“David and The Giant”
An Exposition of the Seventeenth Chapter
Of The First Book of Samuel
“The man who does not know the Law [of God] cannot know the nature of Sin; and he who does not know the nature of Sin, cannot know the nature of the Saviour.”
“Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [even] the Law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby...”Ephesians 2:15-16
The apostle here makes an extraordinary statement concerning both the Law of God and the work of the Blessed Redeemer. Consider his explication:
“Having abolished IN HIS FLESH the enmity”
Herein lies the crux of the Glorious achievement of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is He who descended from Glory to become like unto His brethren taking upon Himself flesh, and in His humiliation, to become sin and a curse for the Elect of God. Yet, here the apostle identifies an ENMITY, which has been abolished. Literally the word enmity is echtra  and is translated as hatred or hated thing. It is also translated and defined as that which is opposed. I.e. the thing in opposition or opposite.
“The carnal mind is enmity against God”
However, here we must then define exactly what the enmity, or thing opposed is. The apostle continues:
“...even the LAW OF COMMANDMENTS contained in ordinances”
The enmity here, in which the Spirit of God, by the Apostle Paul defines as the defeated foe, is the Law of God. More accurately we will see that it is the Condemnation of the Law of God which has been defeated by the Perfect Life and Substitutional Atonement of the Lord Jesus.
Consider further the next verse.
“And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.”Verse 16
Therefore, it is the Law’s Condemning Power, contained in the Do’s and Don’ts of God’s commandments that was put to death upon the Cross. The apostle further explains this fact of truth in Colossians 2:13-14.
“And you, being dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.”
It is here where the Holy Spirit defines and explains exactly what Christ did in respect to the Law of God, in behalf of the Elect of God unto their reconciliation and salvation. These principles are essential to the understanding of the whole of God’s Word.
It is the Holy, Just and Perfect Law of God, which condemns all unregenerate flesh who are in the loins of natural Adam] and sends them into hell and under God’s wrath.
Conclusion: Therefore, it is this Holy Law which is the enemy of all mankind.
Wonderfully, however, once the soul is raised into the newness of life by Jesus Christ, the Law’s condemning power is made of none effect.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye are also become dead to the Law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him Who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
By nature all mankind is married to the Law of God. Each and every time man transgresses against their husband [the Law] it accuses them unto the Father and they are set for destruction under the condemning eye of their husband the Law. We may identify the Law in this case as the adversary of all unsaved flesh because it is their opposition and condemning opponent.
“He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My Words, hath one that judgeth him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”John 12:48
“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses whom ye trust.”John 5:45
In these verses, “Word” and “Moses” is a description of the Law of God. It is by the Law, which knows no mercy whatsoever, only Justice and perfect obedience, which accuses all that offend. Mankind, simply by their nature, is enmity and offensive to God.
Once unsaved man, who is initially married to the Law, is slain by the Law, according to Romans 7:11, they die, so as to be able to be married to another. That other is none other than the Husband, Jesus Christ. It is by being married to Christ that the condemning power of the Law no longer has any jurisdiction over the regenerate soul. The elect are DEAD to the Law.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh (according to the Law’s commandments unto salvation) but after the spirit (of Grace by the person and work of Jesus Christ alone).”Parenthesis mine Romans 8:1
What then have we concluded?
Firstly, the Law of God is Holy and Perfect. It is a transcript of Who and What God is.
Secondly, the Law is an enemy to all unrighteous mankind.
Thirdly, it is mankind’s accuser and a great adversary.
Fourthly, we can also identify the law as a great taskmaster without any mercy whatsoever from Galatians 3:24.
“Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster (taskmaster is also appropriate) to bring us unto Christ.”parenthesis mine
Fifthly, we may understand that the Law brings unsaved man into hard bondage and taunts man for man cannot and will not obey the Law. The Apostle allegoricalizes these truths in Galatians 4:31.
“So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
Sixthly, we have also seen how natural man outside of regeneration is married to the Law of God which only can condemn the adulterous bride. Yet, by the Grace of God, the Lord uses the Law to slay us in our conscience. Then, crying out for forgiveness, Christ takes us to be His Bride, having therefore no longer any condemnation by His blood Atonement.
Seventhly, we must understand from Ephesians 2 and Colossians 2 that the Law’s condemning power, in commandments and ordinances, were crucified with and by Christ, is now blotted out upon Calvary’s Tree. AS John Calvin once put it, the Law was given a mortal head wound upon the Cross.
The Eighth point to be noted is that upon our regeneration we are no longer under this condemnation for we are now Dead to it’s Condemning Jurisdiction.
Let us now lay down another principal Doctrine concerning truth.
