1 Samuel 17:36-37
Your servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them…
What was the pith of David's argument? What were the five smooth stones which he threw at the head of carnal reasoning?
I. RECOLLECTIONS. Now, what did David recollect, for I want you to remember the same?
1. He recollected, first, that, whatever his present trial might be, he had been tried before, tried when he was but a young man, peacefully employed in keeping his flocks.
2. He remembered, too, that he had been tried frequently. He had been not only attacked by a lion, but also by a bear.
3. David recollected that he had risked all in the prosecution of his duty.
4. He remembered that he had on that occasion gone alone to the fray.
5. David also recollected that on that occasion when he smote the lion and the bear he had nothing visible to rely upon, but simply trusted his God.
6. David recollected also that the tactics which he adopted on that occasion were natural, artless, and vigorous.
7. David remembered that by confidence in God his energetic fighting gained the victory.
II. Now for REASONINGS. David used an argument in which no flaw can be found. He said "The case of this Philistine is a parallel one to that of the lion. If I act in the same manner by faith in God with this giant as I did with the lion, God is the same, and therefore the result will be the same." That seems to me to be very clear reasoning, and I bid you adopt it. Let us now consider the case, and we shall see that it really was parallel. There was the flock, defenceless; here was Israel, God's flock, defenceless, too, with no one to take up its cause. He was alone that day when he smote the lion, and so he was this day when he was to confront his enormous foe. As for that, Philistine, he felt that in him he had an antagonist of the old sort. It was brute force before, it was brute force now: it might take the shape of a lion or a bear or a Philistine, but David considered that it was only so much flesh and bone and muscle, so much brag or roar, tooth or spear The whole argument is this, in the one case by such tactics we have been successful, trusting in God, and therefore in a similar case we have only to do the same, and we shall realise the same victory, I know a man who today says, "Yes, what we did in years gone by we did in our heroic age, but we are not, so enthusiastic now." And why not? We are so apt to magnify our former selves, and think of our early deeds as of something to be wondered at, but not to be attempted now. Fools that we are! They were little enough in all conscience, and ought to be outdone. This resting on our oars will not do, we are drifting down with the tide. David did not say, "I slew a lion and a bear, I have had my turn at such bouts, let somebody else go and fight that Philistine:" yet we have heard people say, "When I was a young man I taught in the Sunday school, I used to go out preaching in the villages, and so on." Oh, and why not do it now? Methinks you ought to be doing more instead of less.
III. The last thing is RESULTS. The results were:
1. David felt he would, as he did before, rely upon God alone.
2. David resolved again to run all risks once more, as he had done before.
3. David's next step was to put himself into the same condition as on former occasions, by divesting himself of everything that hampered him. The ultimate result was that the young champion came back with Goliath's head in his hand, and equally sure triumphs await every one of you if you rely on the Lord, and act in simple earnestness.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.