First Samuel 17 reveals the character and boldness of a young teen named David. He caught the eye of a king and an entire nation. He did so living in a day where he couldn’t post a video of himself online to millions of people. We have this ability today, yet we can’t seem to get people’s attention. How did David gain the attention of a nation? How did a teen make such a drastic, dramatic change in history? Truth—this is what made the difference for David.
1 Samuel 17:55–58
55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
56 And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling is.
57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
1. David Knew the Truth
An impossible situation faced David. In fact it was so impossible that today the names David and Goliath are synonymous with an underdog facing insurmountable odds. When he faced with these odds, He responded with truth and was empowered by truth.
1 Samuel 17:37
37 David said moreover, The Lord that 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. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
If you know anything about Jewish culture, you know it’s engulfed in truth. The king and soldiers of Israel learned truth their entire lives. Yet when truth was needed, their cowardliness proved that they didn’t know the truth. David was bold because he knew truth. Truth wasn’t something David came upon suddenly—he continually searched for it and learned it.
We live in a society where there is no truth. We’re taught truth is relative and cannot be absolute. Isaiah 59:14 paints a correct picture of our society.
14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
As Christians, we must stand for absolute truth. Christ Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Truth is absolute! But it’s not enough to know about truth—we must know it! It must encompass our entire lives. Only then can truth empower us.
2. David Declared the Truth
Truth isn’t something that we can keep to ourselves. If we believe something to be truth, we’ll share it will others. When David spoke to Goliath, he did so with boldness because he knew he had the truth. If we declare truth in a cowardly fashion, there is some part of us that doesn’t believe it to genuinely be truth. Truth should be declared passionately and fearlessly. David displayed this kind of declaration of truth perfectly:
1 Samuel 17:45–47
45 Then said David to the Philistine, 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, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hands.
That’s how truth should be proclaimed—wholeheartedly! When we share the gospel with others, we should share it with passion, boldness, and fervency! Christians have the truth, and they need to proclaim it.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Truth is meant to be declared—do so fervently.
3. David Lived THE TRUTH
Truth is a lifestyle. We cannot say that something is true and live opposite of that truth, because then we don’t believe it. If we believe something, we will act on that truth. David didn’t just stand up to Goliath and proclaim truth—he lived it out.
1 Samuel 17:48–51
48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
David boldly proclaimed the truth and passionately lived it out. He lived truth with the same zeal and fervor that he proclaimed it with. Our behavior further emphasizes or minimizes what we say. We’ve all heard the saying: “Your talk talks, and you walk talks, but your walk talks more than your talk talks.” You may get people’s attention with the way you declare truth, but you will never keep it if you don’t live truth out.
We can never declare or live truth out until we know it. Truth must be declared and lived out. We live in a culture where everyone has something to say, and the only way to rise above the crowd is to have truth reside in our hearts and permeate our entire life.