Doctrine: Although we now are dead to the Law, and the Law can no longer condemn us, we have a duty to follow after that which is right according to God’s Holy Law.
All too often the sinfulness of man likens the doctrine of being dead to the Law as a license to do anything which their lust dictates. The fact of the matter is that although we are set at liberty from the condemning force of the Law, we are made captive to the Law of the Spirit of Christ. This compels us by the indwelling Spirit of God to DO WHAT IS RIGHT ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF GOD. Therefore, for all true saints, the Bible is the authoritative rule of both Life and Faith. Our consciences are captive to God’s Truth and His directives are our delights.
The Psalmist Speaks of this in Psalm 119:24
“Thy testimonies ( God’s Law) also are my delight and my counselors.”
“I will delight myself in Thy statutes: I will not forget Thy Word.”
“...I will keep Thy precepts with my whole heart.”
“...I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”Psalm 119:127
Christ as Warrior and Victor
We also must establish that all of the work of Christ is couched in language of battle. It may not be evident in the New Testament books but it is more than dramatic in all of the Old Covenant reading and accounts. A superficial reading of Exodus chapter 15 will establish this doctrinal fact. The battle against sin and death is seen as a Great War with Christ as both warrior and victor.
“Wherefore it is said I the book of the Wars of the LORD, what He did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon”Numbers 21:14
Here we have a direct and dramatic identifying verse. This verse identifies the whole of God’s word, the Bible as the book of the Wars of the LORD.
Consider Psalm 45:3-5
“Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies, whereby the people fall under thee.”
Herein is language of war.
We also see this language in Psalm 2. Here we have set before us a complete overview of all the nations who know not God gathered together in a rage against both the LORD and His Anointed, the Lord Christ. David lays out before us a commander’s view of the armies of the world set against the LORD Himself. Psalm 2 is directly paralleled to Revelation chapter 12 where again we see the great battle set before us in metaphoric language.
The Battles of the LORD set in Historical Content
As we study the Scriptures further, we begin to see that not only are the battles of God spoken of clearly as the Battles in which the LORD Himself fights, as in Exodus 15, Psalm 45, and Revelation 12, but all of the battles which are recorded for us in the historical context are also pointing to the Spiritual Battles of the Lord as well. The Historical accounts of Abraham, the Battle of the Kings, the battles of the Israelites in the Book of Judges, the Battles of the Judges, Saul, David, and all of the wars of Scripture are all pointing to a spiritual aspect of the Wars of the LORD. Therefore, we may conclude that in all of the historical accounts of battle, we may see something of the Battles of Christ against all that is enmity against God.
Furthermore, all these battle accounts deal with aspects of Salvation. For instance, in Psalm 45 we also read of war.
Here we see that the Sword is girded upon the Thigh of the Lord. The Sword is the Word of God and it is this Word, Commandment or LAW, which pierces the soul asunder.
“For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
“...and out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword...”
“...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
There can be little doubt as to the identity of the Sword of God. It is the Word of God. All this is the language of war.
All this is the art of the Battle and the strategies of Warfare.
Herein we read adjectives such as wrestle, and fight. Here, in the Bible, we learn of the mastery of weapons and campaigns of generals and warriors. Herein we read of slaughter and victories;
of the Bow and of the Spear. We read of the captives and the liberated, the spoil and the plunder, the threshing instruments and the armed men with breastplates of iron. The fact is, that there is little in the Bible which does not relate to war and battles.
The question remain however, against who is this battle fought?
We must examine this in the light of the Scriptures and upon a number of fronts.
Firstly, the Battle is against all unrighteousness. Psalm 2 defines the characters in the setting who are arrayed for war. They are unregenerate men and God. None else. Not angels nor devils. Just man and God.
Consider again Psalm 45:5
“Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.”
The Great Hunter and Rider is none other than Christ. The Sword is the Word of God. The King is none other than God the Father, and the Arrows are sometimes used as a picture of the Word of God or the saints of God as they bring the Law and Word of God to convict a soul of sin.
“As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them...”
The man here is Christ. He is the mighty man who has His quiver full of all His ambassadors who are here likened to arrows.
“My soul is among lions: [and] I lie [even among] them that are set on fire, [even] the sons of men, whose teeth [are] spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.Psalm 38:2
In Psalm 38 we see that the sons of men are those who crucified the Lord and brought upon Him much grief and shame. These also are a picture of all the elect for whom Christ died. We are here again called arrows.
Yet there is another use of the word arrow. It is to depict the false witness of the wicked. I must again state here that this in many regards depicts also the elect who are at best, in and of themselves, false witnesses.
