Goliath of Gath had been terrifying King Saul’s army for forty days. Yes, Goliath was a giant. He was loud-mouthed and threatening, equipped with note-worthy armor, shield and sword. He looked formidable, he sounded formidable. Saul and his army believed their eyes and the enemy and cowered before him. But this kind of cowardice did not happen overnight. We see the root of this around 25 years ago, as recorded in 1 Samuel 13.
When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns.-1 Samuel 13:6
Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.-1 Samuel 13:19
So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them.-1 Samuel 13:22
King Saul was anointed to be the leader of Israel. He was anointed to be used by God to give victory to Israel. Yet, under his rule, the people became scattered, defenselessly hiding in caves, stripped of weapons and convinced of defeat.
Saul was led by fear. He was afraid of the people scattering leading him to offer an unlawful sacrifice to God (1 Samuel 13:12). He saw himself as small, operated from insecurity and accumulated that which God commanded to destroy (1 Samuel 15:17). Instead of rallying the people to move in faith in God, he stood with them, silenced against the challenge. He gave excuses instead of truly repenting and he led the people into unbelief.
The nation of Israel stood facing old enemies quaking with fear. Until Young David shows up as an errand boy/shepherd boy/ musician. When David saw the enemy smearing the name of God, David adjusted his resume before King Saul and stepped up.
“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”
David had the same or worse limitations as everyone else in the country. A long history of war against powerful enemies, lack of armor, weapons, and fitting leadership. He was easily discounted by his own family and he was altogether nonthreatening to Goliath with his stick and his sling. But He had trained with God. He had felt God move through him when he killed the lion and the bear. He didn’t fight from a place of self-reliance. He didn’t trust in his physical prowess or his great skill or Saul’s armor but as he ran towards the giant. He was singularly propelled by his conviction. And before him, Goliath fell, slain by his own sword.
The enemy had planned well and stripped away the weapons from Israel, terrorized them and oppressed them. But when an anointed man of God stepped into the battle field with a clear conviction, the enemy’s weapon was turned against his own head.
Saul continued on his downward spiral being consumed by madness and envious rage against the anointed, prosperous, faithful David. When David fled from Saul weapon-less, afraid and hungry, true to form, he ran to the house of God. There he met the priest Abhimelech who gave him the holy bread and armed him with a familiar sword.
The priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.” 1 SAMUEL 21:9
Dearly beloved, the weapons of the enemy may seem advanced. The tricks and strategies may seem insufferable. The challenges we face may appear insurmountable. But we can overcome the oppressor as we are anointed and convicted by the Holy Spirit. God has a PLAN. God is in CHARGE. God only wants a PARTNER.
People around us may fail, may step back and fall off track. People may reject us or attack us. But if we rise like David, God will turn the enemy’s advantage against him. When we are overwhelmed, if we respond like David, God will remind us of the lions, the bears and the sword of giants that we slayed by the power of God and we will build the Kingdom just like David.
Centuries have passed but the city of David stands. The throne of David lasts. That’s the power of God upon an anointed man whose convictions are focused on God.