1 Samuel 17

David’s fearless trust in the LORD was first demonstrated in him taking on the bear and the lion. When it came to Goliath he wasn’t shaken because he had seen God’s faithfulness. He knew that God had good plans for the nation of Israel, and that God was not going to let a Philistine stand in his way!

Key Verse

“The LORD rescues his people” – 1 Sam 17:47 NLT

“Fight the good fight of faith” – 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV



David was a boy when the prophet Samuel anointed him to be the next king of Israel. Today’s story is one of the famous battle stories in the Bible. You probably all know this story really well, so today you’re all going to be actors in the story.

David Defeats Goliath

Props: Balloon shield, breastplate, helmet, shin guards, and swords, sling and fake rocks.
Players: Small David, Large Goliath, the Israelite army and the Philistine Army, Saul.

Choose a David, Goliath and Saul.  Split the rest of the class making one half the Israelite army, and the other half the Philistine army. Have them move so there is a space between the armies.  

Read the story (Or have someone help read it) from 1 Samuel 17.

Have your Goliath come up and as you read his description in verses 4 – 7, put on his balloon helmet, his breastplate, and shin guards. Put a balloon spear through the back of his breastplate and the shield in his hand and a sword. Have Goliath repeat after you the following lines: (verses 8-10)

“I am a Philistine! You are servants of King Saul! Choose a man to come kill me and we will be your servants! But if I win, you will become our servants!”

Read verse 11 and have the Israelite army shake in fear. Have Goliath return to his army.

Read verses 12-25. Have David and Saul come forward. Have David and Saul repeat after you the following lines:

David: “Don’t be afraid of this Philistine! I will go and fight him!”

Saul: “You can’t fight this Philistine! You are just a boy!”

David: “Your servant has been caring for my father’s sheep.  When a lion or bear took a sheep I went after it and struck it down! I have killed both lion and the bear and I can kill this Philistine!  The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the bear and the lion will deliver me from this Philistine!”

Saul: “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

Read vs 38-40. Put the balloon breastplate, helmet and sword on David.  Have him walk uncomfortably and say “I can’t go in these.  I am not used to them.”  Give David his sling and 5 fake stones.

Read vs 41-45.  Have David and Goliath size each other up.

Goliath: “Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?  Come here and I will feed you to the birds and the beasts of the field!”

David: “ You come against me with sword and spear. I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty! Today he will hand you over to me! All those gathered here will know it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands!”

Having David and Goliath act out as you read vs 48-51.  Have the Israelites jump and cheer and have the Philistines run away.  


Settle the kids down after acting out the story. Say to them: “When you think about how big Goliath was and that David was just a boy, what do you think would have given David the courage to go out into battle against Goliath?” [Get some responses] That’s right, David had faith in God. David knew that God had protected him before, and he knew that God still wanted to rescue his people, so he went out confidently knowing that he wasn’t fighting his own battle but that the battle was God’s battle!

Sometimes we can face difficult circumstances in our lives. It takes courage to do the right thing. When we follow God and trust his promises we know that God is with us giving us strength. In fact, the biggest battle that God has fought for us is the battle against sin. Jesus conquered sin and death, because God wants to rescue his people!

Prayer: Thank God that his plan is to rescue his people! Pray that the children would have the faith to trust God and his promises just like David did.

Review Questions

  • Why did Jesse send David to the battlefield?
  • What did David see when he got there?
  • How did David see the situation differently to those around him?
  • What made that difference?
  • What did David say to Goliath about God?
  • Is there a situation in your life where you need to trust God?

Image Credit: Titian, David and Goliath (1542-44)