“Hide me from the secrete counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity; Who whet their teeth like a sword, [and] bend [their bows to shoot] their arrows, [even] bitter words.”Psalm 64:2-3
What does God do to those with a sharp tongue of falsity? This question is asked in Psalm 120:3 and answered in verse 4.
“What shall be given unto thee? Or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?”
The Answer: Verse 4
“Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.”
The principle is, whenever a soul uses the Word of God unto condemnation of another in a deceitful bitter and wicked fashion, they are to have that same arrow of the Law of God pierce into their own soul. These that live by the sword, die by it as well. And here in verse 4 we see the adding of coals of fire. This commandment of heaping coals upon the head is a commandment to heap the Law of God upon the head of the ungodly, that they may be CONVICTED as to their wretchedness, and turn unto the Living God. This is a command of mercy. This principle is shown very carefully in Proverbs 25:21-22
“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heaps coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.”
This is repeated in the New Testament in Romans 12:28.
Yet the question is, “who is the enemy?”
The enemy is us. We are those who were counted as enemies BEFORE REGENERATION. We are the enemies and kings who God shoots the arrows into.
“And YOU, that were sometime alienated and ENEMIES in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled.”Colossians 1:21
“For when we were ENEMIES, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”Romans 5:10
“Form henceforth, expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.”Hebrews 10:13
Doctrine: The enemies of God depicted in the scriptures identify those who will be slain by the Law and brought into the newness of life by Christ Jesus.
There are however, souls who will remain enemies for all time and throughout all eternity. There is this aspect in view, as well by implication, in many of these verses. Yet, for the most part, we must see the enemies of Christ as those who are the elect before Salvation and who will be brought into the Kingdom at last as reconciled sinners.
The Law of God the Enemy of Mankind
There is another aspect of the enemy of mankind. As shown forth in Ephesians 2 and Colossians 2, it is the Law of God that poses the greatest threat to all of mankind. Herein is the great enemy of unregenerate man. It is the Sword [Law] of God as depicted in Ezekiel 33 that will come upon the land as a great enemy of the people if a proper watchman and trumpet blower be not set up. This watchman of course is the Lord Himself.
Doctrine: The Enemy of all mankind is the Holy Law of God.
Implication: As the enemies of the Lord must be destroyed, so too must the enemies of the Lord’s elect also be destroyed.
The Enemy of the Saint is Sin
When we begin to understand God, we must see Him as the enemy of all that is unholy. He is against all that is unrighteous. What is needed for us to grasp is that God does not take a neutral posture against sin, but rather an active posture against that which is not of Righteousness. He stands ready to defend all that is Holy by actively standing as an adversary against all that is unholy. God, by virtue of His Being, cannot remain passive in the face of sin. This would mean He somehow condoned it, and God cannot condone any one sin; otherwise, He would cease to be God. The scriptures identify His posture against that which is not pure with words such as: against, enemy, conflict, adversary, lusted against, and contrary. This is the position God takes in the face of sin. One of the most dramatic verses in the Scripture is found in Numbers 22:22.
“And God’s anger was kindled because he (Balaam) went (to curse Israel): and the angel of the LORD stood in the way as an adversary against him.”
The Hebrew word here for adversary is the word sawtawn (07854) which is the word satan. This is the exact same word as the name Satan that is used throughout the Old Testament. Here the scriptures themselves testify that the Angel of the LORD, who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ is the RIGHTEOUS Adversary standing against a wicked unrighteous adversary of Holiness. The word sawtwan also can mean, the one who withstands, resists or opposes. Now in the context we see that this makes perfect sense.
Because the Spirit of God indwells the saints, and the Law of Liberty has set them free from the bondage of sin, the inward desire of God’s people is to do good and to eschew (turn from) evil. Yet, there is a pragmatic and real problem present in each of the saints. Sin is powerful and ever assaulting the children of the Gospel. And to this real assault, there is no escape in this life. Theirs is a constant wrestling against that which is evil, which wars against them constantly. This evil is of a fleshly nature, which comes from the corrupt, natural Adamic old man. In fact, it is this flesh, as it is metaphorically termed, which is the cause for all lust and temptation.
“And my temptation, which was in my flesh, ye despised not nor rejected...”
“But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”James 1:14
“ For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.
“I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
The enemy of God’s chosen sons and daughters is sin. Therefore we can also say that sin may be likened to the enemy. Certainly David, when elaborating on his fierce enemies in Psalm 38:19 is speaking metaphorically of the sinful tendencies of his old Adamic nature. He calls them his inward
“But mine enemies are lively, and they that are strong.”
Any soul, who has been made sensitive to the power of indwelling sin by the grace of regeneration, can say along with David, that sin is strong and very much alive in the flesh of his natural man.
