Summary: Part 2 of a series on the Life of David.
Insights from the Life of David – Part 2:
“Overcoming Giants: David & Goliath”
In case you hadn’t noticed I’m not the tallest person around. And really up until my freshman year in college in many ways my body hadn’t caught up with my age. I was a shrimp in middle school and even in high school to the point that when I went to get my driver’s permit after my sixteenth birthday the clerk told me to come back in a couple of years because I had to be sixteen. When I first started driving I had to take a pillow with me in the car to see over the steering wheel.
It may seem funny to those of you who’ve never had to deal with this problem but to those of us who are vertically challenged this is a serious dilemma.
At no time was my size more of an issue in my life than during the fifth grade. I may have told this story before, so if you remember it please bear with me. But this incident left an indelible impression on my mind.
I was enrolled at the YMCA’s 5th and 6th grade gym and swim where my peers all looked 2-3 years older than I did. On one particular evening after having gone through the painful practice of choosing up teams, of which I was the last to be chosen, we began a game of dodge ball in the gymnasium. Rather than going on the offense my strategy in the game was completely defensive. I attempted to avoid any confrontation and managed to stay away from the ball and away from any battles that were taking place. On this particular night my strategy worked. As I continued to stay away from the ball the other boys continued to battle it out. One by one my peers were hit with the ball and forced to sit down. Suddenly I realized that there were only three people left on the court and I was one of them. I’d never been in this situation before. To this day I don’t know how I survived that long but as I watched, the bully, who won every game, threw the ball at the other kid with all his force nailing him to the wall. But what he didn’t count on was the fact that the ball would ricochet off the wall in my direction. Suddenly I found myself standing with the ball in my hand facing my worst nightmare. I felt like David as he faced Goliath. Everyone knew that I couldn’t throw the ball anywhere near as accurately or forcefully as my opponent and everyone, including myself, knew that this kid could crush me like a tin can. With every ounce of strength I had I hurled the ball through the air and struck my opponent in the leg thereby winning the game! I won’t go into what happened in the locker room afterwards – let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight as the giant crushed the dwarf.
Regardless of the bruises I sustained in the locker room after the game I left the Y that night feeling like I was on top of the world. Little did I realize that the boy in the Y would be the smallest of many giants that I would encounter in life.
Our story this morning is a familiar story whether you were brought up in Sunday School or not. Most people know about David and Goliath. David as we discovered last week is a young boy when he enters the scene and is anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next King. In between last week’s reading and this week’s reading a couple of things occur. First of all following David’s anointing as the next King, he is recruited because of his ability to play the harp and he’s put to work in the King’s Court to comfort the King when ever he’s afflicted with what we’re told was an evil spirit. Now understand that King Saul had no idea that this was to be his successor.
And of great significance to us as we study the life of this man is the fact that in between the time he was appointed as King and this point he’s been going back and forth still tending to his father’s sheep. Now I don’t know about you, but I would have thought that since he had been anointed as the next King he would have deserved some sort of special treatment. At the very least one of his brothers should have taken over his shepherding responsibilities and David should have been assigned a more respective place in the family while he awaited his new calling. But David goes back and forth between the king’s court and his sheep until the day that his Father asks him to go to the battlefield to check up on his brothers and take them some food. You know the story. When David arrives on the battle field one of the Philistines, who’s name was Goliath was taunting the people of Israel challenging them to a one-on-one battle with their strongest man, a tactic that was commonly used in the Eastern World. Whoever won, his army won. And whoever lost, his whole army lost.