Summary: By God's grace we can overcome the giants in our lives. Watch what you are focusing on. Do what you possibly can.
1 Samuel 17 records the famous story of young boy David fighting against the giant Philistine soldier Goliath.
• This event likely happened after chapter 14 chronologically speaking, because at this point King Saul still does not know David.
• It is likely that the author recaps what happened when David was young, after mentioning in 1 Sam 16 that David went to the palace to play music for Saul.
Israel was at war with the Philistines and they were intimated by a giant Goliath, standing over 9 feet tall (3 metres, 17:4).
• For 40 days this Goliath would come out every morning and evening to take his stand and mock the army of Israel, challenging them to fight him, one on one.
• It’s a tradition in ancient warfare to have single combat - a way of settling dispute without incurring the bloodshed of an all-out war.
Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified (17:11) at seeing Goliath.
• Until David steps into the arena. Read 1 Samuel 17:17-37.
David was sent by his father to look for his brothers, to get an update on the war and bring along some food.
• He got to know that they were in a deadlock and Goliath was taunting them. While everyone was afraid, David was unhappy and offered to fight him.
• King Saul got to know about it and interviewed him. David was eventually sent to the battle front. He confronted Goliath and killed him with a sling and a stone.
We are familiar with this story. There are many contrasts in this encounter.
• How the people feels and how David feels, what they see and what David sees, what they rely on and what David depends on, what drives them and what motivates David.
• Looking at these contrasts we can derive lessons from David, and understand how we too can face giants in life with greater courage.
1. WATCH WHAT YOU ARE FOCUSING ON
What we focus on affects us. What exactly are you staring at?
• 17:24 “When the Israelites SAW the man, they all ran from him in great fear.”
• Looking at Goliath, the reaction of Saul and his men was: “Do you see how this man keeps coming out?” (17:25)
• David’s response was: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” (17:26)
• One says, look at him. The other says, Who is he? I’m sure there is a difference of tone here. Can you sense a contrast?
To be frank, Goliath is really huge – 3 metres tall, his bronze armour weighs 5000 shekels (57kg) (17:5). That’s the weight of 3 persons’ luggage.
• And the tip of his spear (iron point) is 600 shekels (7 kg) (17:7)
• We are not trying to play down the issue and pretend that he is not gigantic. Goliath is really huge.
• And “he has been a fighting man from his youth” (17:33) according to Saul. A seasoned and experienced warrior. So the problem is real and it is big.
But that’s the human perspective! That’s only the perspective of man.
• David was less bothered by it because he saw things from the different perspective. He sees it from God’s perspective.
• He says, “Who is this UNCIRCUMCISED Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (17:26)
Did you catch the difference? He’s not just a Philistine, he is an uncircumcised Philistine fighting against God’s army! He qualifies the description of this man.
• Circumcision is a sign that God instituted with Abraham (Gen 17:10-14).
• It’s the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants, that they will be a people belonging to God; set apart for God’s glory, sanctified and holy.
• This man does not belong to God. He is an immoral pagan fighting against a holy God, a mere mortal defying a mighty God, the sinner against a holy God.
You noticed that each time David refers to his army, he says we are “the armies of the living God”. (17:26, 36 to Saul, 45 to Goliath)
• David sees things from a spiritual perspective. Who is he in the sight of God?!
• Saul sees it as a fight of our size against his size, our muscle against his muscle, our weapons against his weapons, and our experience against his experience.
• David sees it as conflict between God and evil, it’s a fight between the holy and unrighteous, between the glory of God and the pride of man.
Are you facing a giant problem or an impossible situation? Stop for a minute and REFOCUS.
• Don’t stare at your problem with mortal lens. See the situation from God's vantage point. Adopt a SPIRITUAL perspective.
• Saul sees Goliath and say, “He is so big! We can never kill him!”