Christian Churches of God
David and Goliath
(Edition 2.0 20060218-20070210)
There is a lot of meaning and symbolism in the Bible’s account of David and Goliath. Here we present a play for children to act out the story and also to learn the spiritual lessons being unfolded.
David and Goliath
To review the basic concepts related to David and Goliath and the symbolism that is involved in the text.
1. Children will be able to understand the meaning of who Saul was and the beginning of the kingship.
2. Children will understand why Saul forfeited his role as king.
3. Children will understand that David was anointed king even while Saul was still alive.
4. Children will understand that when we disobey God the Holy Spirit leaves us over time and we are subject to an evil spirit of Satan.
5. Children will understand how David and Saul interacted prior to the battle with Goliath.
6. Children will be able to list what weapons David took into battle with Goliath.
7. Children will show an awareness of the symbolism in the battle of David and Goliath.
8. Children will have an awareness of how the battle of David and Goliath prefigured events at the end time.
Memory Verses: 1Samuel 12:24: But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. (NIV)
Open with prayer.
Ask the children what they think the stories of “Saul and David” and “David and Goliath” represent.
Lesson on Saul and David.
Lesson on David and Goliath.
Activity associated with David and Goliath.
Begin by giving the children a large piece of drawing paper or tag; instruct them to fold the paper in half and help the younger ones if needed. Have children draw a picture of the actual battle of David and Saul and a picture of what the battle means.
Close with prayer.
If doing a puppet show pre-cut the basic body outline for the children. Allow the children to clothe their puppets with construction paper, use yarn for hair and markers to decorate the faces. An option that has worked well in the past is to have the name of the character and its symbolic name below that name on the front or on the back of the puppet. Another option is to have the names, their meanings, and symbolic counterparts posted for the audience.
Highlighted copies of the parts for each speaker are helpful.
Children tend to speak very quietly, especially the young ones, so microphones in the area are helpful. If it is a puppet show and they are below the table with sheets over them, their voices will be even more muffled. If microphones are not available, a few copies of the play in the audience would be helpful. The children would also really enjoy seeing their performance in the event someone has a video recorder to record it.
Characters in order of appearance
Goliath = Satan and the Babylonian system.
Goliath’s amour bearer = the false prophet (non-speaking part).
Jesse = (represents) God the Father.
David = Messiah
Eliab = David’s eldest brother.
Saul = (SHD 7586) "desired".
As needed add more parts with more soldiers in the battle.
Backdrop: Jesse’s house with pastures with sheep in the background and backdrop of battlefield.
Backdrop of battlefield
The backdrop picture shows a valley in between the armies of the Israelites and the Philistines.
Goliath: helmet of brass, coat of mail, greaves of brass on his legs, target of brass between his shoulders, staff (as big as a weaver’s beam with the head of the spear of iron weighing 600 shekels.)
Shield bearer with shield
Narrator: as you may remember from the play of Saul and David, Samuel anointed David to be king while Saul was still living and ruling as king. Saul had not consistently obeyed God. Due to Saul’s disobedience God’s Holy Spirit left Saul. David was called to play the harp before Saul when the evil spirit troubled Saul.
The Philistines had troubled Israel many times in the past. In this current conflict the Philistines decided to send out their champion Goliath of Gath.
Goliath’s name means “splendour of the winepress”. Here we see Goliath representing Satan and his Babylonian system.
Goliath was 6 cubits tall, which is about 9-10 feet; he brought 6 pieces of armour. As per The Companion Bible, in Appendix 10, Bullinger says 6 is the number of man. Goliath, Nebuchadnezzar and the Antichrist all have 6 associated with them.
In those days when armies went to war it was not uncommon for the entire battle to be decided by two people; each side’s champion fought with the other. This is referred to as single-handed combat. The winning champion’s side was said to have won the war. In this way not as many people had to die in the battle.
Goliath’s shield bearer represents the false prophet. In the end times there will be a false prophet saying he has God’s truths but he will speak lies. He derives (or gets) his power from Satan.
The Philistines got ready for war and brought their troops together to attack the town of Socoh in Judah. They set up camp at Ephes-Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. King Saul and the Israelite army set up camp on a hill overlooking the Elah Valley, and they got ready to fight the Philistine army that was on a hill on the other side of the valley.
Goliath: (shouting to the army of Israel)
Why are you lining up for battle? I'm the best soldier in our army, and all of you are in Saul's army. Choose your best soldier to come out and fight me. If he can kill me, our people will be your slaves. But if I kill him, your people will be our slaves. Here and now I challenge Israel's whole army. Choose someone to fight me!
Narrator: Saul and the army of Israel heard the words of Goliath of Gath and they were afraid and discouraged.
