Remember that in the last story, we learned that Saul had been anointed as the first king of Israel. But Saul began to disobey the Lord and so God took the kingdom of Israel away from him.
Once again, the task of anointing a king of Israel fell to Samuel. God told Samuel to fill up with olive oil and go to Jesse in Bethlehem. Samuel was worried that Saul might find out about it and be angry, so God told Samuel to take a young cow as a sacrifice to Bethlehem, so he would have a good reason to go down there.
Samuel found Jesse and began to look at his sons to determine which should be king. The first one he saw was Eliab. Samuel thought he must be the one since he was so handsome and tall (it worked with Saul, so why not with Eliab?). But God told Samuel that man thinks what is on the outside is important, but God is concerned about what is on the inside. 7 of Jesse's sons had walked in front of Samuel, but God hadn't chosen any of them. Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons, and Jesse told him about David, who was out watching the sheep. He was the youngest of the brothers. When he came to see Samuel, God told him that David was the one he wanted to anoint as the next king of Israel. So Samuel poured olive oil on David's head and from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David with power.
Now, we get to one of the most famous of all Bible stories. Once again, the Israelites were fighting with the Philistines. They had a soldier named Goliath who was over 9 feet tall. The Bible gives us some other clues about how big and strong Goliath was. His armor weighed 125 pounds (which was probably more than David himself weighed). He had a spear with an iron tip on it that weighed 15 pounds. He had a bronze helmet, bronze leg guards, and a bronze javelin. Goliath was legit.
Goliath taunted the Israelite army, giving a challenge he knew no one would accept. If the Israelites would send a soldier out, they would fight man-to-man for the fate of their entire army. Goliath came out and repeated this challenge twice a day for 40 days. No one dared take it. Now David was taking some supplies to the battle lines for his brothers. He heard this challenge and was appalled that the Israelite army was letting him get away with it. He was most disturbed of the shame it was bringing on God. David accepted the challenge.
At first, Saul didn't want to let him do it (after all, the fate of the entire Israelite army rested on this battle). David told Saul about all his times fighting bears and lions and convinced Saul to give him a shot. So Saul put his military clothes on him, but they didn't fit (remember how tall Saul was?) David chose to go dressed in normal clothes (remember all of Goliath's bronze armor?)
[Note: many times David is depicted as a little boy when he fights Goliath. There is nothing in scripture to substantiate that he was a little boy. He is definitely portrayed as a "youth", but not necessarily a little boy. He was big enough to use Goliath's sword, and big enough to at least try on Saul's armor. So, most people believe David was around 17 or 18: pretty much fully grown, but still young.]
David went down to the stream, gathered up 5 smooth stones and took his sling to fight Goliath. As soon as Goliath saw him, he laughed in scorn. They sent this little scrubby boy to fight him, and he didn't even have any armor. This would be a piece of cake. But David answered back, with a little attitude to boot: "You come at me with a sword, spear and javelin, but I come in the name of the Lord of Israel. Not only am I going to win this battle, I'm going to cut your head off and feed the bodies of your army to the wild animals!"
The rest, as they say, is history. David took one shot and landed one of those smooth stones right in Goliath's forehead. He cut of Goliath's head with his own sword, and the rout was on.
After that, David went to serve Saul. God's spirit had left Saul, and he began to pretty much go crazy. David was skilled at playing the harp (or lyre), and so whenever Saul would be troubled (by an evil spirit), David would come play music for him and it would calm him down.
Ask the children: Who is the tallest person you know? Do you know how tall they are?
Try and find a point in your classroom, or on the outside wall of your church that is 9 feet tall. Tell them that we are going to learn about how David fought a man who was that tall!
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud 1 Samuel 16:1-3, 16:6-13, 17:1-11, 17:32-51
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?