David and the Dragon

525px-Michelangelo,_David_and_Goliath_02Last week I was working on sermon for 1 Samuel 17, the history of David and Goliath. After conferring with the Senior Pastor here, we figured out I was studying the wrong text, and I had to abandon that study for the study of 1 Samuel 15. No big deal, I am only 27 and I am sure I will come back to David and Goliath again in the pulpit. I thoroughly enjoyed preaching on 1 Samuel 15. (You can, if you want, listen to that sermon here, the date is March 23, 2014.) However, in my study for 1 Samuel 17, I came across a wonderful gem and I would like to share it.

The story of David and Goliath is not a self-help story. It is not meant to show how you can conquer the giants in your life. You know, all you have to do is find the right five smooth stones like these: (1) be courageous, (2) stand firm even when you are alone, (3) honor God’s name, (4) fight the good fight, and (5) make friends and influence people, or some blah blah like that. It certainly is good and right that we seek the fruits of the Spirit and pursue 1-4, but that is not the message of David and Goliath, the story is not about your giants. Rather, the story of David and Goliath is a precursor of the story of Redemption. David, in a sense, is Jesus saving God’s people. Or, Jesus is a greater-than-David conquering not only the giant, but the world. And it all starts with a promise in Genesis 3:15.

When God cursed the serpent in the Garden He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise [crush] your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” This is the first promise of the Gospel (the protoevangelium). The seed of the woman would conquer the dragon. Here, with David and Goliath, we see just that. David, the seed of the woman, and Goliath, the seed of the serpent, meet in battle and only one can be victorious.

I am not a fan of the NIV translation of the Bible, I think they get a lot wrong and capitulate to the culture too much, but they did get something write in 1 Samuel 17:5 where Goliath’s armor is translated as scales. That is the Hebrew word there, and the giant standing before our young shepherd is arrayed in bronze scales. He is standing as a looming serpent, nearly ten feet tall. The towering, scaled, reptilian Philistine is depicted as a dragon. And with a sling and a smooth stone, David crushes his head.

David, the messiah of Israel, conquers the serpent by crushing it’s head (and then lopping it off!). David fulfills the promise of Genesis 3:15 on a small scale. David is the forerunner of his descendant, Jesus Christ the Messiah, who would crush the head of Satan, that Ancient Dragon (Revelation 12:9).  The Bible is clear, Christ has crushed Satan, plundered his spoils, and saved His people (Matthew 12:29; Mark 1:23-24; Luke 10:18; John 12:31; 16:11; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Colossians 2:15).The next time you hear someone preach on David and Goliath, remember it is a story for you, but it is not a story about you. Christ has conquered. He is King. He rules and reigns and is putting all His enemies under His feet, and He started with the crushing of the Serpent.

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under His feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that He is excepted who put all things in subjection under Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who put all things in subjection under Him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

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2 comments

  1. Titus J · · Reply

    Why did David grab five stones? Didn’t he have enough faith in one stone? (Hint: see 2 Samuel 21:15-22)

    1. Interesting, thanks for the pointer. I was thinking the five stones were allegorical for the five points of Calvinism!

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