One of the reasons I started this blog is to share what I learned in seminary with others. I'm getting such a wonderful education and I wish everyone had the opportunity to go to seminary and learn such great things about God and His word. But not everyone is called to do it, it takes a lot hard work and not everyone can dedicate the time but I really wish others could experience the joy and the pain of seminary so that they can see what the future pastors have to go through :-). They might have more respect for their pastor if they did. It really is a trial by fire.
But this is not a post about seminary, I want to post one of my answers to one of my finals and yes, I do remember the gist of my answer. Isn't it great that I can have a final in which I can write about David and Goliath? What could be easier than that? Who doesn't know the story of David and Goliath? But of course this is seminary and a Sunday School answer wouldn't satisfy my professor. The class was Hermeneutics and the question was testing our ability to look at the Old Testament story in light of biblical theology, which means we look at the Old Testament in light of what we learn from the revelation of Christ and His work in redemptive history. Why don't we look at the story so that you may see by example what I'm talking about?
Goliath was a Philistine, the Philistines had been in Israel since the time of the Judges and no one had defeated them and driven them from the land. Samson killed some of them but Israel was still oppressed by them at the time of the monarchy in Israel.
We start the story of David and Goliath with Goliath taunting the army of Israel:
1 Samuel 17:10 And the Philistine said, "I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together."David, the youngest of Jesse's sons brings food to his brothers who are camped against the Philistines. He can't believe that an uncircumcised Philistine would dare to taunt Israel:
1 Samuel 17:26 And David said to the men who stood by him, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"David knew that the people of Israel belonged to God, that God was the true ruler of Israel. He knew that God had given the land of the Canaanites to Abraham's descendants and these Philistines had no claim to the land. If the Lord choose to defeat Israel's enemies then the people of Israel would be victorious and they would not have to live in fear and David knew that God would hand the enemy over to him. Why? Because he was the Lord's annointed and he knew that he would one day rule Israel (1 Samuel 16:13). He also knew that in the past God had saved him from bigger dangers than a Philistine:
1 Samuel 16:34-37 But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God." And David said, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you!"
1 Samuel 16:41-44 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field."But David wasn't afraid, he knew that God was greater than a mere human, no matter how big and fierce he was, he knew that Goliath was going to face the judgment of God:
1 Samuel 16:46-47 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand."And just as David had predicted he slew Goliath with the weapons of a shepherd. A mighty warrior of the Philistines was killed by a youth. The author of 1 Samuel emphases this point:
1 Samuel 16:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.God had given David victory over a superior enemy, an enemy that Israel had been fighting for years, an enemy that had oppressed his people since the times of the judges.
When we study this passage we think of our own application, what is the Goliath in my life that I must defeat, how can I trust in God to respond to troubles in my life, what tools have I been given to defeat the enemy. But we skip a few steps when we do that, where is Christ in those questions. The Bible says that all of Scriptures is about Christ:
Luke 24:25-27 And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.The human author of this story did know the details about Christ, His conquering of sin and death and His defeat of the enemy of his people, but the Divine Author did. We see the elements of redemptive history in this story. David sees that the people of Israel are oppressed by their enemies, he knows that God is mightier than the Philistines. Why don't the people do something about it? Why do they let their enemy defeat them? Why do we let our enemy defeat us? Why are we always like Israel, allowing our sins and the enemy to oppress us? Because we don't put our trust in the Lord. David came and conquered the enemy just as Christ came to conquer our enemy. He defeated sin and death, He defeated Satan to end his reign over God's people. Like David, He saved His people from their sin.
Luke 24:44-47 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
The devil taunted Jesus, just as Goliath taunted Christ in the desert and on the cross, daring to mock the provision of the Lord and in Christ’s sonship. Christ stood up to the devil and defeated his efforts just as David stood up to Goliath. And just as David defeated Goliath by humble means, Christ conquered sin and death and triumphed over the powers of darkness through death and the humiliation of the cross.
The language of judgment here sounds similar to the language of judgment at the second coming of Christ:
1 Samuel 17:46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,In the story of David, we see the story of redemption, Israel's and our's. David saved Israel by defeating their enemies and in the process God was vindicated. And Christ defeated our enemies on the cross and in the process God was vindicated. In David we see that the enemies of God can't defeat the servant of the Lord and praise be to God that His Servant was able to defeat sin and death for our sakes.
Revelation 19:21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.