We can see another meaning here as well. If we use the interpretation of enemy as the elect before the reconciliation, and in their natural Adamic state, then we can see this as a Messianic Psalm. David, being a type of the Lord Jesus, speaks of the elect as His strong and lively enemies. This is another way of seeing the many facets of the Spiritual meaning of God’s word as it relates to Christ and the body of believers. We see this correlation in God’s identification of the believers as lively in 1 Peter 2:5.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
The Enemy is Death
There is yet another understanding we must grasp concerning the enemy.
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”1 Corinthians 15:26
Herein is another enemy of all mankind. Because of the enemy sin, the Holy Law of God becomes an enemy to man, and therefore death, another enemy of mankind, enters in, making all mankind the enemy of Life Himself, even God the Lord.
The wonderful and the glorious essence of the gospel, is that although we, the elect, were lively enemies, He hath reconciled us by the death of His Son and raised us up together with Him. By Grace are we saved.
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”Romans 5:8-10
The Letter Killeth
We must establish as review that the Law of God is principally the enemy of mankind. It is precisely God’s holy Law that has to be satisfied in order for a soul not to taste death. And that death, being the wrath of God, even the second death.
Let us understand this from another vantage point.
The Law of God Kills.
“...for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death (the Law), written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious.”(Parenthesis mine) 2 Cor. 3:6b-8
“...for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the Law.”Galatians 3:21
It is the Law of God that holds itself forth as the greatest foe of all of mankind. If the Condemnation of the Law, i.e. its condemning power, be not dealt with, then the elect could not be said to be dead to the Law and its accusations. This means all would serve eternity in the Lake of Fire, for all have sinned and are held accountable to the Law of God.
“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses (the Law) whom ye trust.”
(Parenthesis mine)John 5:45
“...the Word that I have spoken (on Mount Sinia, the Law), the same shall judge him in the last day.”(Parenthesis mine) John 12:48
It is the Holy Law of God that identifies sin as sin and kills the soul that sinneth.
“But sin, taking occasion by the commandment (the Law), wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the Law, sin was dead.”Romans 7:8
Here Paul states a great truth. It is the Law that identifies the workings of sin to show forth its exceeding sinfulness. Yet, without such a condemning factor, sin is dead. It is this condemning factor that the Lord Jesus does away with upon the Cross at Calvary’s Hill.
Therefore: We may conclude, that if a soul is to be redeemed, the condemnation and condemning power of the Law of Holy God must be taken out of the way. Again I turn your attention to Colossians 2:14.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, (i.e. the Law) which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.”(Parenthesis mine)
The Law of God, Mankind’s Husband and Head
“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the Law,) how that the Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?”
Here, God introduces another aspect of the Law. The Law is Sovereign over all mankind. God uses the word dominion. The Greek word for dominion is the word, kurieu (2961), which literally means to exercise lordship over or to have the rule. But there is something very important that we must understand about the relationship of such a rule. God gives us a clue in the next verse.
“for the women, which hath an husband is bound by the husband so long as he liveth ...”
God immediately yokes the Law’s dominion over all mankind with the relationship between husbands and wives. In doing this, God holds forth a dramatic metaphor of the Law as it relates to the Church. Here, the women typifies the church BEFORE her betrothal to the Lord Jesus. She is said to be bound to the Husband, which naturally is the Law, as long as the LAW (the Husband) lives. Only after the death of the Husband, the Law, can she become another man’s wife. This is very important for us to understand. Consider the office of a husband. He is the head of the woman and the wife.
“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”1 Cor. 11:3
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church; and He is the Saviour of the Body.”Ephesians 5:23
We then may conclude that the Law is the head of all mankind, even the elect BEFORE they receive their new Head, even Jesus Christ.
Principle: The Law of God is the Husband and Head of all the saints before their regeneration and has complete dominion over them as long as they live.
Objection: If the Law of God has complete dominion over the saints before their regeneration and as long as they live, then they will be found guilty by that Holy Law and sentenced to hell.
Answer: This is true, except the elect of God UPON THEIR REGENERATION ARE PRONOUNCED DEAD! Dead to the Law, their first natural Husband, and alive to Christ their Supernatural Husband. They receive a NEW HEAD upon regeneration. This is an important concept, as we shall see in the final analysis of David’s destruction of Goliath.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye are also become dead to the Law, by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”Romans 6:11
How can the believers reckon themselves dead unto sin when sin is still indwelling and very much at work in their mortal members?
