Sometime ago, this phrase jumped into my mind, it was quite surprising because it had been a while since I read the story of David and Goliath (almost everyone knows the story) but as I meditated on it, I began to see some very interesting parallels between this story and your story, yes I mean you, like David and Saul you too have had to face some significant challenges or Goliaths in life and if I must be true to the word of God, you will still experience more, now I am not wishing bad on you, just telling you the plain truth.
Job said ‘man that is born of a woman is born unto trouble as certainly as sparks fly upwards’ Jesus put it more clearly when He said ‘In the world you will have tribulation’ John 16:33
It is not a matter of if but of when and how, in a recent face book post I said, what you believe will not spare you from life’s challenges but it will definitely influence the result of the challenge, you can think about that.
In Samuel 17, The Army of Israel led by their king Saul faced a considerable challenge in the form of Goliath, a massive 11ft plus of terrifying muscle, his battle armour was well bruised and battered from years of use and the fact that He was still there was an indication of what happened to the unfortunate souls that crossed his path in battle. He was the champion of the Philistines, a seagoing people with serious expansionist aims,
For forty days Goliath stood on the mountain across the valley from the Children of Israel and belted out his challenge, ‘let Israel send its champion over and fight me, whoever wins will be master over the losing army’ he said, this was a challenge nobody was willing to take him up on. Goliath was a problem that would not go away.
Any Goliaths in your life? That intractable situation that the very mention of sends shivers down your spines and a few others too, perhaps it is a health issue, the dreaded C word, or some domestic situation that is snowballing into the biggest crises of your life, our goliaths differ but ‘his’ voice has the same effect, fear, unbridled fear and a sense of despair and hopelessness.
This was the situation that David met when He visited his brothers in the camp of the army of Israel; he saw a terrified bunch of battle hardened warriors cowering at the sound of their goliath.
A little background here, this was the army of Israel, God’s people through His covenant with Abraham, God had brought them out of a life of bondage in Egypt and had subdued bigger, stronger nations than they and He had given them the land they occupied, they had a history of defeating bigger, stronger nations, what was wrong?
The problem was in the armour of Saul, How could the armour of Saul be the problem, you may say? After all it is proper for soldiers to dress in battle armour. Yes it is, but for the Children of Israel there was a significant difference, the armies of the nations around them depended on their valour, tactics, strength and numbers, this was what their armour represented, the human input in battle, the nation of Israel had God as their armour ( Genesis 15:1) their confidence was in Him.
David and Saul had a common heritage, they were both God’s covenant people through Abraham, but Saul had walked for a long time depending on his own strength, abilities and resources (His armour) that he had forgotten how to draw upon the resources of his covenant with God, mind you Saul maintained all the outward trappings of faith, but the heart connection to the God of his covenant was missing. When Goliath showed up, he represented something far beyond what Saul’s abilities could cope with, his heart failed him, this is what always happen to people of faith who have walked or too long in their own wisdom, strength and or resources, many of these people are good, sincere people, but they never learned like Saul to draw upon the resources of their covenant with God.
Daniel said ‘those that know their God shall be strong and do exploits’ Dan. 11:36 and may I add the converse is also true ‘those who don’t know their God shall be weak and be exploited’.
Israel’s covenant with God put at their disposal the inestimable resources of God at their disposal, but Saul was unable to access them, he had the form of religion but the power thereof was missing.
Jesus established a covenant platform for the Church (Mathew 26:26- 29) this platform guaranteed access to the inestimable resources and abilities of God, now you understand why Paul could say
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
Contrast this to David, the young untrained shepherd boy, unskilled in the art of war but one who maintained a living contact with the God of his covenant, He had a history He and his God, that is, of dealing with greater mightier foes, God was David’s secret weapon, His armour and shield, His guarantee of victory but Goliath did not know this, he thought he would do to David, what he had done to many before him he was about to get a life ending shock.