Teaching the Story of David and Goliath
In the world, we are besieged by the idea that “bigger is better.” And yet God himself often chooses the smallest for the greatest of things. Recall Jesus’ preaching and ministry: the tiny mustard seed, five barley loaves and two fish, the little children. Or think about Christmas, when God sends his Son as a newborn babe.
The story of David and Goliath is a powerful example of God demonstrating the small accomplishing the great — and shows us that this is only possible when we trust in the Lord and acknowledge that he alone is the source of our strength.
From the Word
David answered him: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have insulted. Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hand” (1 Samuel 17:45-46)
■ How do you think David felt when he approached Goliath?
■What weapons did David use to fight Goliath? (slingshot and stone, but his true weapon was assistance from God)
■ Can you do great things for God even if you are young or small?
■What are some of the “Goliaths” we must face in our lives? Do we always remember to ask God for his help?
1. OUR GOLIATHS. Draw a nine-foot-high outline of Goliath on paper and invite students to write on it the things they struggle with. Hang it in the classroom and have them take turns throwing bean bags at Goliath. When they hit him, they can run up and cross off one of the struggles until all are gone and Goliath is out of commission.
2. FIVE SMOOTH STONES. David only needed one stone to conquer the giant, but he had many at the ready. Brainstorm a list of gifts and virtues — the “stones” we need to conquer the “giants” in our lives. Confidence? Trust? Perseverance? Give students smooth stones and markers to write one of their words on each stone. Send them home as a reminder to turn to God for their needs.
3. “DO SMALL THINGS WITH GREAT LOVE.” This quote from St. Teresa of Calcutta says it all: It is not the size of our deeds but the size of the love with which we share them. Have each student write down on a card one small way they can serve with great love in the coming week. Share experiences at the next class.
New Testament Connection
God chose to redeem the world not through a powerful, earthly ruler, but through His Son who would arrive as a baby, small and vulnerable: “And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
This Son of David and Son of God would be a contradiction to the world from the start. Though enthroned as king of heaven, Jesus would lower himself for us, taking on human flesh and arriving as an infant — and one day sacrificing his very life for our salvation.
Lynn Wehner is a Catholic writer, editor, speaker, and catechist who lives with her husband and their children in Connecticut.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, December 2017