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             After the death of Moses, a soldier named Joshua led the people of Israel into the promised land. God was with them and helped them drive out their enemies. The Lord God gave to the people of Israel all the land he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This land was divided between the twelve tribes of Israel.

            Many years later, the people of Israel asked for a king. God gave them a tall man named Saul to rule over them. While Saul was king, the Philistines gathered their armies together for war. (The Philistines were neighbors of the Israelites who had settled along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.) Saul and the Israelite soldiers also gathered together. Saul's soldiers were lined up and ready to fight the Philistines. The Philistines were on one hill, and the Israelites were on another hill. The valley of Elah was between these two hills.

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             The Philistines had a champion fighter named Goliath who was about three meters (nine and one-half feet) tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of armor. This armor was made of bronze and weighed fifty-six kilograms (125 pounds). Goliath also wore bronze protectors on his legs and had a bronze javelin tied to his back. The wooden part of his spear was long and very heavy. The spear's blade weighed nearly seven kilograms (fifteen pounds). Goliath's helper walked in front of him carrying the giant's shield.

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            Goliath came out and shouted to the Israelite soldiers. He said, "Why are all of your soldiers lined up ready for battle? Choose one man and send him to fight me. If this man kills me, then the Philistines will become your servants. But if I kill your man, then you will serve us. Today I stand and make fun of the army of Israel! Let me have one of your men to fight!"

            Saul and the Israelite soldiers heard the things Goliath said, and they were afraid.

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            David was the son of Jesse. Jesse was from a family in Bethlehem, a village just north of Hebron. Jesse had eight sons. The three oldest sons went with Saul to war. David, the youngest son, took care of his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

            One day Jesse said to his son David, "Take this basket of cooked grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers in the camp. Also take these ten pieces of cheese for the officer who commands your

brothers' group of 1,000 soldiers. See how your brothers are doing. Bring back something to show me your brothers are all right." 

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            Early in the morning, David let another shepherd take care of the sheep. Then he took food and left as Jesse had told him to do. David went to the camp. Just as he arrived, the soldiers were going out to their battle positions. The soldiers began shouting their war cry. The Israelites and Philistines were gathering their men to meet each other in battle. David left the food and things with the man who kept supplies and ran to the place where the soldiers were. David found his brothers and talked with them.

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             At that time, Goliath came out from the Philistine army. Goliath shouted things against Israel as usual. The Israelite soldiers saw Goliath and ran away. They were all afraid of him.

            One of the Israelite men said, "Did you see that fellow? Look at him! Whoever kills him will get rich! King Saul will give him a lot of money. Saul will also give his daughter in marriage to the man who kills Goliath."

            David asked the man standing near him, "What did he say? What is the reward for killing the Philistine and taking away this shame from Israel? Who is this Goliath anyway? He is nothing but a Philistine! Why does he think he can speak against the army of the living God?"

            Some men heard David talking. They told Saul about David. Saul ordered the men to bring David to him. David said to Saul, "Don't let anyone be discouraged. I am your servant. I will go fight this Philistine."


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             Saul answered, "You can't go out there and fight against this Philistine. You're not even a soldier! And Goliath has been fighting in wars since he was a boy."

            But David said to Saul, "I have been keeping my father's sheep. If a lion or bear came and took a sheep from the flock, then I chased it. I attacked that wild animal and took the sheep from its mouth. If it attacked me, I caught it by its fur, fought it, and killed it. I have killed a lion and a bear, and I will kill that foreigner Goliath the same way! Goliath will die because he has made fun of the army of the living God. The Lord saved me from the lion and the bear, and the Lord will save me from this Philistine."

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            Saul said to David, "Go, and may the Lord be with you." So Saul put his own armor on David. David put on the sword and tried to walk around. David tried to wear Saul's armor but he was not used to all those heavy things.

            David said, "I can't fight in these things. I'm not used to them." So David took them all off. David took his shepherd's stick in his hand. David chose five smooth stones from the valley and put them in his shepherd's bag. He held his sling in his hand. Then he went out to fight the Philistine. 

