1 Sam. 17:4-7
And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.
The picture of Goliath painted here is not a comforting one, especially for the man who would have had to go up against him. Goliath stood at least nine feet tall, which is not easily imaginable. From the rest of the description here, it does not sound like he was a tall and lanky fellow. He was very strong; his coat weighed upwards of seventy-five pounds. The tip of his spear, not the entire spear but just the tip, weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds. Goliath was seen by the Philistines as a sure thing, an unbeatable giant, and there was good reason to believe that. He was an extraordinary physical specimen by any standards.
David was no accomplished warrior as Goliath was but is referred to as a youth at this time. Although his age and size are not given, we can deduce from several different passages that David was in his late teens or early twenties. His weaponry was only a sling and a stone. What is compelling about this test is that God did not ask or tell David to slay this giant. God merely groomed David over time as a shepherd, and what he learned through that grooming gave him the courage and confidence to volunteer for this fight. It was his choice to take on the giant, and this was a test not for God’s benefit but for David’s. The Lord just presented an opportunity, and his servant jumped at the chance to do something glorious.
David’s confidence did not come from that sling or that stone. It did not come from his strength or abilities. In making his case before King Saul, David cited God’s power of deliverance from the paws of the lion and the bear as his sufficient preparation and ability. This giant taunted the Israelites for forty days, and no man stood up on his own backing to take on the challenge. Only a man supported and supplemented by God would have the basis of confidence to step up to the plate knowing that victory was not only possible but sure. Father, help us recall how You have saved and supported us in the past, that we would be confident of your power in the future.