It is because the Law no longer condemns them for their sins. They are forgive all their trespasses for His namesake. They are washed and made clean by the blood of the Lamb. Furthermore, the power of sin has been broken and they now have a desire, which is of the New Birth, which causes them to thirst after righteousness. The New Head, Jesus, now dictates all their actions and provides for the saints, protection, provision, nurturing, teaching, guidance and correction as their Husband. Once the natural Husband rightly accused the elect of sin and harlotry. But after the Regeneration, no longer doth that Holy Law condemn them, for Christ has redeemed them from the wrath to come and become their new Husband. And thus, the accuser [the Law] of the brethren has been cast down.Cf Rev 12:10
“O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ....
There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus...”Romans 7:24-25a - 8:1a
1 Samuel 17
The Battle Set In Array
We now must face the question, “How does David and Goliath fit into all this?”
Let us together search out the answer.
We gain initial insight as to the spiritual Gospel meaning of this episode of David and Israel’s history by the place where God providentially sets the battle in array. Here God brings the Philistines to come against Israel together at Shochoh which belonged to the tribe of Judah. Shochoh means to be fenced or hedged in. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament defines it as to dig about. This word is used in Isaiah 5:2 as God describes His planting and fencing of the Beloved Vineyard of the LORD. The Vineyard here is picture of the elect of God. Yet, the description in Isaiah shows them as very rebellious and in need of a great deliverance. These verses show us who the saints were before their regeneration as they were in Adam, or before their conversion. This fenced in Vineyard belongs to Judah. Judah is another reference to the LORD Jesus Christ. The word Judah, literally means praised or to give thanks. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who alone is worthy to be praised and of Whom we render thanksgiving toward. Therefore, God, in 1 Samuel 17:1 begins by identifying the Lord’s people, more than by simply referring to them as Israel. Also, notice the name Azekah. This means to be dug over which is taken from the root word, which also means fenced. This word is defined exactly the same way in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament as Shochoh. Both of these cities were given to the children of Judah as their inheritance in Joshuah 15:20,21,35.
We may deduce therefore: That it was an invasion by the Philistines that brought about this confrontation. We see profitable spiritual application in this as we understand that it was the invasion of sin that brought about such a confrontation between the Spiritual David and Goliath in behalf of the Elect of God, even Spiritual Israel. But notice where these armies pitched. In Ephes-dammim. Ephes-dammim in the Hebrew means edge of blood, or the boundary of blood. Its root word surprisingly comes from the word ‘aphec’  which is translated as to set at naught. Here again we see Christ. It was He that was set at naught and brought forth to shed His blood for the victory of His People Israel.
In types and figures, God, here, is setting up an overview of the entire Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. But there is more. Notice where Saul pitches the armies of Israel. By the Valley of Elah. Elah means Oak. Again God identifies the Lord Jesus with the word Oak. He is the Great Oak whose branches are strong and coverth the saints from the tempest.
In verse 3 God again alludes to Gospel truths. The two armies are on either mountain with the valley of the Oak between them. This valley can only be the Valley of decision.
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”
The Day of the LORD corresponds to the day of Christ’s Crucifixion as well as Judgment day on the final day. The fact is, judgment day WAS at the Cross for both Christ and all the elect who would believe upon Him. This is why they are said to be crucified with Christ, nevertheless alive.
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet, no longer I, but Christ lives in me...”
God is staging for us the Spiritual Battle between Christ and the Enemy in an Historical Parable. Enter, the Champion, Goliath of Gath.
The Champion, Goliath of Gath
“And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits span.”
1 Samuel 17:4
Who is this Goliath? We may infer many things about Goliath. Practically, he may illustrate for us, all that comes against the body of saints or us as the children of God individually, in this life. We all have our Goliaths. We have our Goliaths of doubts and fears. The Goliaths of sin and superstition. Whatever is not of God, which comes against us can be our personal Goliaths. Yet, we must ask what does Goliath symbolize Biblically? We know that David, the shepherd boy is illustrative of the Lord Jesus Christ. But who is Goliath? Traditionally, he has been seen as a type of satan, the adversary. This may or not be true, depending on how you define ‘satan’ the adversary. We must be very accurate when identifying the giant as to not generalize him as satan or the adversary. The fact that Goliath is a type of the enemy of God’s people is true. He is a depiction of the adversary. He is a depiction of sawtwan the accuser. However, with all the information discussed the question is which enemy does he depict? What is the definition of this Adversary?
Proposition: Goliath of Gath is a Figure of the Law of God
Consider the wording of the text.
“There went out a champion...”
The word champion is the Hebrew word, iysh . The word is translated 1002 times as man and 69 times as husband. The word champion, [iysh], is used in 1 Samuel 17: 4 and verse 23. Yet in verse 51, the word champion is another Hebrew word, gibbowr, . This word is translated as mighty, mighty man, strong one, valiant, champion, chief, and giant. The first observation we must make concerns the word iysh. This is the word for husband. If we recall the words of the Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6, the Law of God is spoken of as an husband.
