The story of David and Goliath is one which many people have known since childhood. It is of course a very good story, with the little guy winning. But what does God say to us today through it?
The first thing we notice is that David’s confidence was based on his experience. He had had to rescue his sheep from bears and lions, and had single-handedly killed those predators if they turned on him. Such feats were truly remarkable; but David pointed to the real reason for his successful exploits – God. He knew from experience God’s power to save, and had no doubt that God would defend his honour against the taunts of this giant.
King Saul assumed David will also need armour and a helmet – none better than his own; but David had not ‘worn them in’, so preferred to use the resources he was used to. (Don’t imagine David was too small. Saul would not have thought of offering his armour if he did not think it would fit.)
We can’t help but admire David’s reply to Goliath’s curses, especially verse 47. David is not denying the usefulness of swords and spears. He used them for the rest of his fighting life. What he is saying is that the most effective weapon any person could have is ‘the name of God’. In other words, our hope for success lies not in our techniques or ability or technology, but in doing our task as God’s agents. God is able to work through us even if we do not have all the ‘necessary equipment’, provided that we are in tune with him as David was, and that our chief aim is for God to be honoured, and his will done on earth as in heaven.
David’s confidence and experience were still needed. He faced Goliath with supreme courage, running towards him; and his skill with the sling spoke of hours of practice. He had faith both in God and in the gifts and talents God had developed in him.
1) What has God taught you through your experience?
2) What ‘Goliaths’ do you face?