Remembering David and Goliath

Today in our small groups bible study, we read through David’s story once more. 1 Samuel 17, the ever famous David and Goliath story.

It’s a familiar story, but this time I pictured myself as one of the crowd of soldiers in the battle line cowering in fear. I was dressed in my full armor, armed with my sword and shield.

So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them. 1 Samuel 17:3

Beside me were fellow soldiers, sweating under the hot sun, morale breaking from the shouting and taunting coming from the giant warrior across the battle line. I pictured him towering over 9-feet-tall. His heavy armor, and giant spear and shield. No one dared to fight him.

Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield. 1 Samuel 17:4-7

The soldiers beside me are worn and distressed from the long stand-off with the giant. Among the panic and distress, a young boy steps forward bringing food and supplies. (In my mind I pictured my younger self, when I was starting in my walk in Christ and was more on fire for Jesus). 

16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.

17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers.18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines. 1 Samuel 17

 

The young boy emerged from the file and brought food and supplies to refresh me, and see how I was doing. As I sat and ate with him, he asked me how I was doing, and who was this giant warrior blocking my path. “Stay back,” I told him, “This isn’t something that you can handle. Look, I tried everything I can, and it’s impossible. We can’t beat it.” The young man looked at me and said, “I’ll fight him!”

32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

1 Samuel 17

I told him it’s impossible, I already tried everything, what else can he do? The young man insisted, and began to remind me of everything the Lord has done in the past. How He has saved me from our troubles, and from my self, and from certain death. He reminded me of how much God loved me, and what he’s done in the past years. Yes, He’s delivered my friend from the enemy. He answered my prayers before. He even saved me from my own attempt at my life. “What makes now any different?” the young man questioned. His eyes burned with passion, and enthusiasm. The confidence in his eyes pierced my soul. Confidence in not what he could do, but at what God has done for him before. Confidence not in himself, but in who God is.

The young boy stepped forward to confront the giant, and as he drew near the giant shouted murderous threats to provoke him. “You will fail, boy. Everyone else around you has failed. What makes you think you stand a chance against me?”

45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

But he stood his ground.

48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.

The boy took a stone and threw it towards the giant. My eyes followed the stone as it traveled to its mark, hitting the giant’s head. As the giant fell, my eyes marveled at what the young boy accomplished — no, at what God accomplished through him. I was reminded through him that God is no doubt with us, regardless of how impossible the situation is, of how impossibly stacked the odds are against us. I strengthened my weak knees, and worn arms. Following the lead of the young boy, I praised God, and screamed with all I have at the enemy’s army in front of us and drove them away.

When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah gave a great shout of triumph and rushed after the Philistines, chasing them as far as Gath[g] and the gates of Ekron. The bodies of the dead and wounded Philistines were strewn all along the road from Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron.

Notes to Self:

  1. Don’t go hungry, refresh yourself constantly in ‘food'(God’s Word)
  2. Rejoice in past victories (yours and others) to keep yourself encouraged.
  3. Be confident in God, not yourself.
  4. Conquering ‘goliaths’ encourage not only ourselves, but the people around us.
  5. Be that encouragement and refreshment to others who are worn out.
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