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             The Philistine giant slowly walked toward David. Goliath looked at David and laughed. He saw that David was not a soldier. David was only a handsome young man.

            Goliath said to David, "What is that stick for? Did you come to chase me away like a dog?" Then Goliath used the name of his Philistine gods to put a curse on David. Goliath said, "Come here, and I'll feed your body to the birds and wild animals."

            David said to Goliath, "You come to me using a sword, spear, and javelin. But I come to you in the name of God All-Powerful, the God of the armies of Israel! You have said bad things about him. Today the Lord will let me defeat you. Today I will cut off your head and feed your body to the birds and wild animals. Then all the world will know that there is a God in Israel!" 

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            Goliath came near to attack David. And David ran quickly to meet Goliath. David took out a stone from his bag. He put it in his sling and swung it around. The stone flew from the sling and hit Goliath in the forehead. The stone sank deep into his head, and Goliath fell to the ground face-down.

            So David defeated the Philistine with only a sling and one stone! He hit Goliath and killed him. David ran and stood beside the Philistine. David took Goliath's own sword out of its sheath and used the sword to cut off the giant's head.

            When the other Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. The soldiers of Israel shouted and started chasing the Philistines. They killed many of the Philistines. The bodies of the Philistines lay scattered along the road all the way to Gath and Ekron, Philistine cities near the seashore. 

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             After that Saul sent David to fight in many battles. David was very successful. Then Saul made David an officer in the army. This pleased everyone, even Saul's other officers.

            David would go out to fight against the Philistines. After the battle he would come back home. People in every town in Israel would come out to meet him and rejoice over his victory. David became very popular throughout Israel. 

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             Many years later, after King Saul had died in battle, David was crowned king of Israel. David made some bad mistakes. But, when he realized that he was wrong, he always came back to God and said he was sorry. He tried to obey the commands of God and to follow God with all his heart. Future generations would look back at David as the greatest king in the history of Israel.

            David was a great military leader, an outstanding king, a famous poet, and a skilled musician. David was also a spiritual leader. He had a very close relationship with God and was led by the Spirit of God to write beautiful songs. These songs, which are now a part of the Bible, are called "Psalms."

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            David was led by the Spirit of God to write many things about the coming Shepherd-King.

            For example, we learn from David's Psalms that the coming King will be (1) a descendant of David, (2) the Son of God, and (3) rejected by men. (4) His hands and feet will be pierced, (5) his bones will not be broken, (6) he will be raised from death before his body decays, (7) he will go back to heaven, and (8) he will sit on a throne at God's right side until all his enemies are conquered. 

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            David wrote in the twenty-second Psalm about the death of the coming King. He wrote: "My God, my God! Why did you leave me? Everyone who looks at me makes fun of me. They shake their heads and stick out their tongues at me. They tell me, `You should ask the Lord to help you. Maybe he will save you. If he likes you so much, then surely he will rescue you!' The dogs are all around me. That pack of evil people has trapped me. Like a lion, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can see my bones! The people are staring at me! They keep looking at me! Those people are dividing my clothes among themselves. They are throwing lots for my robe."

            In Part Three we will see David's predictions come true. 

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            In earlier lessons we have learned that (1) a descendant of Eve will crush Satan's head, (2) a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will bless all nations, and (3) a true king will come through Judah. In this lesson we have discovered that the coming King will be a descendant of David and will be called "the Son of God." And, like David, he will be a Shepherd-King. 

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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: I Samuel 17-18; 2 Samuel 1-5; 6:12; 23:2; Psalms 2:7; 16:10; 22:1, 7-8, 16-18; 24:7-10; 34:20; 110:1; 118:22. Also see: Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 6:12-13; Matthew 21:42; 22:44; 27:35, 39, 43, 46; Mark 15:29; Luke 1:30-33; John 19:23, 36; Acts 1:9- 10; 2:22-36; 4:11; I Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 2:20; and I Peter 2:4,7 

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