Facing the Giant

Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 16; 17

For forty days, the nine-foot Philistine champion, Goliath, came forward every morning and evening to taunt the Israelite army, who always "ran from him in great fear" (17:24). When the shepherd boy, David, brought food to his brothers on the battle line, he inquired about the giant and offered to fight him. King Saul gave him a full armor, but David chose to go, instead, with just his shepherd's staff, his sling, and five smooth stones he picked from the stream. As David approached the giant, Goliath despised and cursed him, seeing that he was "only a boy" (17:42). David said to him, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty ...whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head..." (17:45-46). "Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground" (17:49). "When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines..." (17:51-52).

We all have giants in our lives that loom before us and make us cower. The giant seems so big, so powerful, so overwhelming; we are dismayed and terrified (17:11) and we run from it in great fear (17:24). When the giant comes to challenge me, he taunts me, defying my God and claiming victory (17:42-44). He laughs at my cowardice, and threatens to destroy me. I fear that I'm not big enough or strong enough to face him. I'm not! But I need only to depend on God; he is the one who will defeat the enemy for me. I can't face the enemy in my own strength or with weapons of the flesh, but I can attack him with the tools God supplies; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give the enemy into my hand (17:47). I don't need to be afraid. If I remember the times when God has given me his strength to kill the "lions and bears" that have attacked me before, then I can be confident that, in his strength, I can also defeat this giant (17:34-37).

God will enable me to triumph over my fears. He will supply the victory. Then, released from my fear and filled with new courage from my victory, I will joyfully and confidently rush forward to face the many challenges that remain before me, just as the Israelites surged forward with a great shout and pursued and defeated their enemies (17:52). "And the whole world will know that there is a God…. Everybody will see that the Lord doesn't need swords or spears to save his people. The Lord always wins his battles and he will help us" (17:46-47 NIV/CEV).