This morning I read a written by Joyce Bethy Ferguson (@bethy) entitled Thinking On Bravery she makes reference to the story of David and Goliath. Her blog caused me to think about the various "giants" in my life that I have faced over the years and how tempting it is to pretend they are not there. Ignoring giants does not make them go away. It makes them bolder and more powerful. Every day, just like Goliath, our giant presents itself before us, issuing a challenge and mocking us as we quiver in our tent hoping that it will quietly go away and leave us alone. It never does. In fact, over time, it will rob us of everything we have, leaving us with nothing.
That's what happened to the Israelites. Every day they cowered as Goliath came to challenge and mock them. Their land had been ravaged by the Philistines. They had gathered their army to fight back but when they saw the giant in the camp of the enemy their courage fled.
What was the challenge? One man had to go one on one with the giant and slay him. No one was willing to take up the challenge so there they sat, living with their enemies, day after day after day. Meanwhile, the Philistines continued to rob them of all that they had.
Ignoring the problem does not make it go away. You have to face it and deal with it and sometimes that takes courage.
The Israelites had forgotten that they were living in the land that God had promised them. They had forgotten that He had promised to deliver their enemies into their hands. Instead of declaring and trusting in the promises of God and facing the enemy they continued to camp next to their enemy.
David did not forget.
When he learned of the situation he was mystified. How dare the Philistines mess with God's people! Why didn't anyone take up the challenge and slay this giant once and for all? If no one else was going to do it, he would!
They dressed him in the armor of King Saul but he would have none of that. It was too heavy and cumbersome. He knew his defense was not in the armor of the king, his defense was in the armor of God.
David was an unlikely warrior. He was not a soldier, he was a shepherd boy. He was probably in his teens and as a shepherd, he was looked down upon. God had helped him kill a lion and a bear with his sling and some stones and he knew that God could help him do the same with Goliath. This enemy was no different than any other enemy he had faced. It might be bigger, stronger, better-armored and louder but that made no difference to God. David knew that God would deliver the enemy into his hand.
And so David went forth, trusting not in his own power and might but in the power and might of the Lord God Almighty whom he loved and served. He went forth and faced the giant.
Goliath was both shocked and angry. Were the Israelites mocking him by sending out this mere boy armed with only a shepherd's sling? He taunted David and threatened to kill him and let the birds and the animals pick at his flesh.
David did not turn and run. He stood his ground and said to the giant:
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)
David did not come against the giant with the weapons of the flesh. He came against him in the name of the Lord Almighty. David acknowledged that God would give him power over the giant who stood before him and that the battle was the Lord's.
That's exactly what happened. The giant was struck down and decapitated. The Philistine army fled and was pursued and cut down by the Israelites. Then the enemy's camp was plundered and that which had been stolen from them was restored.
At the moment, you may be facing a "giant". It is tempting to go and sit in your tent, close your eyes and hope it will go away and leave you alone. Perhaps you have even tried to stuff your ears with cotton in order to silence it's cries but the problem is, the giant has only gotten stronger and louder over the years. You can no longer ignore him or muffle his words.
The giant has beaten you down, mocked you and robbed you of your strength, peace of mind, joy and even relationships. You have been left with nothing except a shattered life.
This is not the end of the story. Dare to believe in God's promises. Dare to stand upon His Word. Dare to take up the weapons God has given you. Dare to face your giant in the name of the Lord. Dare to wield your weapon, knowing that God will direct it and deliver a mortal wound. Dare to cut off it's head, declaring that it will never trouble you again for it is dead. Dare to go into the enemy's camp and take back that which was stolen from you.
Dare to believe and then go forth in faith.
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Image courtesy of Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org.