It seems the biblical perspective is that God creates everything, so why did He create Goliath - and choose not to help him in the battle with David?

What did Goliath do (or not do) that he was not favored like David?

Does the Bible support that God does not care the same way for some people or why he doesn't choose other people to express Himself through?

For example, when the Bible mentions other people, nations, enemies, etc, it comes off as if some other entity created them.

The question was not mean to be argumentative and meant to present a very real issue - even possible an issue for people today. The question was more like, why did God create "others" or "enemies" - that like Mark says were born into it.

  • 6
    -1 Using this logic, no one would every die, get sick, win a battle, flunk a test, or be sad, since God created everyone. This does not seem like a real question, but more argumentative than anything else. – Narnian May 31 '12 at 16:53
  • 1
    @Narnian no, I disagree - it is a very logical question, given the OT things which are very tribal and competitive. Further, it is an essential question. – Marc Gravell May 31 '12 at 19:09
  • 2
    @MarcGravell Why did God not choose to help Goliath in battle? Didn't God create Goliath? Hmmm... so God is obligated to help everyone He created in everything, so no one ever dies, loses, hurts, etc... There is no answer to this question. The logic is flawed. If the question were inquiring about how God feels towards Gentiles or something like that, it would be legitimate, but this is just argumentative. – Narnian May 31 '12 at 19:12
  • 4
    @Narnian the question of why a God would choose to intervene with one side to overcome another very much should have an answer. The OT makes it pretty clear that YHWH has picked "a team", and very much on a tribal basis - that doesn't make the question a bad one. Indeed, Steven has done a fair job of finding a scriptural answer to the question. My point here: the question is (IMO) very sound. – Marc Gravell May 31 '12 at 19:24
  • 3
    @Narnian I agree with Marc in this instance. If the question is invalid for the premise you stated (and I agree with you on this point), then that is an answer. You're confusing "wrong assumptions" to mean "bad question," and they are not the same thing. – San Jacinto May 31 '12 at 20:32

I think Romans 9 gives a pretty good explanation of God's prerogative in creation and his reason for creating "vessels of wrath prepared for destruction."

Romans 9:11-23 (ESV)
11  though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12  she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13  As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14  What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16  So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18  So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19  You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20  But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22  What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23  in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

  • This is an amazing answer. I find 9:16 particularly interesting "So God will choose anyone he decides to show mercy to, and his choice does not depend on what people want or try to do." – Greg McNulty May 31 '12 at 21:31
  • 1
    Actually, the Greek of Romans 9:22 can also mean "vessels of wrath that have prepared themselves for destruction" @GregMcNulty See my comment here - christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/7897/… – LoveTheFaith Jun 1 '12 at 6:08
  • Exactly what I first thought of +1. I don't see why the question is closed, though. – 3961 Aug 23 '13 at 19:11

The whole of the Bible is a story of men who are given the commandments of God and then disobey them to their own detriment. Remember Adam and Eve were the first humans and were taught by God the commandments. Ultimately men like their son Cain choose to follow the devil instead of God and were no longer under the covenant or favor of God. Eventually it got so bad that God started over with Noah.

From Noah's family on we see again men with the commandments and covenants of God eventually choosing to disobey them. Which leads eventually to Israel and his sons. They are a line of the family of Noah that has kept the covenants and commandments of God. They eventually become the twelve tribes of Israel and the Bible follows the dealings of this people, seemingly the only people to have stuck with the commandments of God, as they struggle to survive and keep the commandments of God.

The reason for the above explanation is simply to show that while God created everyone and loves everyone there are people who chose, and still choose today, to disobey the commandments of God and they, in the case of Goliath the Philistines, as a people had at some point in their past rejected the commandments of God. So unlike David were not favored by the Lord. Remember when Saul was not following the commandments, and even later in David's life when he transgresses, he is not favored by the Lord either.

So we can see that God is just to everyone equally, but the Bible looks as you described it because it is written from the perspective of the line of people that for much of their history(though they struggled - remember they spent 40 years in the wilderness because of wickedness-) followed the commandments of God and were thus favored more by Him then other lines, or groups, of people.

