Standing at nearly ten-foot-tall, the man must have looked like an armored tank to young David. He wore a helmet of brass upon his head and a coat of scale armor of about 125 pounds of bronze. The bible describes the armor and war tools in details, giving us a vivid picture of Goliath’s fearsome stature and strength.
David had come up from Bethlehem with the mere purpose of bringing food to his brothers, who were battling the Philistines in the valley of Elah. But as he arrived at the camp, he heard Goliath’s defiance and blasphemy against Israel’s God.
And thus the battle became his.
As David goes before Saul to ask permission to fight Goliath, his small stature surprises the king. He was but a boy, compared to the giant. Saul didn’t see how he could win.
And then David tells him the story.
“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.
The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:34-37 NASB)
As I read this story for the umpteenth time this morning, my heart filled with new wonder.
I imagine that the whole incident with the lion and the bear back in Bethlehem made more sense to David when he stood before Saul and pled his case that day.
The lion and the bear were an instrument, an opportunity disguised as danger. Indeed, David must have realized that the fight with those strong and mighty animals were but an exercise to prepare him to fight the enemies of Israel.
And to equip him to become King.
He knew he couldn’t have killed a lion and a bear… And yet, he did.
There was only one possibility.
His deliverance back in Bethlehem’s pastures did not come from his own strength. It had to be supernatural. God’s own weight brought the wild animals down to protect his anointed one.
And now, David knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the same strength and guidance that made him kill the bear and the lion… would be with him in the valley of Elah.
He drew strength from his past… and aimed for the future. With one small round stone, righteous indignation and zealous love for Yahweh, he pointed and shot.
God took that small stone and made it hit Goliath with the weight of a boulder.
“This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.” (vs.46)
Can you picture this small-framed young man standing before the giant with the boldness of a man holding an AR-15?
I smile because I think of the repeated trials in my life… and how each victory has strengthened my resolve to proclaim to the world:
It’s ok… God’s got this. Been there, done that. Have the T-shirt to prove it.
And the scars to remind me.
David drew strength to defy his enemies from the battles he saw God fight in his place. He didn’t draw strength from his wisdom, his power, much less his circumstances.
He drew strength from realizing that each time his life was in danger, each time his provision seemed not to be adequate, each time his enemies seemed to be more powerful and his deliverance uncertain, GOD would show up and do what only God can do.
Ohhhh! It’s a halleluiah moment on my desk right now!
Because I may not see my future, but I know this much:
The same God who delivered me from the bears and the lions in my past….
The same God who provided manna in my desserts…
The same God who opened the Red Seas of impossibilities before me over and over again…
He’s got this! Praise His Name!
That’s why I can boldly look at any enemy in the eye, and proclaim to any circumstance I may face:
As for me, everyone will know that there is a God in Heaven and that it is not by worldly measures or power that He saves. For the battle is His, and he will deliver me from this circumstance.