Many years ago, the king of Israel was a man called Saul. Just near Israel was another nation called the Philistines, and they were enemies of Israel.
One day the Philistines came to fight with Israel. One one side of the valley were the Philistines in their tents made of skins, and on the other side of the valley were the Israelites, and they had their skin tents as well. They didn't have guns then, and when they had a battle, the soldiers used to run up to each other and fight each other with spears and swords, but the Philistines had many more weapons than Israel did.The two armies were each on a hill facing one another. Then the leader of the Philistines came out! He was a great big tall man, quite a lot taller than the tallest person you have ever seen! He had a big metal helmet on his head, and metal armour on his body, and long metal covers on his legs to protect him. On his back he was carrying a long sharp sword, and in his hand he carried a huge long spear with a big heavy point on it.
In front of him walked a man carrying a big shield to protect him.
This giant man Goliath walked up and down jeering and yelling to them,
"Why do you want to fight with us? You choose one man to come and fight just me by myself, and if he can kill me, our nation will be your servants, but if I can kill him, you will be our servants!"
That made King Saul and all the Israelites scared stiff! Every day for forty days, Goliath marched up and down challenging them, and the Israelites were too scared to do anything.
Then David arrived. He was an Israelite, and his big brothers were soldiers in the army. David arrived with some food for his brothers and their commander, just in time to hear the challenge for the fight, and to see everyone running away from him. His brothers told him that whoever could kill Goliath, the king would make him very wealthy and important. When David said that he thought he could kill Goliath, his brother's were angry and jealous. But someone else had heard David, and told the king about it.
King Saul sent for him, and said to David,
"You can't fight Goliath. You are only a boy."
"I am used to fighting animals when they try to steal my father's sheep. I've killed both a lion and a bear with my own hands, because God helped me. I know that God will help me fight the giant man because they don't believe in Him."
"Well, go then, and God be with you," said Saul. He dressed David in his own armor, and it was far too big for David because Saul was quite a tall man too. So David took it off, and said he would go just as he was. He took his shepherd's stick with him, and as he went he picked out five smooth stones out of the stream, about the size of a tennis ball, and put them into his little leather bag. He had his sling in his hand, (which is a piece of leather with a cord or string tied to each end) and he walked towards Goliath.
As he got near Goliath, Goliath laughed and laughed at him.
"You've only got sticks to fight me with - do you think I'm a dog?! Come over here and I'll feed your body to the birds!"
But David wasn't scared. He said,
"You're coming to fight me with spears and swords. I come to fight you in the name of the Almighty God. Today God will help me, and I will cut off your head. Instead of me, it will be your army which the birds and the animals will eat! Then everyone will know that God looks after Israel, and it won't be spears which kill you but God's power."
At that, the Philistines moved closer to attack him, but David quickly put one of the stones into the sling, and wham! it hit Goliath right on his forehead and he fell flat on his face on the ground - dead. Then David ran and jumped on him and with Goliath's own sword, he cut off his head.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. Then the Israelites chased after them, and a lot of Philistines got killed that day.
Of course, king Saul was very pleased, and from then on David lived in the king's house, but Saul didn't know that David would eventually be king instead of him.
David believed in God and had shown the people that God would defend them if they had faith in Him.
You can read this story for yourself in 1 Samuel chapter 17.
See if you can answer these questions:
1. How did two armies fight each other then?
2. Why were the Israelites scared of Goliath?
3. Why did David think he could kill Goliath?
4. Did God help David?