Who Was Goliath In The Bible?
BIBLE TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 17:4
Goliath was the most well known giant in the Bible. He was a Gittite. He was often referred to as the Goliath of Gath. He was the leader of the Philistine army arrayed against the army of Israel, which was led by King Saul. He was six cubit (i.e over nine feet) tall. He was an experienced warrior. The bible says he has been a warrior right from his youthful days.
Every day, Goliath came out of the Philistine camp, wearing heavy weapons of war and armour. He would challenge the Israelites to send a man from their camp to fight him, stating that he was ready to fight any of them. He did this open challenge every morning and evening for forty days.
Then on a fateful day, David was sent by his father Jesse, to take some loaves of bread to his older brothers. They were serving in the Israelite army. His father also gave him ten cheeses as a gift to the officer in command of the army. Meanwhile, David being the youngest of his father’s sons was the one tending his father’s sheep in the bush.
When David got to the camp, it was the exact time that the Philistine giant, Goliath was challenging the Israelites army as he had been doing for the past forty days. Young David heard the challenge, and then spoke to the soldiers of Israel. They told him about the great rewards that King Saul had promised to give to anyone who would be able to kill the giant. Some of the rewards were that the king would give his daughter in marriage to the fellow, and his family would be exempted from paying taxes.
They took David to the presence of King Saul, and he assured the king that he would fight the giant and kill him. He gave instances of how he had killed a lion and a bear that came to attack his father’s sheep. King Saul gave David his armour to wear, but they were heavy on him because he was not used to it. King Saul commanded that they take it off him.
Now, David went to the brook, picked up five smooth stones, and took his sling to go out to meet Goliath, the Philistine soldier. As soon as Goliath the giant saw that he was just a small boy, he began to rain down curses on David. Goliath cursed David by his gods. He thundered, “Am I a dog that you come out to me with a sling?” David replied boldly, “You come against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today, the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I will smite you and cut off your head from you, and we will give the carcases of the army of the Philistines to the birds of the air, and to the wild animals. And all earth will know that there is a God in Israel. And everyone here will know that God does not save with sword and spear: for the battle of the Lord’s, and he will give you (O Goliath) into our hands.
With this assurance of the word of God, David ran quickly to meet Goliath who was walking towards him. He took a stone out of his bag, and slung it at Goliath. The stone hit Goliath on the forehead, so hard that it sunk into his forehead, and he fell on the ground. David quickly seized the opportunity and ran to him on the ground where he laid, took Goliath’s sword, and cut his head off. That was how David prevailed over the Philistine giant with a sling and a stone.
When the Philistines saw that their captain, Goliath, had been killed, they ran away. The Israelite army then began to pursue them up to the gates of their cities.
Thus, the giant, Goliath, was crushed by a little shepherd boy, David. This is a lesson that victory or achievement does not depend on size, but on what you are carrying as an individual.
LESSONS FROM THE STORY OF GOLIATH
There are a few lessons to learn from the story of Goliath. They are:
- Pride goes before a fall: Goliath was too proud of himself. He thought winning a battle has to do with stature and strength, both of which he possessed.
- Never defy the Most High God, who created heaven and the earth. People who despised and defied God never had good endings.
- He lived in past glory: he kept coming out for good forty days. So he came out as usual, only to meet his doom.
- God does not save by weapons of war. This means that God does not necessarily have to prosper you by your degrees or anything. He can prosper you using other means.
- Always acknowledge God in all your undertakings. It is the sure way to success.