Following Jesus, Ministry, Reflections

Before David and Goliath

Most of us grew up hearing the story of David and Goliath. For some, this is but an inspiration. For others, an encouragement in times of hardship. Still for some, this is a reminder that when we are fighting on God’s side, we do not fight to win but we are fighting in the standpoint of victory.

We talked about David and Goliath during our Victory Group last night and while I initially thought I’d get the same insights as I had during the many times that I have encountered this story, I went home reminded yet again that there is always much to glean from the Scriptures no matter how familiar they may already seem.

While we talked about the characteristics of a giant slayer, a particular passage in 1 Samuel 17 caught my attention. David had already volunteered to fight the Philistines’ champion and Saul, baffled by the boy’s zeal, just could not help but say:

33 …You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.

And this makes sense. If this were the Olympics and we were to compare their profiles, everyone would know who would win even before the fight starts.

Goliath (1 Samuel 17:4-7)

Over nine feet tall; 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.

David (1 Samuel 17: 40)

When he went out to face Goliath, he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag, with his sling in his hand.

David had an advantage though:

42 He (Goliath) looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.

(Side note: It’s funny how Goliath despised David for being ruddy and handsome. 😀 )

So, why was David so confident that he can kill Goliath? When Saul tried to talk him out of the battle he is about to take on, which to me looked like a job interview where the interviewer asks the applicant about his credentials, here’s what David rolled out:

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it, and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed the both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.

Anyone would think this isn’t enough credentials for David to make the cut, but I’m glad I didn’t speak too soon. When the picture was painted for me through the discussion, I realized that this isn’t just an account of how David fought against a lion or a bear and that makes him qualified to fight a giant. This is David recalling the times when God delivered him from seemingly hopeless situations. His personal history with God fueled him to fight and fight he did.

Before David and Goliath, there was David and God.

37 The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.

Our Victory Group started with this question: “What is the ‘Goliath’ that you are facing right now?”

I went home counting the ‘Goliaths’ that He enabled me to defeat.

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