers and their battalion commander, assessing his brothers’ conditions, and reporting back to him. Assessing his brothers’ conditions required he interact with them physically: “…See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them” [1 Samuel 17:18]. Therefore, David understood it was important to meet with his brothers, assess their conditions by talking with and observing them, and report back to his father.

Consequently, when he did not meet his brothers at the camp because they had left for the battle area, he left the supplies at the camp and went after them: “David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were” [1 Samuel 17:22]. Going to the battle area provided him an opportunity to hear Goliath and observe how the Israeli men responded to his challenge. The observation led to his motivation to confront the Philistine, and thus transition from the errand to the mission for which God had called him out to the battlefield.

As we discuss under David Called to Mission, David’s attention to detail in his father’s errand is remarkably similar to Joseph’s (see more in Joseph Called to Mission). The two accounts are similar because each involved a father sending his son on an errand that included checking on his brothers and bringing information back to the father. Neither of the fathers knew he was delivering a message from God by sending his child on an errand. Each delivered the message to the child as normal parent-child interaction. The message was effective because the parent communicated the objective of the errand clearly and the child understood and intended to complete the errand as detailed by the father. In each case, the errand ushered the child onto a mission of great significance.

The accounts illustrate the importance of detail in every mission. Furthermore, they illustrate the importance of clear communication. Each parent described the errand clearly enough for the child to understand what needed to be accomplished. Each child, in turn, listened to the parent with intent to understand and implement the details of parental guidance. David listened to his father, paid attention to details of his father’s information, focused on completing the errand according to the details, encountered Goliath in the process, and benefited by taking an important step in his preparation to become king of Israel.

Motivation Against Goliath

David’s motivation to kill Goliath grew out of personal observation in the battlefront while visiting with his brothers. As he talked with his brothers, he heard Goliath’s challenge and noticed the men of Israel were terrified: “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid” [1 Samuel 17:24].

Goliath defies Israel
Goliath defies Israel
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He understood Goliath’s defiance of Israel as a defiance of God, because the people of Israel worshiped God under covenant. In contrast, Philistines did not worship God and did not have any standing before him. Therefore, David believed the Israeli men were afraid of the Philistine because they did not understand their relationship with God [1 Samuel 17:26]: “…For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

Therefore, he was motivated to score a decisive victory over the Philistines in order to advance the name and image of God. As we discuss under “Pure in Heart” in a previous bible study under Motivation for Righteousness, an act of worship or righteousness pleases God if motivated by a desire to fulfill God’s purpose: “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” [Matthew 5:8]. David was motivated to kill Goliath and defeat the Philistine army to demonstrate to Israel and the whole world that nobody could get away with defying God: “… and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” [1 Samuel 17:46]. He was motivated to advance the name and image of God. He accomplished his objective and benefited by taking an important step in his preparation to become king of Israel.

Unwavering Commitment:
Focus on Motivation and Faith

David's presentation to Saul
David’s presentation to Saul
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David’s commitment did not waver as he focused on his motivation and faith. First, he turned away from his brother’s attempt at distracting him [1 Samuel 17:28]: “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” Second, he made a strong case to convince Saul despite Saul’s initial doubt of his capability against Goliath.

He focused on exhorting the men and making a case to convince Saul that he would triumph over the Philistine: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” [1 Samuel 17:37]. His unwavering commitment bore fruit as he was cleared by Saul to fight the Philistine. He was victorious and benefited by taking an important step in his preparation to become king of Israel.

Summary of What We Learned

David’s victory over Goliath illustrates the importance of details in every mission. A detail of his father’s errand required he interact with his brothers physically to assess their conditions. Therefore, he followed them to the battlefront to complete the errand, observed Goliath’s defiance was unanswered because the Israeli men were terrified, was motivated to defeat the Philistines to advance the name and image of God, and won a victory that became the foundation for his reputation as a potential future leader of Israel.

More Information

Please watch this bible study on video at VIDEO_LINK , listen to or download the audio at AUDIO_LINK . You can also download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation from PDF_LINK.

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