January 17 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11
[Goliath] looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy.
1 Samuel 17:42
READ 1 SAMUEL 17:32, 41–47
Baby Saybie, born as a “micro-preemie” at 23 weeks, weighed only 8.6 ounces. Doctors doubted Saybie would live and told her parents they’d likely have only an hour with their daughter. However, Saybie kept fighting. A pink card near her crib declared “Tiny but Mighty.” After five months in the hospital, Saybie miraculously went home as a healthy five-pound baby. And she took a world record with her: the world’s tiniest surviving baby.
It’s powerful to hear stories of those who beat the odds. The Bible tells one of these stories. David, a shepherd boy, volunteered to fight Goliath—a mammoth warrior who defamed God and threatened Israel. King Saul thought David was ridiculous: “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33). And when the boy David stepped onto the battlefield, Goliath “looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy” (v. 42). However, David didn’t step into battle alone. He came “in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel” (v. 45). And when the day was done, a victorious David stood above a dead Goliath.
No matter how enormous the problem, when God is with us there’s nothing that we need to fear. With His strength, we’re also mighty.
By Winn Collier
REFLECT & PRAY
God, I feel tiny today. Left to myself, there’s no way forward. But I trust You to be with me and guide me. I’m trusting in Your strength.
When do you feel small and insignificant? How can you see God present with you and strengthening you despite insurmountable odds?
Goliath considered it an insult to have David fight him because David was “little more than a boy” (1 Samuel 17:42)—“a youth” (ESV)—while he was a battle-seasoned warrior (v. 33). David, the eighth and the “youngest” (16:11; 17:12, 14, Hebrew haqqāṭān) of Jesse’s sons, was consistently looked down upon, even by his own family (17:28). Haqqāṭān can mean “smallest in size” as well as youngest. To serve in the army, an Israelite male needed to be at least twenty years old (Numbers 1:3). Three of his older brothers were in Saul’s army at this time (1 Samuel 17:13). Assuming the remaining four brothers were one year apart in age, scholars estimate David would be about fourteen to fifteen years old when he fought Goliath. K. T. Sim