Secondly, the word gibowr is also used to identify Goliath, which is translated as giant or mighty.
God is likened to the Mighty One
In the Scriptures, God is likened to a Mighty One.
Consider the following texts.
“But His (Christ) bow abode in strength, and the arms of His (Christ) hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob...”
“For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of Lords, a great God a mighty and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.”
“Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.”
“How he sware unto the LORD, [and] vowed unto the mighty [God] of Jacob.”Psalm 132:2
“For their redeemer [is] mighty; He shall plead their cause with thee.”
God likens Himself to a Giant
In Job chapter 16 we find incredible language concerning the wrath of God upon the Lord Jesus Christ. In reading this passage, we must remember that Job here is a dramatic type and illustration of the humiliation of the Saviour and the Wrath of God as it abode upon Him to causing Him to be the Man of Sorrows. Consider the language of Job 16:9-20
v9 “He (God) teareth me in His wrath, who hated me: He gnasheth upon me with His teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth His eyes upon me.”
God here is the enemy of the suffering substitute the Lord Jesus Christ. Because Christ was laden with the sin of all those who would become saved, God becomes His enemy. Now it must be strongly asserted that Christ was still the beloved Son of God, the pure and blameless, spotless Lamb. Yet, the language is so crafted here as to show us, and parade before us, the extreme sufferings of the Divine Saviour. We must carefully understand the way in which God uses the similitude of Himself as a Giant as it relates to David and Goliath. Now of course we may see the spiritual significance of God, in the person of the Lord Jesus having to die, and relate it to the killing of Goliath the Giant. Yet, I believe we will fall short of a full understanding of great and significant truths if that is all we conclude. The Giant in Job 16 is GOD as HE COMES AS THE RIGHTEOUS, LAWGIVING, and CONDEMNING JUDGE. So too must we see God the Righteous Judge as He comes against all of Israel, a picture of the Elect people of God. It is God remember, that declares war upon all men for their sin, yet only the Israel of God has their David to deliver them from such a tyranny of Gath.
David Trust’s in the Living God
The first lesson for us to learn is that the servant of God trusts in the Lord. David was a man of great faith. By God’s intervening hand David expresses great trust in the Lord his God.
“David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, God, and the LORD be with thee.”
Herein we see again that David portrays the Lord Jesus as He exhibits supreme and perfect trust in His heavenly father and His Loving God.
But there is another important lesson here. David is reflecting in this testimony of the Protective Providences of God in time past. David looks to the way marks of his life and acknowledges God’s hand in it. He is sensitive to God being active and alive in every aspect of his life and testifies here to Saul that as God has provided in the past, so too will He provide in the future. This is faith and trust in the Covenantal Character and Word of the LORD. Would to God that we would reflect as David did on the everlasting mercies of God as to exhibit such great faith.
But what is God saying to us here spiritually? We know from a careful study of the Word that the images of Lion and Bear are references to the Law of God, which is the Killing Power of God. It is the Law, which tears and destroys. No flesh can stand before it without being consumed because all have sinned and are under the judgment of God. None doeth good, not one. Yet David is delivered from the power, i.e. the paw of the Law and the Bear. We see then the parallel. It was Christ alone who could not be destroyed by the paw of the Lion and the paw of the Bear because HE is Perfection and Righteousness itself, Incarnate.
David uses a Stone and a Sword
If we see David as a great type of Christ and the Giant of Gath as the Condemning Power of the Law of God, we see perfect harmony with the Scriptures.Compare again Ephesians 2 and Colossians 2.
David refuses Saul’s armor in verse 39.
“And David girded his (Saul’s) sword upon his (Saul’s) armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.”
The significance of this verse is the magnification of David’s trust in God and not on man. So too must we equate this verse with Christ, as He would trust only in God and not in the arm of flesh.
It is important to note, however, that instead of man’s inventions of offense and defense, the saint must place his trust in the Living God. Let it be stated, moreover, that these verses are in no way indicating that to use weapons are a denial of faith. In all of the Scriptures weapons were used by faithful and God fearing saints unto the Glory of God. Often God himself counseled the armies of Israel to take up the sword and fight in the Name and Power of God. It is the TRUSTING in these armaments that are warned against. God must be the Defense, not mere weapons. David puts off the weapons of man and takes another form of weaponry: a staff, a stone, a sling, a script, and the sword of Goliath of Gath.
Thus he uses them both offensively and defensively.
It is important to note that the staff is spoken of firstly. This, of course, illustrates the nature of David’s character and office. He is inherently a shepherd. Again, David serves to show us more perfectly the person and work of the Lord Jesus as both Shepherd and King.
