Lessons from the Life of David – Overcoming Giants

January 6 – 12, 2019

Key Text

“And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47).

Study Help: Conflict and Courage, 161–164; The Desire of Ages, 429–431.


“Those who bear the most solemn message ever given to our world must lay off the pugilistic armor, and put on the armor of Christ’s righteousness.” Evangelism, 166.



  • What was David’s response to Saul’s problems and what was the benefit? 1 Samuel 16:14–18, 23.

Note: “David was growing in favor with God and man. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he now set his heart more fully to do the will of God than ever before. He had new themes for thought. He had been in the court of the king and had seen the responsibilities of royalty. He had discovered some of the temptations that beset the soul of Saul. … But while he was absorbed in deep meditation, and harassed by thoughts of anxiety, he turned to his harp, and called forth strains that elevated his mind to the Author of every good, and the dark clouds that seemed to shadow the horizon of the future were dispelled.

“God was teaching David lessons of trust. As Moses was trained for his work, so the Lord was fitting the son of Jesse to become the guide of His chosen people. In his watchcare for his flocks, he was gaining an appreciation of the care that the Great Shepherd has for the sheep of His pasture.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 643, 644.

  • What threats and challenges was Israel facing during this time? 1 Samuel 17:1–11.

Note: “The Philistines propose their own manner of warfare, in selecting a man of great size and strength, whose height is about twelve feet.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1018.



  • What was David’s main concern in this crisis? 1 Samuel 17:21–26.

Note: “When David saw that all Israel were filled with fear, and learned that the Philistine’s defiance was hurled at them day after day, without arousing a champion to silence the boaster, his spirit was stirred within him. He was fired with zeal to preserve the honor of the living God and the credit of His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 645.

  • What was the attitude of David’s eldest brother, Eliab? What was David’s response? 1 Samuel 17:28, 29.

Note: “Even as a shepherd, David had manifested daring, courage, and strength but rarely witnessed; and the mysterious visit of Samuel to their father’s house, and his silent departure, had awakened in the minds of the brothers suspicions of the real object of his visit. Their jealousy had been aroused as they saw David honored above them, and they did not regard him with the respect and love due to his integrity and brotherly tenderness. They looked upon him as merely a stripling shepherd, and now the question which he asked was regarded by Eliab as a censure upon his own cowardice in making no attempt to silence the giant of the Philistines.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 645.



  • Where was David’s confidence and how had he obtained it? 1 Samuel 17:32–37.

Note: “Whenever a special deliverance is wrought in our behalf, or new and unexpected favors are granted us, we should acknowledge God’s goodness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 187, 188.

“Our preparation to meet opponents or to minister to the people must be obtained of God at the throne of heavenly grace. Here, in receiving the grace of God, our own incompetence is seen and acknowledged. The dignity and glory of Christ is our strength.” Evangelism, 166, 167.

  • In what practical ways did David emphasize the secret of victory? 1 Samuel 17:38–40, 43–51.

Note: “Goliath trusted in his armor. He terrified the armies of Israel by his defiant, savage boastings, while he made a most imposing display of his armor, which was his strength. David, in his humility and zeal for God and his people, proposed to meet this boaster. Saul consented and had his own kingly armor placed upon David. But he would not consent to wear it. He laid off the king’s armor, for he had not proved it. He had proved God and, in trusting in Him, had gained special victories. To put on Saul’s armor would give the impression that he was a warrior, when he was only little David who tended the sheep. He did not mean that any credit be given to the armor of Saul, for his trust was in the Lord God of Israel. He selected a few pebbles from the brook, and with his sling and staff, his only weapons, he went forth in the name of the God of Israel to meet the armed warrior.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 218, 219.



  • What can we learn from David’s deep and abiding trust in God? Psalm 20:5–9.

Note: “The Lord would have us awake to our true spiritual condition. He desires that every soul shall humble heart and mind before Him. The words of inspiration found in the nineteenth and twentieth psalms are presented to me for our people. It is our privilege to accept these precious promises, and to believe the warnings … .

“In the night season I seemed to be repeating these words to the people: There is need of close examination of self. We have no time now to spend in self-indulgence. If we are connected with God, we shall humble our hearts before Him, and be very zealous in the perfecting of Christian characters. We have a grand and solemn work to do, for the world is to be enlightened in regard to the times in which we live; and they will be enlightened when a straight testimony is borne. They will be led to earnest examination of self.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1145, 1146.

  • How do inspired scriptures confirm that God’s people are to overcome the seemingly insurmountable giants of sin and selfishness? Mark 10:26, 27; 11:22, 23; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 5:4.

Note: “In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong. … Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). You can never perish while you do this—never.” The Desire of Ages, 429. [Emphasis author’s.]



  • How must all entrusted with the present truth in the last days learn from Jesus and take a warning against falling prey to the spirit of Goliath? Jude 9.

Note: “In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, preachers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never cut. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut. They should not defy ministers of other denominations and seek to provoke a debate. They should not stand in a position like that of Goliath when he defied the armies of Israel. Israel did not defy Goliath, but Goliath made his proud boasts against God and His people. The defying, the boasting, and the railing must come from the opposers of truth, who act the Goliath. But none of this spirit should be seen in those whom God has sent forth to proclaim the last message of warning to a doomed world.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 218.

“I was shown that Brother K and other ministers have acted too much the part of Goliath. And then after they have dared and provoked discussion they have trusted in their prepared arguments, as Saul wanted David to trust in his armor. They have not, like humble David, trusted in the God of Israel, and made Him their strength. They have gone forth confident and boastful, like Goliath, magnifying themselves and not hiding behind Jesus. They knew the truth was strong, and therefore have not humbled their hearts and in faith trusted in God to give the truth the victory.” Ibid., 219, 220.

  • What words of encouragement does the Lord offer His tiny remnant in the last days? Zechariah 4:10, first part; Luke 17:6. What is the glory that will lighten the earth? Revelation 18:1.

Note: “And in this last generation the parable of the mustard seed is to reach a signal and triumphant fulfillment. The little seed will become a tree. The last message of warning and mercy is to go to ‘every nation and kindred and tongue’ (Revelation 14:6–14), ‘to take out of them a people for His name’ (Acts 15:14; Revelation 18:1). And the earth shall be lightened with His glory.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 79.

“The revelation of His own glory in the form of humanity will bring heaven so near to men that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells. Men will be captivated by the glory of an abiding Christ.” Ibid., 420.



1     How did David grow while soothing Saul with his harp?

2    How did the attitude of David differ from that of his brother?

3    Why did David refuse to wear Saul’s armor?

4    How can we apply this lesson in confronting personal “giants”?

5    Differentiate between the spirit of David and Goliath today.