(1 Samuel 17 – NIV)
This book and chapter in the Bible is a very familiar story to most all of us about David and Goliath.
It tells us that the Philistines had set up camp on one hill and the Israelites on another – battle lines were drawn. Verses 4-7 say: “A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over 9’ tall, had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing 5000 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 600 shekels…..” Based on your own height, try to imagine a man they say was over 9’ tall; 5000 shekels of armor is 125 pounds. His spear weighed about 15 pounds with the iron point alone weighing just over 3 pounds. That’s a lot of weight for a body to carry.
Every morning the Philistines and the Israelites would go out to their battle positions and shout their battle cries. Every morning Goliath would step out and defiantly shout insults and challenges at the Israelites. This went on 40 days. Verse 11 says: “On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” Then one morning young David showed up, he heard Goliath; and, in verse 24 it says: “When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.” When David heard the taunts and witnessed the fear and their retreat, David went to Saul asking to be the one to do battle with Goliath.
Many times, like the Israelites, we get a Goliath-sized problem in our lives. It seems to be much larger than we can handle alone. Like Saul and all the Israelites we become “dismayed and terrified.” Because of the boldness of this problem and Satan taunting us with it repeatedly, we lose faith in our Lord and in the power He has given to us, then fear begins to set in.
We have a choice – we can let fear paralyze us and make us useless in our battles; or, we can keep the faith and stand on God’s words and promises as David did and know that the Lord will deliver us. In verse 37 David says to Saul: “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.”
We must put on the armor of God, being particularly careful to use our weapon – which is God’s Word. We must then advance, in the power of the name of the Lord Almighty as it says David proclaimed in verse 45. We must also remember that in our own strength alone, we likely cannot win; but, know that, as David proclaimed in verses 47-49: “the battle is the Lord’s.” ”As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” David slew the giant with only a sling and one stone – he didn’t even need a physical sword. (Ephesians 6:17 says “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”) So His word is our sword and David had already used that to proclaim victory.
We must speak the Word of God and do the same thing David did – run quickly to the battle line and watch the defeat of our Goliath!
If David had not come along, taken a stand and defeated Goliath, I believe the Philistines would’ve soon tired of this daily game and because of the fear shown by the Israelites, would’ve defeated them. Do not let your Goliaths defeat you. Take your stand, with your feet firmly planted at the battle line, on the Rock and celebrate victory in our Lord! Hallelujah!
Written by Karran Martin