The Five Smooth Stones
The imagery we get from the word “stone” is one which refers to the Law of God. The Ten Commandments of God were written on tables of Stone. The Angel of the Lord (Christ Himself) was seated upon the Rolled Away Stone on Resurrection Day. To be seated implies a ruler-ship. Furthermore, the stone was rolled away from the tomb giving way to the Risen Lord. Thus the stone, i.e. the condemning force of the Law, is rolled away from all of us, so we are no longer bound in the tomb. We, like Lazarus, although we stinketh, come forth to meet the Risen Saviour. God speaks of the New Birth as giving us hearts of flesh in place of hearts of stone in Ezekiel 36. All these phrases of parabolic imagery are significant to understanding the Gospel. David chooses five smooth stones to slay the Giant. He effectually ‘elects’ five stones. Herein is figure of the saints of God who come with the Word of God. Although the stone represents the Law of God the Five Smooth Stones must have a similar yet distinct meaning. The number five often is associated with the Grace of God and the Judgment of God. There were five wise Virgins and five foolish. One group unto the Grace of Salvation and one unto condemnation. The word used in 1 Samuel 17:40 ‘chose’ signifies elect. It is the Hebrew word bachar , which is translated as to choose to be chosen, to appoint or to be excellent. The fact that these stones were in a body of water under the surface is significant as well. To be under the water in the depths of the miry clay signifies judgment. The saints, before their conversion were under the judgment of God and had to be chosen and appointed as an excellent thing in the hand of Christ before they were regenerated. The word here for “brook” is also translated as river, stream or flood which by implication signifies a torrential running body of water. That flood depicts the wrath of God.
“And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life…”
“Behold the LORD hath a mighty and a strong one which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of a mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.”
The Mighty One is the Law and the Lawgiver. We see here the use of the word “Flood” as a depiction of God’s Righteous anger against all that are ungodly. It was from the bottom of the brook where the elect of God were chosen. But why smooth stones? One explanation is that the smooth stones are stones that have been run over and over by the waters of the brook. So too is it with the elect of God. They are thoroughly identifiable with the Law’s condemnation and know the plague of their own heart. As God works upon a soul, He uses the Law to convince and buffet them as to show them the horrible wretchedness of their own nature and their great need of a Saviour. They are beaten down to the point of crying, “Lord have mercy upon me, a sinner.” These are made smooth by the Righteous convicting flood that comes over them by the intervention of God. The rough places are made smooth and the crooked places are made straight. So too is it with a soul experiencing the regeneration of God. We must also remember Jacob, another type of the saints, that he was a smooth man. All this is very significantly illustrative of the Gospel.
As the saints are likened to arrows in the hand of a mighty hunter, the Lord Jesus, so too are these stones like those arrows. We have the Law of God written upon our hearts in a most special way once we become the children of God by the New Birth. We are the stones crying out before the King, “Hosanna” (which is to say by interpretation, “Save Now”). The sling is the vehicle from whence these stones come from. It must be asserted that the people of God were thoroughly skilled in the warfare with the use of slings.
cf. Judges 20:16
It is also interesting to note that of those men skilled, they were all left-handed. Now we know all that is written is perfectly purposed. There isn't anything in God's Word which is written for naught. Every word is significant. Therefore there is some significance to being left-handed. We may infer that even David may have been left-handed from the reference of Judges 20:16.
Another warrior of the Judges that was left-handed was Ehud. It was he who delivered Israel by the use of a dagger, or small sword, with his left hand as he handed the Moabite king Eglon a message, or a script. Only by implication can we know the spiritual meaning of being left-handed. It is the opposite of right-handed which is an honourable position in the Kingdom. As to the left, this is the place of condemnation and shame as it is shown in Matthew 25:33 and in verse 41.
“And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.”
“Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
But now we have to face another question. How then could God’s people, such as Ehud, many of the Judges in Israel, and perhaps David, be left-handed? What spiritual implication is there? Let us look at one other scripture before we answer that question.
“ And He said unto her, what wilt thou? She saith unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered her and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto Him, We are able. And He saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on My right hand and on My left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”
To sit at the left hand depicts condemnation. Yet, are we all not sharing in the condemnation of the Saviour? Here is proof of that vicarious condemnation we share with Christ who was wounded for our transgressions. We too sit with Christ, both at the right hand of God in Glory (in Christ) and on the left hand in vicarious Condemnation (crucified with Him) UNTO OUR GLORY!
“I am crucified with Christ…”
“Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.”
Thus we see those who are left handed are representative of Christ as He bore the sin of His people and the Condemnation of the wrath of God in delivering His people from the bondage of their sins and the condemnation of the Law.