Jesse, David’s father, was old and three of his older sons were at the battle. Jesse’s name (SHD 3488) means: "I possess". He was Jesse the Bethlehemite (SHD 1022) meaning, "house of bread". So Jesse’s full name in Scripture means: “I posses the house of bread”. David, and eventually Messiah, came from the line of Jesse. Christ is the true Bread of life. Eloah our Father sent us the Bread of life.
David (SHD 1732, beloved) kept his father’s sheep. One morning Jesse sent David to the battle to deliver an ephah of roasted grain and 10 loaves of bread. The symbolism of 10, as loaves, is also repeated later in the Temple with the tables and the lampstands.
Goliath tormented and encouraged Israel to fight for 40 days. The number 40 per Bullinger in Appendix 10 is the number of divine order supplied to earthly things. Forty is also the number of years in a generation; it is also a time of testing and proving, i.e. the days of floodwaters, the time Nineveh had to repent, 40 years of manna in the wilderness. We also know there is a day-for-a-year principle in the Bible, which means one day equals a year. We know that Messiah has been away 2,000 years or 40 Jubilees. Messiah is still tending his sheep from the heavens but he is not currently battling Satan directly. Messiah will return to Earth and He will battle Satan and the Babylonian system and take them down just as David did with Goliath.
Scene 2: Jesse gives instructions to David
Backdrop: Jesse’s house with sheep in the background and battle scene backdrop up also.
Jesse to David
Jesse: Hurry and take this sack of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers at the army camp. And here are ten large chunks of cheese to take to their commanding officer. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back something that shows that they're all right. They're with Saul's army, fighting the Philistines in Elah Valley.
David: I will do as you ask father. Tomorrow morning I will leave early with the supplies once I have asked someone else to care for the sheep.
Narrator: He reached the army camp just as the soldiers were taking their places and shouting the battle cry. The army of Israel and the Philistine army stood there facing each other.
David left his things with the man in charge of supplies and ran up to the battle line to ask his brothers if they were well. While David was talking with them, Goliath came out from the line of Philistines and started boasting, bragging and tempting Israel as usual.
Scene 3: On the battlefield
Goliath’s armour bearer
Props: Saul’s battle gear/armour
Goliath: Choose your best soldier to come out and fight me! Here and now I challenge Israel's whole army! Choose someone to fight me! When is someone going to fight me? I have come out 40 days and no one is defending Israel and their God yet! Will you ever fight?
Soldier 1 to soldier 2 as they ran away from Goliath:
Look how Goliath keeps coming out to insult us. The king is offering a big reward to the man who kills Goliath. That man will even get to marry the king's daughter, and no one in his family will ever have to pay taxes again.
David to some soldiers: What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people? Who does that worthless Philistine think he is? He's making fun of the army of the Living God!
Soldier 2 to David: The king is offering a big reward to the man who kills Goliath. That man will even get to marry the king's daughter, and no one in his family will ever have to pay taxes again.
Narrator: David's oldest brother Eliab heard him talking with the soldiers. Eliab was angry with David.
Eliab: What are you doing here, anyway? Who's taking care of that little flock of sheep out in the desert? You spoiled brat! You came here just to watch the fighting, didn't you?
David: Now what have I done? Can't I even ask a question?
David to soldier 1: What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people?
Soldier 1: The king is offering a big reward to the man who kills Goliath. That man will even get to marry the king's daughter, and no one in his family will ever have to pay taxes again.
Narrator: Here we see David confirming the facts with at least two witnesses. David continued to ask other soldiers the same question.
Here we see the symbolism that God the Father is owner of all and ruler of the entire planet. God the Father gave Christ the entire planet to care for. Christ will take up that position at a future point in time. Christ is also given the Church as his bride.
Some soldiers overheard David talking, so they told Saul what David had said. Saul sent for David.
Saul: Have the boy come talk to me who is asking all the questions!
David: Your Majesty, this Philistine shouldn't turn us into cowards. I'll go out and fight him myself!
Saul: You don't have a chance against him. You're only a boy, and he's been a soldier all his life. And he towers over you!
David: Your Majesty, I take care of my father's sheep. And when a lion or a bear drags one of them off, I go after it and beat the wild animal until it lets the sheep go. If the wild animal turns and attacks me, I grab it by the throat and kill it. Sir, I have killed lions and bears that way, and I can kill this worthless Philistine. He shouldn't have made fun of the army of the Living God! The LORD has rescued me from the claws of lions and bears, and he will keep me safe from the hands of this Philistine.
Narrator: Here we see David’s unwavering, solid faith in God to keep him safe if the enemy is a wild animal, giant or whatever. Christ is our shepherd; he looks after all the people/sheep and protects them so no harm ever comes to them.
