Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? The story of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17 is one such story in the bible that we have often heard from the time we were little.
It is a lesson of courage, faith, and overcoming what seems impossible.
The Israelites under the command of King Saul were to fight the Philistine army. A Philistine giant named Goliath who stood at over nine feet tall came to the front of the Philistine battle line each day for forty days and challenged someone to fight him. He mocked and insulted the Israelites and their God. No one from the Israelite army dared to take up the challenge for they feared Goliath.
David was the youngest of Jesse’s twelve sons. As instructed by his father, he bring supplies to his brothers who are in the front lines where he hears Goliath mocking God. This infuriates David, who then volunteers to fight the giant.
What did David see differently?
From a human perspective Goliath was an intimidating and formidable enemy. His size, armour and weapons instilled fear in his opponents.
In verse 8 Goliath says “Am I not a philistine and you servants of Saul”
In verse 26 David says “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God.”
Notice the difference, by calling Goliath an uncircumcised philistine, David clearly recognises Goliath as one who is outside of the covenant promise of God and not among the Lord’s chosen people.
David sees the Israelites including himself as the armies of the living God rather than the servants of Saul. What a contrast there to recognise who you belong to and under whose leadership they are actually fighting.
David saw things from a spiritual perspective. Saul and his men saw Goliath and thought ‘whoa! he is so big’, we can never defeat him. David saw Goliath as big yes, making him a mark too big to miss.
For us: when we face a mountain that can instil fear and seem impossible to defeat, we have to remember to stop looking at it from a human perspective and look at it from a spiritual perspective. We belong to God and he will enable us to overcome whatever we face and know that we will never face it alone, He is right there with us. We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus and the battle is His.
When God says Go
- David heard and he moved
There would have been fear associated with taking on giant like Goliath. But David heard the call to step forward from God and he responds quickly.
For us: How many of us are prompted by God to do something but fear or uncertainty of the outcome has held us back. We push it for later when we think we will be more ready, but that later turns into a missed opportunity to the very thing God was calling us to do.
- Lack of skill or experience
King Saul’s reaction to David was that he was too young and inexperienced. But David was not bothered by either of those things.
For us: We have to remember that when God prompts us to step forward for something, he will equip us, in our human eyes we may seem inexperienced but God knows what HE is doing and all he wants is a ‘yes’ from us.
- David was comfortable and confident with His set of talents
King Saul gives David his armour to wear but David after trying it on knew that he could not face Goliath in it as he was not able to move in it. Instead he takes his sling and 5 stones, that was all he needed because he knew what to do with them.
For us: So often we look to the left and the right and do not step forward because we do not look the same as those around us, and that can hold us back. God makes each of us unique and gives each of us a different set of talents that He will utilise through us. Let us remember to not fall into the comparison trap that can hold us back.
Our ‘Yes’ to God’s prompting is going to look different to everyone else’s. And we have to be comfortable being different.
- Surrender your talents
David was a skilled musician and he was a brave and capable shepherd.
David had already demonstrated his talents on the harp, He served Saul by playing the harp to bring relief and comfort to Saul when he was tormented by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16). David was already known for that.
But what David offered to use when he faced goliath was a skill that was honed while being an unknown shepherd boy.
For us: May we find confidence and courage to surrender our talents to God to use the way HE sees fit rather than thinking this is what I am known to be good at and that is all I will offer.
- Focus on God’s glory
David had a deliberate focus on giving God all the glory and not taking any of it. He says in verse 46 that he will defeat Goliath so that all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel.
Not to us Lord, but may we serve you to bring you Glory.