  • 4
    This starts out well but I think it fails to take into account a lot of important aspects such as God's covenant nature - how he called a people and made promises to them that he kept in spite of there constant disobedience. It wasn't as simple as the Israelites being obedient and the Philistines not. Sure disobedience had consequences but they got restorative discipline not destruction. I agree God is just to all, but that isn't the primary thing going on here. Some receive his grace differently. – Caleb May 31 '12 at 6:40
  • 1
    I agree with everything that you said, but its late(not sure why I am even up still) and I didn't want to make a 3 page long dissertation. – Ryan May 31 '12 at 7:04
  • 1
    @Caleb As far as the covenant nature I think that that at least is implied by some of what I said. But yea its def not the whole story. – Ryan May 31 '12 at 7:06

God created Goliath for the same reason he created Pharaoh, the Canaanites, and every other foe he sent to challenge his people - namely, to show his Glory.

In 2 Chronicles 16, he says as much:

7At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8Were not the Cushitesb and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemenc? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

It may sound vainglorious, but God is often "jealous for his glory". In Exodus, Moses even uses that "against" God to keep him from smiting his own people. That God is justified in desiring that His people know his glory is simply his prerogative, because it is in the interests of his children to know that he he is great.

  • I don't see how the scripture quote supports the claim "he created Pharoah ....(snip)... , to show his Glory." - up to you, but I'd be interested to see how that expands out. The Romans quote in Steven's answer perhaps makes it clearer. – Marc Gravell May 31 '12 at 19:11
  • 1
    wow, that really stinks for the foes he chooses to show His glory through...a new question is then, if he picked them to be the enemy for His glory, do they have His blessings and salvation, is this why we are to love our enemy? – Greg McNulty May 31 '12 at 21:10

If you take a literal view of the OT, then indeed - God created them all, but was rather partial to the Israelites as his "chosen people". So yes, he supports just one side, and indeed orders (and assists) destruction of other tribes - because, after all, they weren't his believers. Indeed, Saul gets in trouble elsewhere for not being thorough enough in destroying the Amalekites (by bringing a few sheep and cattle back, to sacrifice).

The "God loves everyone" is more a NT thing.

So what did Goliath do? He wasn't an Israelite.

  • 5
    The Israelites were ordered to destroy the other tribes because of their countless crimes, not because they weren't Israelites. In multiple places throughout the Old Testament, God says that he does not rejoice over the death of the sinner, but wishes all to repent. The mission of the Israelites was to be the light and salt to all of mankind. So what did Goliath really do? He defied and cursed the Holy of Israel. – Shathur May 31 '12 at 8:19
  • 2
    @Shathur no, he defied the army of the Israelites. If you claim anything else, please provide chapter and verse. This is simple bronze age tribal squabbling and land grab. Nothing more. His crime was simply: being a member of the people in which he was raised. Inlaid with that may also be religious views, but that comes directly from his tribe. Their "countless crimes" are simply: not being Israelite with the Israelite traditions. All other considerations (such as subjugation of neighbours etc) - those are shared equally with the Israelites. – Marc Gravell May 31 '12 at 8:33
  • 2
    It seems that I remembered it wrong. As you say, he defied the army of the Israelites, that is: he defied the army of the living God. One might say that he did this because he was not an Israelite, which would then be the reason but not the crime itself. In Deut. 18:10-11, God forbids the Israelites from doing things like sacrificing their children in fire and engaging in witchcraft. In verse 12 God says that it is because of these detestable practices that God drove out the Canaanites before the Israelites. Not just because they were not Israelites. – Shathur May 31 '12 at 9:18
  • 4
    The Israelites were used as Gods tool for punishing the wicked surrounding people, which in turn were used to punish the Israelites when they turned from God. – Shathur May 31 '12 at 9:19
  • 3
    @Marc That's beyond dispute. As I said, as a Philistine, he was outside the covenant. However, the distinction is that he also had no interest in being inside the covenant. Your answer implies that he was willingly outside the covenant strictly because of cultural reasons (thus giving him an excuse). That is worthy of its own SE question (meaning that it is fair for you to raise this point), but this question is asked from God's perspective, not from a human perspective and thus this part of your answer is inappropriate. I don't think you're far off, I just think you're over-simplifying things – San Jacinto May 31 '12 at 12:46

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.