Daily Prayers

Prayer is Love, I want to Love

Saul, David and Goliath

David Kills Goliath: 1024BC

A depressed Saul, who thought he was possessed by an evil spirit, accepted the advice of his servants and sought a musician. The search led to the appointment of David who although very young, had already been anointed by Samuel as the next king, an act unknown to Saul.

Statue of King David

The relationship between Saul and David initially flourished. David continued to take care of the family flock and travelled, as required by Saul, to play his lyre. His music brought relief to Saul and he later appointed him as his armour-bearer, a task which gave him an invaluable insight into his future role as king.

David’s three older brothers were soldiers in Saul’s army and once, when his father asked David to bring food to them before they went out to do battle with the Philistines, he eagerly responded. While in camp, he went to the front line and saw the mighty Goliath taunt the Israelites. Goliath was clad in bronze armour and was loudly challenging people to fight him, the winner taking all! In addition, Saul was offering the family of anyone who fought Goliath and won great wealth.

David put himself forward to fight Goliath but was met with anger from his brothers and king Saul who said to him, “You’re just a boy!” (1 Samuel 17:33) However, David begged to differ and told Saul how, as a protector of his families flock he once killed a lion and a bear.

Saul relented and gave David his “fighting attire” but it was too big and heavy so he removed it. Instead, David selected five smooth stones from a stream, put them in his shepherd’s pouch and, with his sling, he went into battle. As Goliath and David advanced to fight, David shot a stone from his sling which embedded itself in Goliath’s forehead and killed him instantly. He then ran forward and taking Goliath’s sword, severed his head. The confused Philistine army ran away with the Israelites in hot pursuit.

As Saul celebrated the Israelite victory over the Philistines, he heard a group of women from various cities of Israel sing, “Saul has struck down his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.” It made him envious and very angry and from then on he planned to kill David! (1 Samuel 18:7)

Image of a person's eye with quotation: Jealousy - They wanna see you..."

Saul’s anger towards David continued even after giving him his daughter, Michal, in marriage. He tried to kill him many times which led to David going into hiding. Finally, after David showed Saul how vulnerable he was, by cutting a piece from his cloak while he was sleeping and on another occasion removing his spear and water bottle, Saul admitted his wrongdoing, repented and made peace.

When Saul and his son Jonathan were killed in battle, David was anointed king of Israel by the elders. He was thirty years old.

Soon after his crowning, he conquered Jerusalem and took the Ark of the Covenant into the city. Although his son, Absalom, tried to overthrow him during his reign and forced him to flee the city, after Absalom’s death, he returned.

David reigned as king for forty years, thirty-three in Jerusalem.  He appointed Solomon, his son, his successor before he died. (1 Samuel 16:14-23, 17, 18; 2 Samuel 5:1-13, 14)


Envy eats the heart!

Stay clear of yearning for other people’s glory!


Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times I have been jealous of others. Help me to control my feelings, slow in anger, rich in mercy and abiding in love. Amen.

Prayer: Grace To Forgive

Lord Jesus, grant me the strength to forgive.
Purify my heart and mind.
Bestow your grace on my weaknesses and failings.
Open my life to your true and endless love. Amen.

Top Questions:

What led to Saul’s downfall?

There are two primary reasons. Firstly, his disobedience towards God when he:

  • offered sacrifices without Samuel’s presence,
  • kept the spoils of war
  • and spared the life of the Amalekite King.

Secondly, his jealousy towards David, as David’s popularity and success grew.

Was Goliath a myth?

At 290 cm tall, almost three metres, he would have been the tallest man to have ever lived. The Guinness World Record is 272 cm.

The difference isn’t so great as to be impossible! Goliath, like other ‘giants’, probably suffered from growth-hormone imbalance.

Is the story of David killing Goliath a myth?

Slings were in use long before David and Goliath. With little physical strength, objects could be hurled at great speed and distance. So, given the required accuracy, David could have killed Goliath.

However, this biblical story has another twist. It wasn’t included in the Book of Chronicles. This may imply that it was added to 1 Samuel after the Babylonian Exile, centuries after David fought Goliath. Therefore, it may be a myth!