My Thoughts. . .
I met my first bully in the first grade. He was going to use me to sweep the sidewalk. Did I run to him to accept his challenge? Dream on! I took off for our apartment as soon as the dismissal bell rang. He spotted me, but being smaller, I was more fleet of foot. My mom was sitting on the steps of our apartment building. I knew I would be safe. She asked why THAT boy was following. I confessed all. She shocked me and sent me back into the jaws of death. I walked to the bully and told him I was going to fight him. I tried to keep my voice from showing my fear. His eyes widened in shock when he backed up. He stuttered and fled. I was relieved, but still weak in the knees. I wanted to run from this boy who was bigger and stronger than I was. However, David the teenager, RAN to his huge opponent (1 Samuel 17:48). I salved my conscience by explaining that David was armed, I wasn’t!
Goliath came out and challenged Israel’s champion to meet him in combat. Each man hoped another would accept the challenge. None did. Not even King Saul volunteered. David’s father sent him to check on his fighting sons. When Goliath made his usual threat and challenge, David saw fear in the eyes of his brothers. So, he accepted the challenge. Rather than receiving a pat on the back from his fighting brethren, he had to endure their scorn. Man hasn’t changed much, have we?
David was offered Saul’s armor. It was too heavy and cumbersome. He crossed a brook and picked up 5 smooth stones (1 Samuel 17:40). When Goliath saw David, he was not impressed and poured out his scorn on this boy who was an insult to him. David told Goliath that he did not come to him with sword, spear, or shield. He came in the name of Yahweh (vv. 45-47). He informed Goliath that God had given him into his hands. Goliath is assumed to have been nine feet, nine inches tall, weighing about six hundred pounds. If you and I had been there, we would have had enough sense to leave that area and get as far away as possible. Only an idiot would believe the Israelites had a ghost of a chance in being victorious. David RAN too, but TOWARD Goliath (v.48). Goliath saw David’s hand go into his bag. He saw David load that smooth stone into his sling. He saw David twirl that sling around above his head. He saw the release of that smooth stone from the sling and watched it flying swiftly in his direction. When it hit, that was the last thought he had. Six hundred pounds lost that fight and thundered to the ground. Philistine mouths dropped open. Disbelief spread among their ranks. Their champion was down, and a count was not needed. That wee little boy picked up Goliath’s huge but razor-sharp sword and Goliath lost his head (v. 51).
That loss sent panic tearing into the hearts of the Philistines. A dust storm called retreat was created. The frightened hearts of the Israelite soldiers were converted as they became cross country runners, chasing after their swift footed enemy. Saul had no idea who this boy was. When he found out it was David, the youth stood before him with a large head in his hand! Frankly, I would have thrown up if I had attempted to cut off Goliath’s head!
David was well trained in using his sling. He had already killed a lion and a bear that were threatening his father’s sheep. His talent and belief in God erased his fear, steadied his hand, and focused his sight. He did not praise his ability with the sling, but rather gave glory to God (vv. 45-47). Rather than mimic his brothers and their fellow soldiers, he refused to be fearful. He did not run away. He ran to be near Goliath, putting the giant within deadly distance of that smooth stone.
Rather than broadcasting our talents as our success, we need to learn from young David that God is the better choice.