The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. The Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.’ But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.’ When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Here we find David, untrained in weapons of war, much sheltered by being the youngest member of his family. However, in his own way, what a giant he was in his trust of the Almighty God!
So easily he could have been rather proud and haughty as, dare I say, many of us were as teenagers. Instead, remembering how God had helped him as a shepherd in the fields to wield the simple sling and stone, he stuck with these things with which he was familiar. To him they were all that were needed but there was more to his simple faith than what literally met Goliath’s eye. In this scene of conflict he did not forget that the battle was not his to win. He did not boast of his own prowess at defending his flock from wolf or bear attack, and how a mere giant would be a walkover. Instead his trust was totally in his God whom he knew would fight for him and therefore it was God’s battle and not David’s to win.
Goliath may well have thought that David’s words were empty and boastful but dare I say that his one fatal mistake, as it was to become, was that he had left God out of things?
God gave the victory to David who had wholeheartedly trusted only in Him, and Goliath got his just deserts, for taking the mickey out of this unworldly youngster.
What a tremendous example to us, that the only One on whom we can truly rely is the same Lord God Almighty. Let’s make sure that we make Him our first choice and not our last resort!
God our Almighty Father, the rock of faith in whom David trusted, humbly we come to you to acknowledge our need of you to help fight our battles. May we realise that to enlist your aid is not weakness, but like David may we forever seek your face when the going gets tough. As David did, may we give you the glory knowing that you alone are the only One who is the strength we need and the one true victor. Amen.
Verena Walder Lay Preacher and Elder. Tabernacle URC Mumbles.