|C.E. Brock, Bible Picture Gallery|
We are at war! Are we fighting? Or are we too intimidated…
As a youth, David traveled to the battlefield of Socoh where three of his oldest brothers had joined Saul’s army to defend it against a Philistine attack. David was going as a courier with provisions, yet didn’t find Israel fighting when he arrived. (1 Samuel 17)
Why not? Weren’t they at war?
Consider the giant, intimidating nine-foot Philistine warrior, Goliath. This enemy solider stood against Israel, arrogantly flashing a seventeen pound spear that was twenty-six feet long, tipped with an iron spear-head also weighing seventeen pounds. Thirty five pounds is the weight of two heavy bowling balls by comparison. Can you imagine the strength it took to throw a spear like that?
Goliath’s bronze scale-armor and helmet weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze shin guards, carried a bronze javelin on his back between his shoulders and a sword by his side (1 Samuel 21:9). It has been estimated that the total weight of Goliath’s armor and weaponry would have been at least 700 pounds. A bit intimidating, wouldn’t you say?
This enormous enemy towered over and mocked the army of Israel and the living God, calling for an individual to fight against him. “Choose a man for yourselves and let him draw near to me.” We have to wonder don’t we… why did Goliath want a personal confrontation rather than a battle between armies? Did he crave the attention? Or was the Philistine army inferior and using Goliath as a diversion? Whatever the reason, Goliath was dictating the battle much like Satan attempts to dictate our battles today, calling us out to face huge obstacles of fear...alone.
David picked up five stones from a nearby brook and ran toward the battle line with nothing more than a slingshot. Catapulted from his sling, the first stone pierced Goliath’s forehead, killing the giant instantly. David did not fight in hand to hand combat. Like Indiana Jones pulling out a gun against the flashing sword of an attacking Ninja warrior, David used a slingshot against 700 pounds of enemy weaponry. David’s faith changed the terms of battle to be in God’s hands, not those of Goliath.
We are living in a day of huge, taunting giants, who are mocking the kingdom of the living God and calling us out individually. It is intimidating to think of fighting these giants by ourselves because we feel so powerless in comparison. Yet, we can and we must fight in just the same way as David – by faith in our victorious God. David picked up five stones because there were four other giants besides Goliath in Saul’s army he might have to face (2 Samuel 21:18-22). David was willing though. Are we?