(Year II) Wednesday
First Reading: Samuel 17
In today’s first reading we have the story of David slaying Goliath. It is a story of how a boy with a sling kills a giant who has been a warrior from his youth.
David is confident in his God and says that ‘the Lord who saved me from the lion and the bear shall rescue me from the power of this Philistine.’
Again this is a story of the way that God protects those who serve and honour him. The Israelites understood and saw themselves as the chosen people of God; this God who was almighty and more powerful than all the other gods would not let them down.
From the point of view of the Israelite storyteller, what is important about David is that he puts his trust in God and expects God to save him. In cursing David the Philistine is cursing God because David has been chosen by God to lead his people.
What is important for us is that David is the forerunner of the Messiah. Jesus is often called the ‘Son of David’ a name which was often used in relation to this great new king who would come and save Israel.
The coolness of David going forward and slowly taking out the stone and putting it into the sling reflects the dignity with which Jesus faced the Pharisees as they put him to death. In David’s case God intervened and saved him, with Jesus the Father had to allow his son to die.
However, David overcame this giant, this terror in men’s lives on this one occasion. In his passion and death Jesus overcame the other terror in men’s lives, death, for all time.
The victory of David is a forerunner of the victory of Jesus.