“Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. 12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.” 1 Samuel 17.8-16
A part of me finds it hard to believe that Goliath was allowed to taunt the enemies of the Lord for forty days. Forty days! That is a very long time. Forty days in which to insult God’s army. Forty days for the soldiers of Israel to bare the humiliation and weakness of not responding. Forty days for David to arrive on the scene and shift the momentum of the battle.
Now when David showed up, he was a boy and not a warrior. He was untested. Kind of like LeBron James in high school — he showed some talent but could he win in the NBA? David showed talent by tending sheep and defending them from the animals (lions and bears) that would attack them a night. But would this be enough?
Goliath taunted Israel for forty days and not a man stood up to face him. I mean, who would? He was huge, powerful and intimidating. Nine feet tall! Made of muscle and born to fight and kill. No one have the skill to go against him with sword, spear or javelin. Goliath shouted, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” But still, no one would defend the honor of Israel.
And then there was David, the youngest son of an Ephrathite named Jesse. His three older brothers were on the field of battle but none of them came forward to face the giant. David was tending sheep and would often come back and forth hearing Goliath’s taunts and waiting for a man to stand up and fight.
Sometime we find ourselves in a situation not unlike the Israelites. We are facing giants and waiting for someone to fight our battles. We confess our own lack of courage and inability to do what God has called us to do. But in truth, only God can fight for us. It was David who killed Goliath but only through the strength and anointing of the Lord. He is our sword and our shield, our Protector and our Savior.
The Israelites could have waited for a mighty warrior or they could have called upon the Lord. We see no record of them making sacrifices, praying, fasting or making offerings to God during this time. They simply remained where they were and took the insults.
I wonder what we are waiting for? Why not ask the Lord to intercede for us? Why not call upon him to defeat our giants, help us face our fears and be the person of faith He has called us to be?
“O Lord God, you are good. I am weak without you. I am unable to stand on my own. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me know the Presence of the One who can save me and redeem me from my sins. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen