You may be familiar with today’s reading in 1 Samuel 17. We are going through the story of David and Goliath, and I am so excited! This is a short chapter, but it is packed with so much goodness that we need to get into it all, not just the verse. There is a battle between the Israelites against the Philistines, and the two sides are divided by a valley, one on each side. The Philistines had this man named Goliath on their side. He was big, a giant! Our application says over nine feet tall, and he was covered from head to toe in armor made of bronze. This tells us that not only was he huge, but he was obviously strong too to be able to be all decked out like that. For 40 days, every morning and evening, Goliath would come to the front and yell to the Israelites to choose a man to go and fight him. Scripture tells us the deal was “If [someone from the Israelite side] is able to fight and kill me, we will becomes your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will became our subjects and serve us.” (v. 8) Something, I didn’t know before reading this is that David’s three oldest brothers followed Saul to the war. But David was going back and forth, playing the harp for Saul and taking care of his fathers sheep still. Jesse, their dad, had sent David with some food for his brothers and their commanders one day, so David was present when Goliath stepped out and yelled to the Israelites. When David heard this he started asking around what would happen to the man who kills him, which he was told that person would be given wealth, marriage to Saul’s daughter and exemption from taxes. As David was asking around, his oldest brother heard him and got mad, he started giving him a hard time about being there. David didn’t let that phase him though and he continued talking and asking questions. David was soon brought to Saul for asking around so much and “David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” (v. 32) WOOO! Go David! Saul was hesitant, but David insisted and Saul agreed, Saul said, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” (v. 37) As David was getting ready to step out to face Goliath, Saul tried to give him his armor but David couldn’t even walk in it, so he went out in his shepherding clothes and staff, he selected five smooth stones and put them in his bag and carried his sling in the other hand and then he moved forward to approach Goliath. Immediately, they began to mock him for his size. But then David tells him today’s scripture, “you come against me with your weapons, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty” (v.45) BAM! He went on to say “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lords, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (v. 47) What a confidence he had in the Lord! Then the “battle” begins! “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.” (v.48+49) Can you even imagine? Not only can you feel the power and faithfulness of God, but also what it looks like to have full confidence and trust in the Lord. The story goes on to tell us that Saul didn’t even recognize David, his lyre player, and I think this serves to remind us that he didn’t know him very well and/or that his mental state was not in a good place. So, he called on David after beating Goliath to find out who he was. And David went on to re-introduce himself.
Isn’t that story so good. Now, let’s grab todays verse out of this story. “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty” 1 Samuel 17:45 Leading up to this story, his brother is criticizing him, but our application says, “He knew the importance of taking action. With God to fight for him, there was no reason to wait.” I love how our scripture tells us that David knew going and facing this giant wasn’t going to be conquered in his own strength, he knew God was going to do it for him! And not only that, by saying this in front of everyone, David was making God known. That if he wins, it is only because God took it in His own hands and fought on David’s behalf. Just like David, we need to not let what others say stop us from doing what we know is right, what we feel God is telling us to do. “He looked at his situation from God’s point of view” (Application) Once again we see God vs. the world here. Everyone thought there was no way this giant was going to be defeated, instead of pressing into God. But David came in and saw it through God’s perspective and moved to action immediately. When Saul tells David to go, he knows the Lord is with him. But, David knew the Lord was ALWAYS with him. That he wasn’t facing this giant, God was and God was going to work through him to show the Israelites His strength, not David’s. David had obviously grown so close to the Lord and had such a strong confidence in God, that he fully trusted him, no matter what battle he faced.
I want to add in a song that pressed on my heart as I write this. Take a few moments, listen to the words and just praise the Lord that He can take our battles.
What is a “giant” you are facing today? What would it look like if you looked at that giant through the lens of God’s perspective? How would you face it right now if you had a confidence and trust like David?
Heavenly Father, Lord, thank you putting this incredible story in Your Word. This not only shows us your powerfulness, but also your trustworthiness. We see giants before us and it is hard, sometimes it seems impossible to take it on, just like Goliath. Help us God to have a fearlessness and a trust like David. Help us to move to action when we feel led, instead of being scared and worrying what other people think. We ask that you show us your perspective, we want to know your way, not the world’s way. Whatever giants we are facing, we know that you are bigger, when doubt creeps in, remind us of past giants that you have helped us conquer and your faithfulness in them. Thank you for loving us enough to take our giants head on for us. In your powerful name we pray, AMEN!