Life Applications and Lessons from the Story of David and Goliath

Saturday Morning Life Applications (Vol. 89)

We probably all grew up hearing the Sunday School story of David and Goliath, but who knew there were so many life applications and lessons for us in that Bible story?

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Let’s take a closer look at this very familiar Bible story and see some of the many lessons we can apply to our lives.

History and What Was Happening

  • The Philistines were waging war against the men of Israel.
  • One of the Philistine men, Goliath, who was over 9 feet tall challenged them to find one man to fight against him.
  • Until this point, David’s life had only consisted of watching his father’s sheep.
  • By divine appointment (not coincidence), David’s father sent him to the battle line to check on his brothers, and he “happened” to hear the challenge.
  • All of the Israelite soldiers were scared, but David took the challenge.
  • He refused Saul’s armor and only used a sling and a stone to fight the mighty warrior.
  • Young David defeated the giant Goliath and won the victory for Israel.

Life Applications and Lessons from the Story of David and Goliath 

“When Saul and all Israel heard these words from the Philistine, they lost their courage and were terrified.”
I Samuel 17:11

  • The enemy will use intimidating circumstances to make you lose courage, hope, and faith.
  • Remember that the Lord is bigger than your circumstances!

“David spoke to the men who were standing with him: ‘What will be done for the man who kills that Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?'”
I Samuel 17:26

  • David wasn’t just talking about defying the Israelite army, he was talking about this Philistine giant defying the God of Israel!
  • Always keep in mind that we represent the Lord. When people persecute us, they are really going against the Lord.
  • There is spiritual warfare all around us.
  • The battle really isn’t ours but the Lord’s.
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“David’s oldest brother Eliab listened as he spoke to the men, and became angry with him. ‘Why did you come down here?’ he asked. ‘Who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and your evil heart—you came down to see the battle!'”
I Samuel 17:28

  • David’s eldest brother did not have his heart in the right place.
    • He started off in anger toward David.
    • He downplayed David’s job as a young shepherd boy and made him seem insignificant.
    • He definitely was not seeing David from God’s perspective. He said that David had an evil heart, but God called him a man after His own heart.
  • We must try to see people and their intentions with eyes from the Lord.
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“What have I done now?” protested David. “It was just a question.”
I Samuel 17:29

  • David didn’t let his older brother’s insults and negativity stop him.
  • Don’t let anyone make you feel insignificant.
  • The next time people (even family members) come against you and try to discourage you, remember that you are a child of the King!

I Samuel 17:34-37

“David answered Saul, ‘Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.’ Then David said, ‘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.’
Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the Lord be with you.’”
I Samuel 17:34-37

  • It was the experience of David’s mundane and “insignificant” job that prepared him for this battle.
  • The Lord will use our everyday mundane and insignificant tasks to train us and prepare us for things ahead.
  • David knew where his power had come from and Who ultimately killed the lions and bears.
  • Knowing that our power comes from the Lord should give us great courage and self confidence.
A shepherd, identified as "David the Shepherd" in the image, is tending to a flock of sheep in a rocky, mountainous landscape. Text reads, "On the Job Training for Slaying a Giant! Life Applications at www.homewithgraceandjoy.com.

I Samuel 17:38-40

Then Saul had his own military clothes put on David. He put a bronze helmet on David’s head and had him put on armor. David strapped his sword on over the military clothes and tried to walk, but he was not used to them. ‘I can’t walk in these,’ David said to Saul, ‘I’m not used to them.’ So David took them off. Instead, he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pouch, in his shepherd’s bag. Then, with his sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine.”
I Samuel 17:38-40

  • David didn’t try to be someone he wasn’t.
  • He didn’t need the military armor; he had the Lord’s armor – God’s protection.
  • He didn’t need military weapons. The Lord had trained him to use his own weapons (smooth stones) in his daily life of shepherding.
  • The Lord has better protections and weapons for us as well. He tells us to put on the whole armor of God daily.

I Samuel 17:45 and 47

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel’s armies; you have defied Him.'”
I Samuel 17:45

“…and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s. He will hand you over to us.”
I Samuel 17:47

  • Referring back to verse 26, David knew that Goliath was insulting and fighting the Lord, not him or the army of Israel.
  • When you know Who is fighting the battle, you have more confidence and courage.
  • Don’t let big circumstances lessen your faith. Keep your eyes on the Lord instead of the circumstances.

I Samuel 17:48-50

When the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in the bag, took out a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. Even though David had no sword, he struck down the Philistine and killed him.”

  • As intimidating as the situation would have been for most people, David ran toward the giant, He knew the Lord was in this.
  • When you know the Lord is in a situation, run toward it. Don’t worry or turn away, just follow His lead.

Illustration of the biblical story of David and Goliath. David swings a sling with a stone at Goliath, a giant clad in armor, who is holding a large shield and spear. Below the image is a Bible verse from I Samuel 17:49 describing David's victory, emphasizing its life applications.

I Samuel 17:51-52

David ran and stood over him. He grabbed the Philistine’s sword, pulled it from its sheath, and used it to kill him. Then he cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran. The men of Israel and Judah rallied, shouting their battle cry, and chased the Philistines to the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron…”
I Samuel 17:51-52

  • The Philistine army put their faith in one man, Goliath. When he could no longer protect them, they ran in fear.
  • We need to rely on each other and help each other in situations, but our trust needs to be in the Lord. He is the only true One Who can help.
  • David’s courage and faith showed the power of God and His faithfulness to the army of Israel who had previously been scared of the Philistine army.
  • The great victory was a testament of the power of the Armies of the Living God.
  • When we step out in faith and trust the Lord, He will do great things, and the world around us will see His power.
  • When the people around us see us trusting the Lord and letting Him fight our battles, they will be encouraged and strengthened.

On a side note, I wonder what David’s oldest brother Eliab thought about his brother at that point! He must have had somewhat of a little different perspective than before.

Life Applications and Lessons in Bible Study

Please join us as we read the Word each week and share your insights on these scriptures as well.

Life Applications and Lessons Resources

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If you have joined me recently, these daily life applications from the Bible are examples of some of the comments I am writing in the Bibles I am giving to my grandchildren when they graduate from high school. Click here to see the post where I explain this eternal gift idea. I want to give them all the resources I can to use in today’s world!

Related Song

You probably know by now that I love songs and their messages. This song relates so well to the life lessons we just saw in the story of David and Goliath.

Same God by Elevation Worship

Listen for these lyrics:

“I’m calling on the God of David
Who made a shepherd boy courageous.
I may not face Goliath,
But I’ve got my own giants!”

How powerful is that?

Related Post

5 Powerful Life Lessons from David and Goliath

I hope these life applications and lessons will help you in some aspect of life.

Please join me next week as we continue looking at life applications and lessons from the book of I Samuel. Feel free to share any encouragement and lessons you have learned this week as you read the Word of God. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next week…

Closing Signature

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“When the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in the bag, took out a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. Even though David had no sword, he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” I Samuel 17:48-50 

(Old Testament)

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