This is a continuation of my discussion of the story of David and Goliath. See 1 Samuel 17-18.
David was not discouraged by the insults of his brothers, who told him he had no business being there and he should go home to his sheep. He wasn’t discouraged by Saul, who said he was only a boy and shouldn’t even think of fighting this experienced warrior. David wasn’t discouraged by Goliath’s taunts and, most likely, by the laughter and insults coming from the Philistines.
David wasn’t discouraged that this giant was armored with a helmet, coat of mail, armor on his legs, a huge spear with an iron tip, a sword and shield. This guy was formidable, but that didn’t discourage David. We, also, shouldn’t allow ourselves to be discouraged or overwhelmed by things in life, even when they seem too large to handle. Let us always keep our eyes on God, who is our ever-present help in times of need, as we read in Psalm 46:1-3:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. NRSV
God Prepared David
Finally, God used circumstances to prepare David all his life, just as God prepares us to do his work. First, God prepared David for his battle with Goliath by his experience with the wild animals while tending his father’s flock. This experience gave him the skills to bring down the giant with a stone.
Second, God prepared David to be the future king by having Saul bring him into the army. David learned leadership skills, military tactics, and got to know important people. David also spent time in Saul’s court, so David learned about that as well.
We can see that God arranges circumstances to fit with his plan.
You and I might not be fighting physical battles like Saul and his army, but we are fighting spiritual and emotional battles all the time. We are battling temptations, discouragement, frustration, and feelings of helplessness and being overwhelmed. Yet God assures us in Romans 8:37 that “…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (NIV) Let us always keep in mind the words of David in Psalm 18:2-3:
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
In his battle with Goliath, David fought for the glory of God. He came to the contest in the name of the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel. He wanted Goliath, the Philistine army, and all the earth to know that the true and living God was Israel’s God. Goliath had ridiculed Israel’s God and blasphemed his holy name, but David set the record straight. David saw this as a contest between the true God of Israel and the false gods of the Philistines.
Our life is also a struggle against the false gods of this world: greed, jealously, materialism, and self. Rather than giving in to these false gods, let us always do things for God’s glory, and not for our own.