Saul: All right, go ahead and fight him. And I hope the LORD will help you. You can use my own battle gear and armour.
Narrator: Saul hands David his bronze helmet and sword; David straps on the sword and tries to walk around, but he was not used to wearing those things. We all know from Ephesians 6 that the Armour of God includes the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, loins grid with truth, feet shod with the gospel of peace, sword of the word of God and the shield of faith.
David: I can't move with all this stuff on. I'm just not used to it. I need to take it off and fight with weapons that I know how to use and ask God to help me defend His Name and the people of Israel. I will take my shepherd’s stick and go to the stream to get 5 smooth stones and put them in my shepherd’s bag. I will take them and my sling and go and face Goliath.
Goliath: Do you think I'm a dog? Is that why you've come out after me with a stick? I curse you in the name of the Philistine gods. Come on! When I'm finished with you, I'll feed you to the birds and wild animals!
David: You've come out to fight me with a sword and a spear and a dagger. But I've come out to fight you in the name of the LORD All-Powerful. He is the God of Israel's army, and you have insulted him too! Today the LORD will help me defeat you. I'll knock you down and cut off your head, and I'll feed the bodies of the other Philistine soldiers to the birds and wild animals. Then the whole world will know that Israel has a real God. Everybody here will see that the LORD doesn't need swords or spears to save his people. The LORD always wins his battles, and he will help us defeat you.
Narrator: David again shows his solid faith in God; David is armoured with the armour of God and clearly displays the shield of faith. When Goliath started forward, David ran toward him. David took his shepherd’s staff or stick. A shepherd uses the shepherd’s staff to care for the sheep. Here we see it is also used to convey the concept of Messiah being in charge of ruling and caring for the planet.
With the shepherd’s staff, leather bag with 5 stones and his slingshot, David runs towards Goliath.
Narrator: He put a stone in his sling and swung the sling around by its straps. When he let go of one strap, the stone flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead. It cracked his skull, and sunk deep into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground – dead. David defeated Goliath with a sling and a stone. He killed him without even using a sword.
David: Thank you God for helping me defeat the enemy. Since I do not have a sword, I will use Goliath’s own sword to cut off his head.
Narrator: When the Philistines saw what had happened to their hero, they started running away. But the soldiers of Israel and Judah let out a battle cry and went after them as far as Gath and Ekron. The bodies of the Philistines were scattered all along the road from Shaaraim to Gath and Ekron. When the Israelite army returned from chasing the Philistines, they took what they wanted from the enemy camp. David took Goliath's head to Jerusalem, but he kept Goliath's weapons in his own tent.
There is much meaning and symbolism in the above storyline. First we see that David does not use the world’s weapons to fight with. We are all in a spiritual battle and we daily need to put on the armour of God. David goes to the stream to pick out 5 stones. Frequently in Scripture we see water representing God’s Holy Spirit. We see David/Messiah choosing 5 smooth stones. We know from Revelation that 5 of the 7 Churches qualify to be used by Messiah to bring down this world’s systems. David (Messiah) used these 5 stones (Churches) to defeat and bring down Goliath (Satan) and his false system. Though Scripture does not say which of the 5 stones killed Goliath, logically David used all 5 stones and the last stone is the one that landed in Goliath’s (Satan’s) head. It is the last of these 5 loyal Churches, the Church of Philadelphia, that helps brings down the Babylonian system.
The head shows us what is controlling everything. The seal of God is between our eyes. This is where the stone, the message of the living God, struck down Goliath/Satan, his false teachings and system. Eloah is the mountain (Deut. 32:4) from which Messiah is the chief cornerstone and we are all hewed (or cut out) from it. As they try to hurt the elect so they will be hurt (2Kgs. 1:10-15; 2:23, 24). Goliath’s own sword is what is used to cut off his head. In the Last Days Messiah will bring down all the armies of the world and they will kill each other with their own weapons. In the Last Days we too will not use a sword; the work of God will not be done by might or power, but by the Spirit of God (Zech. 4:6). The head of Goliath is brought to Jerusalem. This shows us a time in the future when Satan’s Babylonian system will be brought down and replaced, with Messiah governing the planet under God’s Laws from Jerusalem.
There is much to be learned from the reign of the three kings of Israel. When we look at the names of the three kings in the order of their reigns we have Saul, David, and Solomon. If we look at the meaning of their names in Hebrew it would read: desired, beloved, peace. What a beautiful statement God has shown us even in the names of these men, looking forward to the millennial reign of Messiah from Jerusalem. Let each one of us be a man after God’s own heart as David was and be about our Father’s business.