This is a continuation of my discussion of the story of David and Goliath. See 1 Samuel 17-18 in the Bible for the story.
Faith in God
I think the main lesson from this story concerns faith in God. You can see David’s faith in that he didn’t hesitate to volunteer to do battle against this formidable warrior. David knew his God Jehovah would give him the victory because God had helped him before, against wild animals. He knew God had given him the skills, tools and experience to be victorious. He knew that his God was more powerful than the pagan gods. He knew he had been chosen by God to be the next king – God wasn’t going to let his anointed be killed before he even had a chance to take the throne. We see that faith expressed in Psalm 18:50, which David wrote:
Great triumphs [God] gives to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever. NRSV
We also see David’s faith in God for the victory, not weapons:
Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God. NRSV
When you and I face problems, it will help us to recall how God has helped us in the past. We can take heart because God gives is strength, the courage, and the guidance we need to deal with what we are facing, if we ask him.
The Right Perspective
What a difference perspective can make. Saul and his troops saw only a giant who was mocking them and their God, and they cowered in fear. David, however, saw a mortal man defying almighty God, and was ready to stand up to him. David viewed Goliath was a target too big to miss – the bigger they are, the harder they fall. He knew he would not be alone when he faced Goliath, because the battle is the Lord’s. Proverbs 21:31 says:
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD. NRSV
In one particular situation, the Lord said this to the Israelites in 2 Chronicles 20:15b):
“Do not fear or be dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God’s.” NRSV
David looked at his situation from God’s point of view. For you and me, viewing what appears to be impossible situations from God’s point of view helps us put our “giant” problems in perspective. David didn’t see an unbeatable giant, but a vulnerable man whom God would defeat through David.
More about the story of David and Goliath in a future post.