1 Samuel: The King who Saved

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the sixth sermon in our series on 1 Samuel ‘In Search of a King’. Preacher: The Rev’d David Browne. Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 16-17

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 17:32-49

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 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 the LORD be with you.”

Then Saul dressed David in own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.

Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.


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CONNECT: Is there one area of your life in which you are not taking Jesus’ commands seriously? Confess it and ask for God’s help to change.

WARM-UP Question

  1. What are some David and Goliath battles that you’ve seen in your lifetime? 

  2. Have you heard David and Goliath taught before, as a child or later in life, what was the main message?

READ 1 Samuel 17:1-25

  1. Why were Saul and the Israelites ‘dismayed and terrified’ by Goliath’s challenge? How did David come to the battle-front?

  2. In the text you’ll often see Goliath named as ‘the Philistine’. Why was Goliath the ‘Perfect Philistine’? 

  3. At this point who are the two opposing forces in the battle? Who is the battle ultimately between?

  4. Why should the people have known better than to be afraid of Goliath (hint:think about Israel’s history)?

READ 1 Samuel 17:26-47

  1. What other ‘giants’ does David have to overcome in order to get the point where he confronts Goliath? What does this tell us about following God?

  2. Does David ‘see’ the battle differently to those around him? What do his words tell us about his faith?

  3. How can we let God’s goodness in the past inform the way we look at our challenges today? 

  4. What are the links between David and Jesus? How might this inform a ‘christian' take on 1 Samuel 17?

  5. If you had to place yourself within this account, who would you be and why? 

READ 1 Samuel 17:48-58

  1. The battle is over before it begins in v.51. How does this compare to other battles in 1 Samuel (1 Samuel 7:10-11; 1 Samuel 11:11)? What does this show us about who truly overcomes Goliath?

  2. What does the epilogue to the battle of David and Goliath tell us about David and the people of Israel?

  3. What is our role in God’s mission and work today (hint: Ephesians 6:10-17)? 

APPLY: How can the account of David and Goliath and the example of Jesus inform the way you live as a disciple maker this week?


LORD Almighty, the battle belongs to you. Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus and off the ‘giants’ I face. Thank you that Jesus has overcome sin and death and that I can trust in you no matter what. Help me to live for you and share the good news of Jesus triumph on the cross with others. Amen.


On Your Frontline This Week: Have you ever thought about following Jesus shapes the work you do? If you are in the Medical and Allied Health industry, come along to our Frontline breakfast on Thursday June 13. Register here.

Audio and Video 


Key Resource

  • 1 Samuel For You” by Tim Chester is an excellent introduction to 1 Samuel that will be suitable for people reading at a range of levels. The guide includes helpful discussion of the content of 1 Samuel, along with plenty of practical and devotional application. Watch an introduction to the book by Tim Chester. 

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