Face Your Goliath

By Marcy Barthelette

Our evening walk takes us past a small neighborhood church with a message board out front that always bears a thought-provoking message. “For every Goliath,   there is a stone!”, the latest post, caused me to ponder where this theme could take me. The story of David and Goliath is one of my earliest Sunday School memories and I’m sure many of you share that memory. It’s made of the kind of stuff that stirs a child-sized imagination to amazing heights.

Everyone loves a story with an underdog and to everyone’s eye, David was the definitive underdog, a mere boy challenging an enormous hulk of a man whose nine-foot body was protected by an incredible array of armor. David found himself at the scene of a standoff between an army of Israelites and a much stronger army of Philistines. He was there because he had been sent with food for three of his older brothers and tasked to bring news of their condition back to their father, Jesse, who was a farmer and sheep breeder as well as part of the lineage of Jesus. All of his sons had taken their turns as shepherds but David, as the youngest, was now tending the sheep. A day off from those smelly animals to explore the scene of a mighty battle must have seemed quite the adventure to the young man, but what kind of situation did he find when he arrived?.

Goliath was a giant of a Philistine and he carried an assortment of deadly weapons. For each of forty days, he had come forward and called upon the Israelites to send just one man out to fight him. The winner would be able to claim the entire other army as subjects. David had heard the giant mocking God and so, when he was told of the challenge, David volunteered to meet the giant on the battlefield. King Saul, leader of the Israelite army tried desperately to convince David that a mere boy could not possibly confront Goliath. When he realized that David was determined to try, Saul offered him any armor that he needed but David chose to meet the giant girded only with the armor of God.

Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them

in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.

I Samuel 17:40

As he ran toward the giant, he raised his trusty slingshot in the air, armed with one of his chosen stones. His aim was true, it hit Goliath directly in the forehead and dropped him to the ground. The army of Philistines was so shocked to see their giant lying on the ground that they turned and ran. Israel won the battle because one young boy stepped out in faith.

This had probably not been part of David’s plan for the day and he was certainly not saved by his skill with a slingshot, though he may have been quite proficient. The giant was conquered by David’s faith that God would be with him. David knew that he might die but he would do so proclaiming the sovereignty of God the Father. How do we stack up in that situation? Are we willing to stand tall for God even if it means we may die and, for that matter, what sort of Goliaths do we face in today’s world?

The term Goliath has come to be equated with conquering our demons, overcoming great odds, and becoming the victor. We hear stories of a rescuer plunging into the water and saving a drowning child only to lose his own life in the effort. Firefighters enter burning buildings to extract trapped victims and succumb to smoke inhalation. Field medics enter the line of fire to treat wounded soldiers at peril to themselves. We don’t know if these heroes were believers in God but we do know that God is in control of every situation. We don’t always survive the circumstances in which He places us but he is there beside us every step of the way and if He chooses to bring us home to Him, we will go.

So, what are the giants in our everyday lives? Debt? Illness? Fear? Depression? Addiction? Guilt? It’s time to defeat them. Put on the full armor of God and trust Him to be there for you. He has a never-ending pocket of stones to hurl at that giant. Have faith! He’ll take good care of you, either here on earth or, when He chooses,  in His heavenly kingdom.

         It is for us to make the effort; the result is always in God’s hands. Mahatma Gandhi

Faith is the most powerful of all the forces operating in humanity and when you have it in depth

nothing can get you down. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

(To study the full story of David and Goliath, please go to I Samuel 17.)


Leave a Reply