David and Goliath

Scripture: 1 Samuel 17

Topics: Dependence, Fear, Weakness

Study Guide

While the story of David and Goliath is a familiar one for most of us, God’s living Word reveals new convictions and truth for us at every turn. In this passage, we will look at how pressure squeezes both David and the Israelites and how the ways in which they respond look very different. David responds with faith, while the Israelites respond in fear. What led to David’s faith? Let’s take a look.
Application
  1. David has cultivated and reoriented his faith around God while spending time out in the fields—alone with God and developing intimacy with him. How have you been cultivating this kind of faith? Since we talked about cultivating the inside last week, how have you moved towards that?

  2. When we move to a place where we are weak, we actually give God the chance to show us that he is strong. Where in your life are you closest to your weaknesses? How have you been able to see God’s strength?

  3. Think about an area of success or victory in your life. Have you been able to give God the credit? In what way might you be fooled by your own success?

  4. The Israelites are unable to move in faith because they are fearful. What is something you are the most fearful of? When you pull back a layer of the fear, what is the deep-rooted self-reliance you are really hoping and depending on?

  5. How might you be insulated from feeling any kind of real pressure? In what ways do you hop from comfort to comfort, creating a world of safety? What are your comforts?

  6. What does humble dependence look like for you? Does it look more like moving toward weakness (e.g., asking for help or giving away time or money)? Or giving God the credit for success instead of yourself?

Key Points
  • While David responds to the pressure of the Philistines and Goliath in cultivated faith, the Israelites respond in fear.

  • David’s deep-rooted dependence on God and regard for God’s glory is the result of reflecting on who God is and cultivating a relationship with him over time.

  • This story pushes us to go do something we are weak at—that will take us beyond our felt ability to get it done—so that we have no choice but to depend on the power of God.

  • Every time we move toward our weaknesses, God carves out grooves in our soul where his strength is being made perfect in our weakness.

  • The credit that David gives to God for victory is one of the great indicators that his hope is not in himself—he is not fooled by his own success.

  • If we were to pull back layers of our fear, we would see a deep-rooted self-reliance.

  • It is crucial for us to stay close to our weaknesses and continually embrace our vulnerability.

  • Jesus has taken Satan’s greatest weapon, death, and used it to defeat him. Our greatest problem, our sin, has been dealt with. He has the final word. Because of this, we are free to be vulnerable and weak, knowing the victory has already been secured for us in Jesus.

Other Scripture References