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1 Samuel 17:31-40

Let Faith Arise

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Sunday Night Messages
  • July 03, 2022

What are you afraid of? Fear is a powerful weapon in Satan’s arsenal. Is it possible to conquer our fears? If so, how?

During our study, we will look at a familiar passage, the epic battle between David and Goliath. But we will not study David’s defeat of Goliath. Rather, we will look at David’s example before he ever put a single stone into his sling to discover important biblical principles to strengthen our hearts when giant fears attack us, to Let Faith Arise.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Let Faith Arise
1 Samuel 17:31-40                                               

July 3, 2022                    


ILLUS – Afraid of the dark

  1. Fear is a powerful weapon in Satan’s arsenal.
  2. Since fear is so powerful, Satan often uses fear to disarm, discourage, and defeat God’s people.
  3. So, how can we, as God’s people, overcome and conquer our fears?
  4. Tonight, we will continue our study from last week and examine a familiar passage, the epic battle between David and Goliath.
  5. But we will not study David’s defeat of Goliath.
  6. Rather, we will look at David’s example before he put a stone into his sling to discover important biblical principles to strengthen our hearts, to Let Faith Arise when giant fears threaten us.

1 Samuel 17:31-40


  1. When we come to 1 Samuel 17, it’s important to note that God had rejected Israel’s first king, Saul, because he did not obey God’s command concerning the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15).
  2. God searched Israel for a new king and found “a man after His own heart,” his name was David.
  3. Then God directed the prophet Samuel to anoint David as king (1 Samuel 16:13).
  4. But David did not begin his reign immediately because David and Israel needed time for divine preparation.
  5. God allowed Saul to remain on the throne to reveal that:
    1. Saul was disqualified and rejected as Israel’s king.
    2. David was qualified and anointed to be Israel’s next king.
    3. In many ways, this trial with the Philistines was God’s way of introducing David to Israel, a divine message that God’s favor was resting upon their next king, David.
  6. At this point, the Philistines have barged into Judah, occupied Israel’s land, and added an “intimidation factor” by sending out their champion warrior, Goliath, with a “winner-takes-all” challenge. Here is the challenge:
    1. If Israel’s warrior defeated Goliath, then the Philistines would serve Israel.
    2. But, if Goliath defeated Israel’s warrior, then Israel would serve the Philistines.
  7. Day and night, for 40 days, Goliath taunted Israel’s army with the challenge, but the army of Israel retreated in fear each time; no Israelite was willing to take the challenge.
  8. One day, David’s father, Jesse, asked David to check on David’s three older brothers who had gone to battle with Saul and bring them supplies (17-19).
  9. When David arrived at Israel’s camp, his heart was stirred as Goliath mocked the God of Israel and Israel’s army. Something needed to be said. Something needed to be done. David did both.

Transition – The first biblical principle for letting faith arise when facing your fear requires a choice, and that choice is to not let your heart fail. . .

I.  Let Not Your Heart Fail (31-37)                

APPL – Again, our response to fear is a choice.

  • To be fair, you may experience shock and awe when that giant comes into view for the first time.
  • But to be clear, what I am talking about is our response, our next step.
  • At that moment we need an anchor to steady our hearts or we will be swept away by fear.
  • I believe the best anchor, the only sure anchor for our souls, is our awesome God.
  • We need to know who God is and what He is like, His nature and character.
  • What does the Bible say about God when His people go through trials and face threatening giants?

A.  God will not fail you (31-32)

  1. Again, when David arrived at Israel’s camp and heard Goliath’s taunts and saw the fear in the hearts of Israel’s soldiers, something stirred within him, a righteous indignation.

1 Samuel 17:26, Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will 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 taunt the armies of the living God?”

  1. In essence, David was asking. . .
    a. “Who will defend God’s honor?”
    b. “Who will remove this reproach from Israel and her people?”
  2. David’s words reached the ears of King Saul (31). Why?
  3. Because it was the first time faith-filled words had been spoken in Israel’s camp in 40 days.
  4. And when David was introduced to King Saul, David revealed his shepherd’s heart as he boldly declared, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (32)
  5. Now, keep in mind that David was a teenager when he volunteered to defeat Goliath.
  6. Why was David so confident that he could defeat Goliath?
  7. The answer is straightforward and encouraging. . .
    a.  David trusted God.
    b. David knew that God never fails.
  8. Simply put, David had faith in God.
    a. Faith was more than just another word in David’s religious vocabulary.
    b. David’s faith was real, living, and active.
  9. David viewed life and the trials that life brings through the lens of faith
    a. David saw the problem just like King Saul and the men of Israel did.
    b. What made David different was that he knew the answer to the problem, his God.
    c. David did not pick the fight but when the challenge came, he answered the call because he knew God and that He was for him, not against him.

Transition – By the way, this was how David lived his life. Listen to his last words to his son and Israel’s future king, Solomon.

