One of many intriguing dimensions of the story of David and Goliath is found in 1 Samuel 17:38 – “Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail.”
You will recall that the Israelites were camped out and essentially feared the Philistine so much that no one could take his challenge. David stepped up and volunteered to take on the giant Goliath.
There are so many lessons we can learn from the story of David and Goliath; but there are three images that just jump off the page for me, and I think they are instructive for normal, everyday living.
The first image is the absence of anyone to step up and take on this giant. No one was willing to confront this big, ugly man. They were all hiding in their tents. These men claimed to be soldiers, but they were trying to deny that this intimidating man was there.
We often find ourselves in circumstances that we would love to deny, close our eyes and hope they will disappear. The problem is that sooner or later eyes must be opened to reality. And reality means giants are in the lives of everyone. And, even though we can get wise counsel from other people, no one can face our giants for us. We must stand up in the faces of our own giants.
The second image for me is the picture in my mind of David wearing Saul’s battle gear. The pieces of Saul’s gear did not fit David, and there is the image of this young boy wearing all this armor.
I am intrigued by Saul’s attempt to get David to wear his armor. As the king, Saul had a massive amount of armored protection, and Saul insisted that David wear it. In obedience to his king, David did, although he immediately took it off because it was too large for him.
We cannot fight our giants by being someone else. We are most likely to win our battles by being ourselves.
What does God expect as storms come our way? He expects us to be true to ourselves and what we bring to the moment. David picked up five smooth stones and used the very weapon that he had relied on many times in his life. With his sling he planted a stone into Goliath’s forehead. He used what was already accessible. He just needed to claim it. For every one of us there are gifts and resources already at hand as we face our giants.
The third image takes a little imagination. As you watch this contest in your mind’s eye, there is a clear sense that David is not alone. Clearly God was with him.
If Holy Scripture is true, and I believe it is, we are not alone in our daily contests. We face them with help that comes in surprising ways, help that is often not discovered until we are in the midst of the challenge.
You and I must fight giants every day. Those giants will not be Philistines, but they will appear as giants. We can’t fight our giants in the manner that someone else would. God has given us certain talents and they will allow us to accomplish what we are called to do. What are your giants today? God is already preparing what you will need.
The Rev. Al Cadenhead leads Providence Baptist Church: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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