The story of David really is a fascinating one. He was the youngest of his brothers and least likely to be king, but he would go on to be Israel’s greatest monarch. God called him a man after his own heart in 1 Samuel 13:14. For most of his life, he was successful in every way. David was also a failure, both in his morality and as the leader of God’s chosen people. He committed what I consider the worst act of the Bible when he led Bathsheba into adultery, got her pregnant, and then had her husband killed so that he could marry her to cover up his immorality. He certainly was a complicated character.
Whenever you hear the name David, what is the first story that comes to your mind? I’m willing to bet that it is David vs. Goliath. We were taught this tale from the time that we were children. If you do not know the story or have forgotten the details, let me fill you in. Israel was battling a country by the name of Philistine that inhabited some of the land that was promised to them. David, who was about 15 at the time and not old enough to be a soldier, went to the battle to deliver his brothers some supplies. While he was there, he overheard a man named Goliath challenging the Israel army to send someone to fight him. Whoever would win the fight, their side would win the entire war. On top of that, Goliath was also insulting God. None of the Israelites volunteered to fight this man. This probably had something to do with the fact that Goliath was almost 10’ tall, and the average man was around 5’5” at that time. Nevertheless, David offered to fight the giant. After a back-and-forth with King Saul, David was allowed to battle Goliath. All of Israel’s future was riding on the shoulders of this boy.
When Goliath saw David, he mocked him and Israel for sending such a weak competitor. However, David was not deterred. He informed the pompous and powerful Philistine that he was not afraid of him because God was on his side. David shouted, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47). Then, the overmatched boy took a rock, put it in his sling, launched it at Goliath, nailed him in the head, and the giant fell to the ground dead. To make sure that the job was completed, the future king then cut off the giant’s head. All of this is found in 1 Samuel 17.
This story has been a favorite one for Christians to share over the years. It has a lot of the elements that we love. It is a story of good vs. bad. David was the original underdog who was up against something that clearly overmatched him but came out victorious. It is an inspirational anecdote that shows that we too can conquer our giants. Mostly though, I believe that this is a story of faith.
David displayed confidence in God every step of the way- not just when he slung the stone. In my opinion, he most displayed his faith when he looked Goliath in the eye and told him that he would kill the giant because God was on his side. That is what I believe we most need to take from this story. If God is on our side, we will not fail. It doesn’t matter what we are facing. We all have “giants” in our lives that stand in our way. That can be anything from relationships, financial issues, health issues, our lives falling apart, sin that we are struggling with, unsure of our future, etc. There will always be problems in this world for us; Jesus promised us that in John 16:33. In that verse, he also told us that he has, “overcome the world.” In addition, he has promised us that he will always be with us, forever (Matthew 28:20).
Whatever it is that we are facing, it is not greater than Jesus and his love for you. Whatever it is that is staring at you right now and telling you that it’s going to destroy you, respond to it with the words of David, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47). The battle that you are fighting is not yours; it is the Lord’s. This is what Paul says to do in Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” God is for you and is ready to fight your battles. Have faith, walk into that arena with your giant with confidence because you know who it is that loves you and is on your side, and let God win the battle and set you free. He did it for David, and he will do it for you.