“A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” I Samuel 17:4 -11
“For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.” I Samuel 17:16
One of the first things children tune into when you are teaching the David and Goliath story is how big Goliath was. I have measured six cubits or nine feet on the floor since the room didn’t have high enough ceilings. Visualizing a giant nine foot human being is scary. Sometimes in our lives there are giants – illness, job loss, financial problems, broken relationships to name a few. Today I realized there are other giants that affect us not just as individuals but also as a nation – the giant of hate and his brother fear.
As I thought about hate and fear I realized David’s story has some insights for us. Goliath was shouting at the Israelites. I don’t know about you but between news coverage and social media I feel like I am being shouted out constantly. Dismayed and terrified are good words to describe how I think many people feel. Scripture tells that for forty days Goliath came forward and yelled at them – twice a day. Oh, my! No one was stepping forward to fight. Talk about a stalemate. Then we have David. He was doing his usual job of tending the sheep and his dad Jesse sent him to bring food to his brothers. David walked onto the scene and decides to take action. Not because he was qualified but because he knew who his God was.
“Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. David left his things with the keeper of supplies,ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear. Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Samuel 17:20 – 24
At first Saul wants David to wear his armor but it doesn’t fit and isn’t the kind of armor David has been trained to use. David’s armor is a staff, a slingshot and smooth stones. Goliath is expecting someone to fight him in hand to hand combat but that isn’t what David has in mind.
“Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” I Samuel 17:38 -40
David came against Goliath in the name of the Lord Almighty and he triumphed over him with his sling shot and a stone.
“David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” I Samuel 17:45-50
I see four things that David did that can serve as reminders to us as we slay giants in particular the giants of hate and fear.
- He remembered who God was. We can remember that God is the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8), ever-present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and so much more.
- He took action in the name of the Lord. We can take action by listening to those who need to tell their stories, by offering a cup of water, by doing whatever the Lord prompts you to do. Matthew 25:35-45, Colossians 3:12-17
- He used “his” armor. We need to put on our armor. Ephesians 6: 10 -18
- He did the unexpected. We can do the unexpected by showing love even when it is hard. Matthew 5:43-48
“David didn’t kill Goliath because he set out to slay giants…He killed Goliath because his dad sent him to take his brothers sandwiches and Goliath got in the way.” ~Rich Mullins
What giant has gotten in the way of what God sent you out to do?
Take care. Be well. Serve Him.
- Worth Fighting For
- Lavish Love