Opening Questions and Prayer
What are some giants, things that seem impossible to overcome, you are facing right now?
How does the world handle giants?
What do you do when those giants show up in your life?
Ask the Lord for guidance as you study His word. Pray that He would increase your faith.
Read 1 Samuel 17:1-11
1 Samuel 17:1-11 (All scripture is from the NLT unless otherwise noted)
The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. 2 Saul countered by gathering his Israelite troops near the valley of Elah. 3 So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them.
4 Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! 5 He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. 6 He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. 7 The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.
8 Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! 9 If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 10 I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.
What is the setting of this story?
How did the Israelites respond to the giant, Goliath?
When coming face to face with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, what is your typical first response?
What is something that terrifies you and leaves you deeply shaken in your life right now?
Read 1 Samuel 17:16-27
1 Samuel 17:16-27
16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.
17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. 18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.
20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries. 21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel.
24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes!”
26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
27 And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that is the reward for killing him.”
What was David’s response to Goliath’s taunts?
How was David able to have a different perspective than the rest of the Israelite army?
When faced with a giant, how can you have a different perspective?
What is happening in your life right now that you need to look at from a different perspective?
Who can help you with that?
Read 1 Samuel 17:31-39
1 Samuel 17:31-39
31 Then David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him.
32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”
38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.
“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again.
Why was Saul skeptical about David’s ability to defeat Goliath?
Who was David relying on to defeat the giant?
Why had King Saul and all the Israelites forgotten about God?
What are some ways you can lose focus on God when faced with hardships?
How can you, like David, look to God to defeat the giants in your life?
Read 1 Samuel 17:40-51
1 Samuel 17:40-51
40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.
45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.
When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran.
How did Goliath try to discourage David?
How was David able to look at how big His unseen God was, instead of looking at how big the giant standing right in front of Him was?
What happened to Goliath?
What area of your life is the Lord asking you to look to Him instead of the huge problem staring you down and threatening to end you?
Who do you know that is facing a giant and needs reminding of how the Lord can handle it?
1 Kings 17:45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
Final Thoughts and Prayer
It is very easy to focus on the problems facing us: job loss, addictions, family troubles, political unrest, global pandemics, and the list goes on. But if we look at David, he was able to keep his focus on the Lord through all of it. He looked at how God shaped his past to prepare him for that moment. He looked ahead to how God would defeat the giant. He was focussed on how big God was, not how big the giant was. We need people in our life constantly reminding us of that, and we need to spend daily time with Jesus to keep our focus on the One who truly matters.
Pray as a group for the giants you are facing. Pray for proper perspective and the faith to carry out the task God has called you to. End your time praying for our leaders in this country and our church.
1 Samuel 17:1-11
Describe Goliath. Why was he so terrifying?
What did the Israelites miss by focusing on the giant?
When you focus on the things in your life that seem daunting, or impossible to overcome, what do you miss?
What would help you change your focus?
1 Samuel 17:16-27
How long had Goliath’s taunts lasted?
What did the Israelties do when they saw Goliath?
How had this progressed from when Goliath first made his taunt? (Compare v.11 and 24)
What happens the longer you are beaten down by the hardships in your life?
What are some ways you’ve run away from the situations in your life?
How can you turn back and face those challenges?
1 Samuel 17:31-39
Why didn’t Saul fight Goliath?
How did Saul try to equip David to fight Goliath?
What are some things you turn to, before turning to the Lord, to help you face the challenges in your life?
How had the Lord been equipping David his whole life for the battles he was going to face?
How has the Lord used your past experiences to help shape you to face the giants ahead of you?