HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[1 Kings 17]

THE Philistines again took the field against the Israelites and posted themselves on one mountain, while the Israelites occupied another. And behold, there was in the camp of the Philistines a giant named Goliath. He was not only taller than any other man, but his strength was in proportion to his size. He had a brazen helmet on his head and was clothed in scaly armour of enormous weight.

He had greaves of brass on his legs, and a brazen shield on his shoulder, and the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam. This giant, clad in armour from head to foot, came daily out, morning and evening, from the Philistine camp, and challenged any one of the Israelites to meet him in single combat, saying: “Give me a man, and let him fight with me hand to hand. If he be able to kill me, we will be servants to you; but if I prevail and kill him, you shall serve us.”

This went on for forty days, and there was no one found in all Israel to accept the challenge of Goliath. Hence Saul and the Israelites were in great terror and confusion, because of Goliath and of his proud boasting that they could find no man in Israel to fight him.

When David’s three eldest brothers had gone out with Saul to battle, his father told him to take bread and go to the camp, and see how it fared with his brothers. Whilst David was conversing with the people, Goliath came out, as usual, from the Philistine camp and repeated his insulting and contemptuous challenge. Full of surprise David asked: “What shall be given to the man that slayeth the Philistine who defieth the army of the living God?” Now when Eliab, his eldest brother, heard that David was asking such questions of the soldiers, he grew angry and said: “Why camest thou hither? Why didst thou leave those few sheep in the desert? I know thy pride and that thou camest down to see the battle.”

However, these words were repeated to Saul, who sent for David and said to him: “Thou art not able to withstand this Philistine, for thou art but a boy, and he is a warrior.” But David said: “Let no man be dismayed; I, thy servant, will go and fight against the Philistine. For thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion and a bear and took a ram out of the midst of the flock. And I pursued after them and struck them; and they rose up against me, and I caught them by the throat, and I strangled and killed them. I will go now and take away the reproach of the people. The Lord, who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and the bear, will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”

At last Saul consented and said: “Go, and the Lord be with thee.” Saul then clothed David with his own armour or coat of mail, and put a helmet of brass on his head. But David, unused to wear armour, could not move freely under its weight, and therefore he laid it aside.

Then he took his staff which he had always in his hands, and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in the shepherd’s scrip which he had with him; and taking a sling in his hand he went forth to meet the Philistine.

When Goliath drew near and beheld David coming on, he despised him and said: “Am I a dog that thou comest to me with a staff?” Then cursing David by his gods he said: “Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth.” David answered: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts whom thou hast defied. I will slay thee and take away thy head from thee, that all may know that there is a God in Israel.”

Meanwhile the Philistine arose, advanced and made ready for the fight; David, on his part, making haste ran up to meet the giant. While running he quickly took a stone from his scrip, laid it in his sling, and swinging it swiftly he aimed and struck Goliath so violently on the forehead that he reeled and fell on his face upon the earth. Then David, rushing up and taking Goliath’s sword from its scabbard, cut off his head.

The Philistines, seeing that their champion was dead, were seized with fear and fled. But the Israelites, following after, slew a great number of them, and took possession of their camp.

Pride. Goliath was arrogant and trusted in his own strength and mighty weapons. He boasted, sought the single combat for his own glory and scorned the people of God. This pride was the cause of his fall. “Pride comes before a fall”, and “humiliation followeth the proud, and glory shall uphold the humble of spirit” (Prov. 29:23).

Humility and confidence in God. David was humble. It was no thought of renown which impelled him to fight the giant, but only zeal for God’s glory and the good of his people. He trusted in God’s help and not in his own powers or skill, and went forth to the unequal combat, full of the confidence that God would overthrow the Philistine by his means, and would thus manifest His power to the heathen. “The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (1 Kings 17:37). God rewarded the humility and confidence of His servant by giving him a splendid victory over the terrible giant. God wished, by this victory of David, to draw the eyes of the Israelites to his virtues, and to awaken in them a feeling of gratitude towards him who was to be their future king.

APPLICATION. Do you boast? Are you proud of your fine figure, of your strength, or of your understanding, memory &c.? Make a resolution to subdue promptly all such thoughts of self-complacency.

You, too, have a Goliath to overcome, namely your besetting sin. Ask yourself which is your besetting sin, whether anger, envy, pride, sloth &c. Against this sin you must fight, not once, but every day of your life, if you hope to overcome it. Your weapons must be prayer and watchfulness. Pray for the virtue opposed to your besetting sin, and take care to subdue its movements when it first appears.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com