One of my all time favorite bible stories as a child, and even now (almost all grown up) is David and Goliath.
As a little girl growing up in the country with very little access to a television set, I developed a love for reading. In Sunday School , I soon fell in love with the beautiful stories from the bible and appreciated very much those children’s books with all the illustrations of biblical characters.
The story of David and Goliath was one of my favorites because, even then, I knew what it was to appreciate and admire people who fought against the odds and were victorious – valiant warriors. As a child I admired them, but today, I strive to be one. David was one of them. He not only conquered but slew the villain, Goliath, for the good of Israel.
The thing is though, David didn’t look much like a warrior. In fact, he was a boy, young and small in statue. He most likely did not have a buff physique. I think the one thing, in physical attribute, David had going for him, according to the bible, he was handsome.
Goliath, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. A grown man well over 9 feet tall, he was big and strong. He was a giant. He had fought in numerous battles and was considered a very experienced warrior.
So the question of the day is…
What was it about David that propelled him from a lowly shepherd boy to a great warrior (and later, King)?
Simply this….God saw David’s heart.
As his choice of weaponry in his attack against Goliath, David chose 5 smooth stones and a sling. It was probably the most common weapon a boy his age would have available to him. And the only weapon he knew how to use well. I want to surmise that each one of those 5 stones represented a significant truth or characteristic of David.
Let’s have a look.
Stone #1 David was called
Israel was looking for a new king; Saul wasn’t doing such a great job and God had another king in mind. So He sent Samuel into Bethlehem to the house of Jesse to anoint the chosen one. When Samuel saw Jesse’s first son, Eliab, the Lord said to him “Do not look on his appearance or the height of his stature because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuels 16:7
After 7 of Jesse’s sons were rejected by God, on Samuel’s request, Jesse called for David, who was out tending the sheep. It seemed not even his own father considered David, the shepherd boy, capable of ruling the nation of Israel. But on David’s arrival the Lord said to Samuel “‘Arise, anoint him for this is he.’ Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him…and the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” 1 Sam 16:12&13. Most certainly, David was called by the Lord.
Stone #2 David had faith
God had shown Himself faithful to David on numerous occasions in the past. We hear him share his experiences with King Saul in 1 Sam 17: 34-37
“Your servant has been keeping his father‘s sheep when a lion or a bear come and carried off a sheep from the flock I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from it’s mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by the hair, struck it and killed it. The Lord who has rescued me from the jaw of the lion and the jaw of the bear will also rescue me from the hand of the Philistine.”
Each challenge that David faced, increased his faith in God and prepared him for the next one. He knew he could trust in “the living God” to deliver him. He also knew without faith it was impossible to please God and that by this same faith he could face his challenges instead of running away from them.
Stone #3 David knew God & knew the Word
In order for David to have had such confidence, he had to truly know God; which meant knowing what God’s word says. He had to believe God would protect him and do what He said He would do. He had to believe God keeps His promises.
David was not at loss for words when he said to Goliath “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled.” He boldly proclaimed his God! He knew God intimately.
Stone #4 David acted courageously
I am certain there was a part of David that felt fear. After all, Goliath was no small enemy. So when David looked at the sheer size of Goliath in comparison to his small stature, he must have trembled at the knees a bit. Even so, he stood firm and showed true courage by doing what he knew needed to get done in spite of the fear he must have been feeling.
In 1 Sam 17:32 David said to Saul “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” And even as Goliath advanced towards David and mocked him, David boldly declared
“This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I will strike you down and cut your head off … for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give all of you into our hands.”
Stone #5 David acted in Obedience
David’s first act of obedience was to his father. Jesse asked his youngest son to bring food for his older brothers who were on the battle field and to bring him back news of the war. This act of obedience brought David directly to where God wanted him to be.
“Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jessie had directed.” 1 Sam 17:20
I also believe that while David was on the sidelines of the battle field, listening to his brothers and other Israelites, God spoke to his heart about facing Goliath. David wanted to keep and obey God’s laws and he was ready and willing to do whatever God wanted him to do. It was more important for him to obey God than worry about what his older brothers would say to him.
So what lessons can we learn from David?
■We learn to focus on the power of our God instead of the size or complexity of our problems. There is no situation or problem we face in life that is too big for God to handle. God will never call us to a task He does not equip us for.
■We also learn to trust God’s way even when our situation seems impossible to overcome. There will be times when we are required to step out in faith in a situation that doesn’t make much sense to us or even others, but that’s when we need to really trust God. We simply follow and obey because God is faithful.
■There is a wealth of knowlege that comes with knowing God’s word and the more we know His word, the better understanding we have of who God is. When we cultivate an intimate relationship with God we can more effectively speak His word in and over our situations.
■And we learn that as we trust God, we gain the confidence we need to face our challenges instead of running from them in fear. We won’t be easily intimidated because we know our hope and strength comes from our living God.
What Goliath are you facing today?
Remember, great victories can happen when we face our giants with God!
And by the way, you want to know what I believe David’s sling represented?
The power of God!! Nothing propels us ahead through any challenges or trials more mightily than the power of God.
The mystery that remains would then be, which stone sacked the giant between the eyes? I don’t think it really matters since each stone personified who David was, a “man after God’s own heart.”
Come on, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!