1 Chronicles 28:20, Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.”

APPL – When trials come, let not your heart fail.

  • Trust God like David.
  • God did not fail David and He will not fail you.
  • Let Faith Arise.

B.  God has prepared you for this giant (33-37)

  1. Saul’s words to David were less than encouraging.

1 Samuel 17:33, Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”

  1. Basically, Saul told David:
    a. “Look at yourself. Look at Goliath.”
    b. “You’re just a youth and Goliath has been a champion-warrior since his youth.”
    c. “You won’t win!” “You can’t win!”

APPL – Please notice Satan’s tactic here.

  • Satan will use others to extinguish our faith and darken our hope of God’s presence, protection, and provision when giants come.
  • And also notice that Satan tried to discourage David more than once.
  • In fact, Satan used David’s own flesh and blood to distract and discourage David.

1 Samuel 17:28-30, Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a question?” Then he turned away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as before.

  • David’s response to his big brother’s anger and false accusation is priceless, “What have I done now? Was it not just a question?”
  • David did not give Eliab the time of day.
  • Nor did David let Eliab’s words sink into his heart.
  • David went right back to work because Goliath needed to be dealt with.
  • David knew the truth about his motives and the calling of God on his life.

Ephesians 6:16, . . . taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

  1. Now, David’s response to Saul revealed he believed God had been preparing him for the battle against Goliath.
    a. David had not been trained by Israel’s elite military forces.
    b. David’s training was far superior because God was his trainer and mentor.

1 Samuel 17:37, And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

  • David had defeated a lion and a bear while tending his father’s sheep.
  • By faith, David recognized God’s hand in those battles.
  • God used each battle to prepare David for the day he would face Goliath.
  1. When David looked at his past, he saw God’s hand guiding him, instructing him, and preparing him.

APPL – When you look at your past, what do you see? How has the Lord prepared you “for such a time as this?”

  • We must not underestimate or devalue what God has done in our lives.
  • God can and will even use our failures.
  • Like David, we must recognize God’s hand and know that He is building something in us that is far more precious than gold; a faith that conquers Goliaths.

1 Peter 1:6-7, In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ

Transition – The second biblical principle for letting faith arise when facing your fear is a call to action.

II. Put on the Full Armor of God (38-40)

Ephesians 6:10-11, Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

A.  Do not settle for cheap imitations (38-39)

  1. Maybe it was motivated by guilt or a desire to get some credit.
  2. Either way, Saul’s attempt to clothe David with his armor was not motivated by faith.
  3. David wisely tested Saul’s armor.
  4. It did not take long for him to realize it was not going to work.
    a. Saul was a tall man.
    b. David must have looked like a child wearing his daddy’s coat.
  5. Based on his previous battles with a lion and a bear, David knew he would need to be agile to defeat Goliath.
  6. Saul’s armor would only get in the way and slow David down, making him an easier target.

APPL – This too is another tactic of the enemy, to lure us into fighting battles the world’s way, which is a sure way to be defeated. What does this wrong way look like?

  • Fleshly anger and threats

James 1:19-20, But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God

  • Manipulation

Romans 14:23, … whatever is not from faith is sin.

APPL – We must put on God’s armor and fight God’s way. Battles are won when we trust the Lord and His ability to save.

B. God will fight for you (40)

  1. David wisely took off Saul’s armor.
  2. David picked up his stick, selected five smooth stones from the brook, put them into his shepherd’s bag and with sling in hand approached Goliath.
  3. I believe David received divine insight and knew there was only one place for that small stone to be effective, Goliath’s forehead.
  4. By faith, David knew God would direct his steps.

ILLUS – Watching Pastor Rich go through trials.

APPL – There is a boldness, a confidence, a strength which comes over a person when their faith is more than just words, more than just a wish; it is a reality. They trust God.

Proverbs 28:1, The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion. 

  • David did not need Saul’s armor; God was his Protector.
  • David did not need a Saul’s shield; God was his shield.

Psalm 18:1-3, I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

  • David made the Lord his Shepherd and completely trusted God’s leading, even when it meant facing a giant named Goliath in the valley of the shadow of death.

Psalm 23:1, 4, The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. . . Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.








  • Faith trusts God when we cannot see a way.
  • Faith liberates us from the fear that seeks to defeat us.


APPL – I believe the Lord wants to encourage our faith to rise-up within us.

  • Let faith arise, the Lord is your Shepherd.
  • Let faith arise, God will not fail you.
  • Let faith arise, God has prepared you for such a time as this.
  • Let faith arise. . .


1 Samuel 17:47, … the battle is the Lord’s

1 Samuel 17:31-40 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
David Kills Goliath
31 When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them [a]to Saul, and he sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and [b]attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and [c]struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has [d]killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.” 38 Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39 David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them [e]off. 40 He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.





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