5 Everyday Life Lessons Learned From The David and Goliath Bible Story

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

The story of David and Goliath is wonderful on many levels. The face value of the story is that God works through His people to do amazing things. But there is so much more we can learn from 1 Samuel 17 and this magnificent story. Here are some practical life lessons we can learn from David’s submission to God.

Obedience

Without complaint David obeyed his father when Jesse asked David to take food to his brothers and check on them (1 Samuel 17:17-20). Apparently David didn’t have a great relationship with his brothers. The way Eliab (the eldest) spoke to David when he arrived at the Israelite camp seems to indicate there was a great deal of tension among the siblings (1 Samuel 17:28, 29).

When David’s father asked him to do a job, David obeyed (1 Samuel 17:20). When David was prompted by his spirit to take a stand for the Lord, he did it without hesitation (1 Samuel 17:26, 29). When Saul asked David to take his armor for the battle, David apparently tried to comply, but had to respectfully decline (1 Samuel 17:38, 39).

5 Everyday Life Lessons Learned From The David and Goliath Bible Story

God has placed authorities over each one of us. We should be willing to obey in every situation. There are times when obedience is not possible (Peter spoke of this in Acts 5:29). But submission is necessary in these cases. For example, while Daniel could not obey the king’s command to refrain from worshiping God, he did submit to the punishment that was enacted upon him. God gained a great victory before the people of Babylon because of Daniel’s submission, not because of his refusal to worship the king.

In this story of David and Goliath, we see David as a young man of obedience. God calls us to be obedient servants, not tyrannical rebels.

Take a Stand

When David arrived at the camp he was shocked to hear the words of Goliath. He immediately thought that something should be done to stop the blaspheming giant (1 Samuel 17:26). It almost seems like David did not notice that everyone else was cowering in fear. His first reaction was that there was a cause for which to fight.

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26)

Trust God

David believed that God would gain the victory (1 Samuel 17:26, 32, 37). David wanted to be part of God’s plan. He trusted that God could and would use him. How refreshing to think that someone would volunteer to give his service to the Lord.

Today we hear so many people say that they can’t do this or that for the Lord because the Lord has not called them into a particular service. David didn’t wait to be called. David volunteered to put his life on the line for God’s honor. I absolutely believe that God calls people into His service. But, I also think that many people hide behind the phrase, “God has not called me to do that.”

I am not sure who first said it, but I have heard the sentiment that asks, “has God called you to sit at home and not take the Gospel to a dying world?” Many people must believe that is what God has called them to do because that is exactly the way they have responded to Christ’s call to carry His Word to the world and make disciples.

Look at Past Victories

David was able to trust the Lord because the Lord had led in many ways in the past (1 Samuel 17:34-37). David knew that he could fight Goliath even though he had never faced a giant in the past. David used the past victories to give confidence that God would continue to work in and through him.

You may be facing some great obstacles in your life today, but what have you seen God accomplish in the past? Don’t you think He is able to continue to work in greater ways in the future? Allow those past victories to encourage you to attempt greater things for the Lord. Maybe gaining new ground in your spiritual life is not what you need right now. Maybe you just need to get back to where you once were in your relationship with God. Get back there by being inspired by God’s faithfulness to you in the past. Then boldly step forward into new victories God wants to give you.

Surrender Your Talents

We know a few of David’s talents by this point in his life. We know that he was a skilled musician and that he was a capable shepherd. Music didn’t seem to be the tool to pull out when facing a warrior giant. David surrendered his shepherding skills to do a work for the Lord.

It is amazing to me to see people with wonderful talents and abilities sit back in church and not get involved for the Lord. They will even say things like, “if I could sing like Mrs. B. or speak like the pastor, then I would do something for the Lord.” Yet, these same people could be used to win children to the Lord by love and affection if they would step into a Sunday school class. Or they could use their computer skills to share the Gospel through the Internet or keep the church’s computers running properly. It takes a simple step of faith to use their skills for the Lord.

David had already demonstrated his great musical talent in the previous chapters of 1 Samuel. But that very public and prestigious skill of playing the harp did no good in this situation. What won the day was David’s ability that was honed while being an unknown shepherd boy who dedicated his life to living with stinky sheep.

What life lessons have you learned from the story of David and Goliath? Share your observations in the comments below.

More about David in the Bible: Inspiring Bible Stories About David

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version



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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Pamela Rose Williams March 17, 2015 at 11:12 am

Great life application here David. I was so encouraged to read this and see how such a familiar story can be so relevant even today. I especially like and can relate to the “Surrender Your Talents” section. You are a blessing my friend.

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moncy March 18, 2015 at 7:13 am

Great article

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Mofe Demuren June 15, 2015 at 6:06 am

David’s life was highly inspirational and really relates to issues in our everyday lives today. I especially enjoyed the part about ‘Look to Past Victories’. Really helpful for when you’ve found yourself in a rough situation with a current problem and on top of that, feels like you’re also in a dead end. Thanks for this article

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Khaling Ngamphundar October 11, 2015 at 9:16 am

This is a tough time for our family. David’s message on ‘Looking at Past Victories’ is truly an inspiration, strengthening my faith in God’s capabilities to take control of things. It helped me realized once again that He is always with us and will fight the battle for us.

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Micheal Ancient April 1, 2018 at 4:30 am

To add to the Five Greatest lessons you’ve mentioned,
•David was a Spirit filled man, A believer of God that never doubt God for once
•He was faithfully committed with little things (with those animals in the bush)

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Moses Muwulya August 2, 2019 at 1:06 am

David has alot to inspire us the youth, He was determined and knew the source of success.

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Waydene Jackson October 22, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Speak to me on children caring for their mother. She cared for them during their formative years as well through those turbulent school years. Each of them graduated high school, one served 20 years Air Force and now works for the government, one worked in the healthcare industry for years and now operates her home-based business, and one has a doctorate and works in educational agriculture. I have search for passages that will help me understand their standoffish attitudes regarding caring for their mother. She admits that she’s not capable of living alone. According to God’s words, what intervention (caring for) should be rendered by her children? she is now living with her oldest daughter; but after listening to her oldest daughter’s recent conversation, the next step is a Nursing Home that is governmentally operated and is located In her hometown where her children do not resides. I need help understanding this!

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Jack Wellman October 22, 2019 at 1:11 pm

These are difficult circumstances, and clearly this mother’s children are not honoring their mother as commanded in the Bible. We ought to be thankful for our parents and the discipline they gave us and to neglect our parents as they get older is contrary to the Bible where we are to stand before the aged and honor the grey haired person. These children are either not saved or they are saved but living in disobedience to the 5th commandment.

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Norbert Marealle June 8, 2020 at 8:53 am

I have been so encouraged in the lessons that I have learned from Davids’s life. Indeed it shows that many things written in the scriptures happened long ago but they are timeless. We still experience them in our lifetime.

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