Martin Wiles’ Lessons for Youth and Children: A Giant-defeating God


Scripture: David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” 1 Samuel 17:45

Related Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 17

Objective: To teach children that God is bigger and more powerful than any giant they will ever face.

For the Teacher: The account of David and Goliath is a familiar Bible story. Ask the children or youth how many of them have heard the story. (Choose one child to tell their account of the story. Then let other children fill in details the first child may have overlooked. Pay attention to the details of the story so you can correct any mistakes.) While David’s giant was an actual person, some of our giants may be things other than people.

Goliath was a giant but not in the sense some of the children may imagine. He was simply a tall man and not the type of giant they may have seen portrayed on television shows or video games. There are no evil giants, but there are some people who are very tall. Have the children think of things other than people or animals that could be giants. As a teacher, you may have to help them with suggestions.

  • If you had a sickness the doctors couldn’t cure, it would be a giant.
  • When someone is born blind and there is nothing the doctors can do to restore their sight, this is a giant.
  • When children have moms and dads who fuss and fight or who divorce, this can be a giant.
  • When you have a teacher at school that you might not particularly like and you have to keep going to class anyway, this can be a giant.
  • If you have trouble making good grades in school even though you study hard, this may be a giant.
  • If you have classmates who make fun of you for some reason—perhaps because you go to church and try to do the right thing, this can be a giant.
  • If you want to do something in church but are afraid, this can be a giant.

 Bible Story Time:

Tell children the story of David and Goliath:

David was a young shepherd boy who tended his father’s sheep and also played music for King Saul when he got upset. David had seven brothers, three of whom served in King Saul’s army that was fighting their enemies the Philistines. One day David’s father Jesse told David to take some food to his brothers and also to check on how they were doing.

When David found his brothers, he discovered that they, King Saul, and all the army of Israel were frightened. The Philistines had a giant fighting for them. Every morning and evening, this giant named Goliath came out and made fun of God’s people. He would tell them if they could find a man to defeat him then his people would serve the Israelites. But no one was brave enough to face him—until young David came along.

Not only did Goliath make fun of the frightened Israelites, but he also made fun of God. As David was giving the food to his brothers, he heard this giant making fun of God, and he got angry. He wanted to know who he thought he was that he could laugh at God like he was doing. David told his brothers he wanted to go fight Goliath. David’s brothers laughed at him and told him to go back home and tend to his sheep, but David refused. He went to King Saul and told him he wanted to fight Goliath.

When David told King Saul what he wanted to do, Saul laughed at him too. He said, “You’re just a boy. You can’t fight a giant.” But David was determined. Saul finally agreed to let him fight Goliath but told him to put on his personal armor to protect himself. Since David was just a young boy, the king’s armor fell off. It was too large. David told Saul not to worry though. God had protected him from lions and bears, and he would protect him from this giant too.

Goliath saw this small boy walking toward him and laughed. David had nothing to fight with but a sling and some rocks he had chosen from a stream and placed in his shepherd’s bag. Goliath roared, “Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?” He threatened to kill David and throw his body to the birds and wild animals. David wasn’t afraid though. He knew God was going to help him. And he did.

David carefully chose a stone from his bag, placed it in his sling, whirled it round and round, and let it sail through the air. His aim was perfect. The stone sank into Goliath’s forehead, and he fell to the ground. David ran over to Goliath, took his sword, and cut his head off. When the Philistine army saw what had happened to their hero, they ran away in fear. God’s people had won the battle by letting a young boy lead them.

Let the students discuss what this story can teach us about facing our giants? (Possible topics: trust God, pray to God, don’t be afraid because God is with you, always stand for what’s right no matter what, don’t worry when others make fun of you, remember God is more powerful than any giant you may face.)

Game: Stalking Goliath

Kids will enjoy playing this fun hunting game.

(This may have to be modified depending on the number of children present.) Form pairs. Have pairs play this game one at a time. Blindfold the first pair and have the partners stand on either side of a table. Remove all the chairs from the playing area.

Designate which partner is Goliath and which partner is David.

Say: Goliath’s job is to keep away from David. David’s job is to catch Goliath. You can’t move away from the table at any time. But you can try to fool each other by giving false signals.

Kids who are watching will have fun, but tell them not to give any clues. When David catches Goliath, or after two minutes, let another pair play.

Wrap Up:

Give children a blank sheet of paper and let them draw and then color a picture of David and Goliath.

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