David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 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. 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 17:45-47 NIV
The story of David and Goliath is probably one of the best-known stories in the Old Testament. It is a story that has even reached out into the language of our American culture. Anytime the underdog takes on a person, a team, or a corporation that is much larger and more powerful, we describe it as David taking on Goliath. But there is much more to this story than just a victorious underdog.
How old is David when he takes on Goliath? He is likely older than many pictures that make him look as though he was a pre or early teen. David seems to quickly become an army commander after this event, indicating that he was likely an adult. But, regardless, by human standards, he was no match for Goliath. Goliath was huge, heavily armed, and a seasoned warrior. One who struck fear into Israel’s soldiers. By contrast, David was just a shepherd with no combat experience and was unfamiliar with weapons of war. On the surface, it does not seem like much of a fair fight.
And, in reality, it was not fair. Because David had a secret weapon. He was trusting in God for the outcome. He knew that he alone could not beat Goliath. But he also knew that God could, and would, deliver him from Goliath and the whole Philistine army.
When You Face Goliath
And what was true for David in his battle with Goliath is true for us today when we engage with the enemies of the gospel of Christ. We have a tendency to see the struggle from a physical human perspective. But our struggle is not against other people. It is a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-18), and our weapons should not be the weapons of the world (2 Cor. 10:4).
When you find yourself up against Goliath, don’t try to fight him in your own strength and wisdom. When you do, you will likely fail. Instead, put on your spiritual armor and take your stand in the strength that the Lord provides. Realize that the battle is the Lord’s and not yours. And when you do, the outcome will be quite different.