Ok, so not so long ago the preacher at our church (now the former preacher, but not for any bad reason) gave this lesson at our church. Here's the link:
Basically this article claims that David was not a young boy, as he is often portrayed in children's books, videos, etc. That instead he was already a trained military man and as a result there is really nothing miraculous about the account of his defeat over Goliath.
I won't recount the whole story since it is well known and can be found in any Bible. (I Samuel 17:1-58) I also won't reprint the lesson from the link above. The whole point of this blog post is that since the preacher presented this lesson to us, it's been eating at me, especially since it claims to be an "in depth study of the text".
I believe scripture should be studied in the light of scripture and that any study of any part of the Bible should not be done outside of the rest of the Bible. The same is true for any historical narrative, if you are going to study the military exploits of Germany in the 20th century, you cannot do so without doing some research on Hitler at some point. History in the light of history.
The above linked lesson is an example of how things can be taken wrong. The article makes many claims, but the one that really got me was the claim that David was older and not a young man. That's what we'll look at here. From the passage:
Verse 12 - Jesse had 8 sons (who knows how many daughters - it only mentions sons).
Verse 13 - Jesse's 3 eldest went to war. (Numbers 26:2 - Israelites were considered old enough to go to war if they were 20.)
Verse 14 - David was the youngest. (There were 4 others. Though it's not explicitly mentioned, since the eldest 3 went to war, the next 4 did not - that is, they were at home with David.)
So, if the 3 eldest went to war, and 4 others besides David stayed home, why didn't they all go if David was supposedly already a warrior?
Logically, David and the other 4 were not of age. If the youngest of the 3 who went to war was 20, then at the very oldest David was 19. Now we have no way of knowing if the 4 in between were twins or quadruplets for that matter, but it's probably safe to assume that they weren't. If you figure, at the least, the boys were 9 months apart, that would make David 16. More likely, he was much younger.
Now, David was no slouch. He was a farm boy, often tended the sheep. When speaking to the King (verse 34-35) he claimed to have dealt with lions and bears. Probably not bragging since they lived in the mountainous country near present day Jerusalem. So he knew how to use a sling.
But let's look at Goliath. He was huge, he was a warrior. He was WEARING A HELMET. This is where the above mentioned article tries to take the miraculous out of this historical narrative. David, a boy, throws a rock at a huge guy wearing a heavy bronze helmet. A military man. What do suppose are the chances that this experienced, armored, military man, couldn't dodge a rock?
Again, the point is, read scripture in the light of scripture. Don't take things out of context. Read the WHOLE story. Look for facts from other parts of the Bible to fill in the gaps.
You do that, you'll get the way it really happened.