Summary: David defeating Goliath is a uiversal lesson that teaches all of us how to defeat our worst enemies - Satan, sin, and self.
Defeating your Enemies
Most great heroes are defined by the enemies that they defeat. Just listen to the name of these heroes and see if their enemies do not come readily to mind: Batman (Joker, Penguin, Riddler); Superman (Lex Luthor); Flash Gordon (Ming the Merciless). The list goes on and is true throughout all of literature: King Arthur and Mordred; Beowolf and Grendel.
The greatest of all heroic battles is David and … Goliath of course. In fact, many of the great hero stories are patterned after David and Goliath. The timeless truths of this epic battle in scripture suggest it to our human experience. We can all relate to the underdog, fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds, a fearsome opponent, and summoning the will to fight. These are all human experiences to which we can relate. That is why God included this great event in scripture – because He knew we would all face times like this and need the lessons from the life of David of how to defeat an overwhelming enemy.
Read I Samuel 17.
DEFINING YOUR REAL ENEMIES
You find in the first few verses of I Samuel 17 that the stage for battle is set. The army of the Philistines has already taken ground from the children of Israel. They are camped in land belonging to Judah. Each army is entrenched on opposing hillsides with a valley between them that will be the site of battle.
This is a beautiful picture of life as we live it today. There are forces of good and evil. There is holiness and sin. Everyday of your life is a battle between the force of holiness and sin. We are surrounded by choices that strive to pull us one way or the other. The New Testament often uses the analogy of spiritual battle to explain life to us: “Put on the whole armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.” See Ephesians 6.
In our culture today, sin has already taken ground that once belonged to the Lord and holiness. Sin has taken over areas that once belonged to the church. The divorce rate in the church is as high as outside the church. Preachers too often give “encouragement lessons” instead of preaching about holiness. The government and liberal philosophy is gaining ground in re-defining marriage as homosexual marriage. They even call it “gay.”
The normal course of life will always bring you to the front line of battle. It cannot be avoided. Even when David ends up at the battle front, it is because he is obeying his father’s instructions to take food to his brother. As a Christian living in a fallen world, you cannot avoid battle.
Therefore, you must learn to recognize your true enemy. We fight against all sorts of things and too often fight the wrong things. Here God shows us a clear picture of a true enemy: Goliath. Look at him. What makes him an enemy is not that he is a gentile. Throughout the Old Testament, we see gentiles turn in repentance towards the Lord. Rahab and Ruth are both found in David’s own lineage.
It is the fact that he defies God that makes him an enemy. He also tries to draw the focus of the Israelites away from God. See how he taunts them stating that they “follow Saul.” They are not the armies of Saul, but are supposed to be the armies of the Living God. If they had kept this mindset, they would have had the confidence to fight the Philistines. He also tries to get them to fight one-on-one. That is not ever God’s plan. He calls us to fight as an army.
These characteristics help us properly define our true enemies: Satan, sin and self. These are our only true enemies. Circumstances some would say. They are not enemies. They may form the valley in which the battle is fought, but they are not enemies. Unfortunately, many Christians treat people who are unsaved as the enemy. They are NOT! That is one reason that we have lost our passion for evangelism. We have become so weak through taking our eyes off of Jesus that we have trained ourselves to fear and loath lost people instead of recognizing that they are prisoners of war and not the enemy. They are captives of Satan and not our enemies.
Satan, sin, and self are the only things that seek to defy God, defeat us, and draw us to focus inward on ourselves and to withdraw from the presence of God. We must learn that in every battle, we are looking for the enemy that is active see what its true goals is. Fight the right enemy and you will win. Fight the valley and you will loose.