No matter where you are in the world and despite your religious background, the account from the Old Testament about David and Goliath seems to be known around the globe. I can remember from a very early age hearing about this story and thinking about how awesome it was that David beat a giant! However, an epic battle wasn’t the point of this account. David faces the Goliath with a very important truth that we will see here in just a little while.
David vs. Goliath
1 Samuel 17 starts off by describing this battle that is taking place between Israel and a race of people called the Philistines. The Philistines have this champion named Goliath, and he was huge (estimated 9ft 9inches). It goes on to describe that size and weight of all the armor that this guy is wearing (About 125lbs). So obviously this guy is huge, strong, and terrifying. He shouted this challenge to the Israelites telling them to send forth their best man. If Israel’s best man can beat Goliath, then the Philistines would become the servants of Israel. But if Goliath wins, then Israel would be the servants of the Philistines. All of the Israelite soldiers and King Saul were terrified of Goliath. There wasn’t anybody who was willing to step up and fight against Goliath.
The story suddenly shifts to David. David was a shepherd and the youngest of all the sons of Jesse (most likely around 16-18 years old). His older three brothers had went to war with King Saul, but David would go back in forth between the King and his fathers flock to take care of it. Goliath had been provoking Israel for 40 days and issued the same challenge each day. One day David came with some supplies to his brothers like normal, and saw what Goliath was doing to the army of Israel.
As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines
and spoke the same words as before.
And David heard him.
All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up?
Surely he has come up to defy Israel.
And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”
And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
~1 Samuel 17:23-27
The Truth David Knew
We see a huge difference between how David viewed Goliath, and how Israel did. Israel saw Goliath, and allowed fear to paralyze them because they didn’t have what it takes. They trusted in their own strength, resources, and abilities to save them, but they knew it wasn’t enough. When push came to shove, they just cowered.
However, David did not cower in fear. David saw Goliath as someone that could be conquered and defeated. David believed this not because he was the strongest man, or the biggest man, or the most skilled fighter, or had a secret trick, but because David trusted in God. Why did he trust God? Because he remembered God’s faithfulness to Israel in the past, but not only to Israel. David knew God’s faithfulness to be true in his own life.
And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
~1 Samuel 17:37
David remembered the ways that God had taken care of him and provided for him in the past, and he trusted that God was going to do that for him again. So David went out to face Goliath with just a sling and some stones. Goliath laughed and mocked David, believing that this little man could never defeat him with such a primitive weapon. Lo and behold, David fired a stone from his sling as the giant began to rush him, and down went Goliath. David won because he chose to face Goliath in the strength of God, and not shrink back.
I remember a time when my car, a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, was in need of several different repairs. After several quotes and trips to repair shops, the total cost for me to fix my car was well over $1,000. As you might imagine, I did not just have $1,000 lying around anywhere. But I remembered countless other times that God had faithfully provided what I needed, so I chose in that moment to believe that God cared about my need, and I began praying that He would provide a way to fix my car.
I had a friend reach out and offer to fix my car for $400. Later that week, I received a check in the mail for $400 exactly from a local ministry that wanted to bless me. God had provided everything that I needed in that situation! I look back at the situation often because I remember God hearing my prayer, and being faithful to meet the need that I had. This causes me to be able to look at situations today and believe that God is going to be faithful again to me!
Certainly this was not the same thing as facing a giant with the reputation of an entire nation on my shoulders, but nonetheless it was God coming through for me. God may not always answer our prayers by sending money in the mail, or causing a giant to fall flat on his face with a stone. There are many times God did not just send a check in the mail or magically split open the skies. However, God has always seen me through every circumstance in my life. And He will do the same for you. We can trust that He will never leave us on our own. God will be faithful and see us through to the other side.
Remember the Lord
God has promised to show unconditional and faithful love to those who put their trust in Him! We can put our trust in God because we know that He cares for our lives. His love runs so deep, and He is a generous God. David knew this and filled many of the Psalms in the Bible with these truths. I have experienced this many times over in my life, and God will prove Himself many times over in your life as well.
It is so crucial that we remember God’s faithfulness in our lives. Remembering what God has done in our life will inspire faith in life’s most difficult moments. Many times we tend to face hard setbacks or difficult circumstances with the wrong perspective. It is easy to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed and scared when we face hard things. But when we choose to trust in God, we are able to face those challenges with a different mindset. It doesn’t make the task any less difficult, but when we face it trusting in God then we face it with hope that we will come out on the other side.
“Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!”
What hard circumstances have you faced in your life? Have you experienced God showing His faithfulness to you? I’d love to hear your comments below and hear your thoughts!