The Script is a direct reference to the Word of God. David brought with him a script, a symbol of God’s Holy Word. Man lives not by the bread of this world but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Therefore God places in this historical account the spiritual truths concerning the importance of God’s Word.
The Sword of Goliath
This perhaps is a most wonderful conclusion to the whole of the account of Israel’s deliverance. Although the stone kills the Giant, it is only the Sword of Goliath that takes his head from him. This is important.
1 Samuel 17:50
“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.”
Why would there need to be a sword in the taking of the head of the Giant? Wasn’t it good enough that the giant was defeated and David was victor? The answer is “NO”. God needs to further illustrate the extent of the victory of Christ by the example of David. The sword is a picture of the Word of God. Remember Christ stated that the faithful must live by the Word of God? That is exactly what Christ did throughout His entire life. He was devoted to God’s Word. He lived by every Word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. It was BY HIS OBEDIENCE to the Word, and by the things that He suffered, that brought Him Victory over sin, death and the condemnation of the Law.
Now consider again the importance of headship. When the elect are in the world before their conversion, they are oppressed and terrified by the tyranny of the Righteous Law of God as their natural head. Goliath, the LAW, taunts them. Yet none can fight against the Giant. The Law is too Holy, too Righteous too Strong and too Mighty. It is a killer and a destroyer. Furthermore, the LAW is the Head of the children of Israel, before their conversion, as it is also the head of all others. Remember that the need of the Elect is to have a NEW HEAD. And that Head is Christ. He is the Merciful, Victorious and Shepherding Head. What is so significant about the taking of Goliath’s head is that David then becomes the New King and Head of Israel. He becomes the Victor and Deliverer of the People of God.
“And He (Christ) is the head of the Body, the Church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.”Colossians 1:18
Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow. May God be pleased to paraded before us always the Honour and Glory of our Loving and precious Head, Saviour, Lord and Sovereign King, Our Lord Jesus, The Christ. Unto the Praise of the Glory of His Grace. AMEN
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A question was asked in relation to this article. The question, and the answer from Pastor Raymond have been added to assist in
clarifying any misunderstanding on the topic being discussed.
I just read some of the sermon "David and the Giant" where it was stated that the law was the enmity that Christ did away with.
What would heaven be like if there were no laws? Are not Christians to invite a bit of heaven into their lives hear on earth? To say that the law, meaning the 10 commandments, were nailed to the Cross is confusing. IF the law could have been changed then why would Christ have to die on the Cross, just change the law and the sin problem is over.
Thank you for your inquiry.
To be more specific: When the Apostle speaks of the "Law" and "its
ordinances" in Eph 2 and COL 2, he is referring to the condemning power,
and restrictive nature of it.
All flesh, after the fall, is in trouble with Holy GOD. His Law is Holy
and justly condemns all mankind. That Law, in its condemning office, is
the enemy of sinful man.
When Christ hung upon the cross, He blotted out that power to condemn
whereby the Law is no longer the regenerates "restrictive"- "condemning"
force but rather the Holy Standard by which the righteous live. The Law
becomes our Lamp and Light and Delight.
The Law is the reflection of God's nature and Character. It is Holy as
HE is Holy and the saint is to live by it - every word of it. Not,
however, to merit grace but because he has God's grace.
The true believer is a man of grace and a man of Law. - Yet, he no
longer fears to power of the law to condemn him. This is Paul's
intention in Eph 2.
When David took of Goliath's head, it was a picture of Christ taking
away the head ship authority of the Law to condemn and replacing it with
the head ship authority of Christ.
To answer your other question on heaven more precisely, let me suggest
that once in heaven, [which is actually in Christ Himself, Who is the
fullness of heaven], the regenerate will no longer be plagued with the
fallen nature in the way they are today.
They will shed the flesh, which is the seat of sin. cf. Rom 7. They will
be perfect in every way, thus keeping the Law perfectly. IN heaven they
will eat of the Tree of Life more fully and more perfectly.
On earth, the believers eat of the Tree of Life [which of course is
Christ] yet still remain plagued by the remnant of indwelling sin. That
will not be the situation in heaven after we shed this body of death.
On earth, the saints keep God's Law perfectly only IN Christ, yet find
they still sin. Rom 7.
As the saint grows in the grace of God, he begins to obey more and more
the perfect Law of God which is for his good and his liberty.
To be free FROM the condemnation of the Law is not freedom TO sin but
rather, freedom FROM sin.
If I have not made this clear in the DAVID and the GIANT piece I will
add these notes to it.
Again. thank you for your inquiry - it is through these questions that
we, together, may refine more perfectly the glorious doctrines of God
unto His honor.
Sincerely in His service,
Pastor Paul Michael Raymond