Based on I Samuel 17
It was an infamous day ~ infamous because it was so unlikely. No one ever anticipated the outcome. Little wonder we haven’t stopped talking about it ever since.
The Bible, historical accounts, and legend agree that Goliath was a monstrosity of a man. He lived in the era when giants roamed the earth. According to God’s Word this giant was 6 cubits and a span. If we interpret a cubit as 18 inches, this hulk was approximately 9’9” tall. That’s almost the height of my living room ceiling! Now let’s dress this warrior in the armor he wore on that fateful day.
His bronze helmet and coat of mail weighed 125 lbs. That doesn’t include the weight of the bronze greaves he wore over his legs. Strapped to his back was a javelin as thick as a weaver’s beam with an iron spearhead weighing approximately 17 lbs. No doubt his physical frame was cloaked in as much muscle as his bronze armor. Can you imagine what an intimidating sight this man was?
Goliath taunted the Israeli army every morning and every night. He was hungry for a worthy opponent. He struck fear in anyone within earshot. No one wanted to take on the giant, not even King Saul who would have been the most likely opponent for Goliath.
Enter a young shepherd boy named David.
David was not a heavy infantry soldier like Goliath. David was a slinger. Ancient slingers were armed with a leather strap used as a projectile. It has been said that a skilled ancient slinger could reach 6-7 revolutions per second with a leather strap creating the stopping power of a 45-millimeter gun. A slinger could hit an object at a distance of up to 200 yards away. How’s that for speed and accuracy! Goliath faced a formidable opponent. But David’s skills, as good as they were, could not lay claim to this victory. The battle belonged to the Lord. And He would be glorified through it.
Goliath became angry when David stepped onto the battlefield. So surprised that his opponent was a mere boy, he began firing off angry words of disdain.
‘Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. I Samuel 17:43 (underline emphasis mine)
Big mistake! This giant did not wage war with a young shepherd boy. He waged war with God Almighty. Words breathe life and death, and Goliath was about to reap the prophesy of his own foolish words.
In the Valley of Elah where the battle took place, the stones are made of barium sulfate. They are twice the density of regular stones. Isn’t it amazing how God is involved in even the minor details of this story? One stone ~ that’s all it took. The steps of a good man are truly ordered by God, and on that day God handed David the very weapon he needed to fell a giant.
David ran at Goliath without a shred of armor. But in the spirit David was arrayed in the full armor of God. Dressed in heaven’s favor the sword of the Spirit proceeded from his mouth as David proclaimed the might and power of the Lord God Almighty. He prophesied Goliath’s death and the manner with which he would kill him. Faith was David’s military campaign. Tell me, who could stand against such a campaign?
As David released the stone it shot from the sling with bullet-like speed. His aim was so precise that the stone embedded in a small exposed space on Goliath’s forehead. And the giant came crashing to the ground.
Then David did something very powerful. He ran to Goliath and drawing his opponent’s sword he cut off his head. That day the Philistine camp received a clear message ~ the God of Israel will not be mocked. The very weapon Goliath threatened David with was the weapon God used to silence a faithless Philistine.
David’s faith walk is a blueprint for us. He began his journey into manhood watching over lowly sheep. While his work seemed menial and mundane he handled his responsibilities with excellence. While he honed his craft as a slinger, he cultivated an intimate, vibrant relationship with God in a season of obscurity. When his life became more complicated he knew how to lean into God, the source of his strength.
Every frame – from battling Goliath to running from Saul in the wilderness – was intense preparation for the greatest role God would grant David as king over Israel. Never was there a king as beloved as David. The Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart. What made David so special? It was the posture of his heart. Though David was drawn out of a shepherd’s field and into a royal palace as king over Israel, he never let his station change his allegiance. His heart remained supple before God. In his heart David was always the young shepherd boy who loved his Daddy in heaven.
Friend, God wants us to remain supple before Him no matter what frame we find ourselves in. Every frame has its purpose. Every frame is preparation for the next task God has for us. Many times our preparation is forged in mundane activities that we deem useless. Other times our preparation is forged in the most painful seasons. But if we determine to keep our hearts humble we, like David, will be children after God’s own heart. We will watch as God takes down our enemies one by one. The hard circumstances of life will come crashing to the ground as we proclaim God’s Word. And when our lives round out and the final frame is drawn to a close we will be able to stand before our King and say we gave Him all the glory through a life well lived.
We’re coming up on another firstfruits fast. Can you believe it? This year is flying by. We’ll gather in the sanctuary on Tuesday, October 1st at 7 p.m. for an hour of prayer. Will you come join us? In Matthew 26:40 Jesus asked if the disciples could give him just one hour. Can we? I think we should.
Hope to see you there,
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6b
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”