Summary: Facing up to our giants and stepping out in faith, believing God will help us overcome them.
Have you ever faced something so big, a problem, a trial, a difficulty, that it seemed impossible to overcome, insurmountable. It was/is your giant. No not literally a 9½ foot tall person. Your giant may be a sickness (like cancer), depression, worry, fear, an addiction, a habit, an attitude, a sin, financial trouble, failing marriage, broken relationship, a lawsuit, unemployment. David shows us that we need to face our giants head on, and step out in faith believing God will help us overcome our giants, whether that means eliminating them, or helping us to bear the burden so they no longer have a grip on our life.
In 1 Sam. 17 we read one of the most famous stories in the Bible, David and Goliath. It all began when the Philistines, a neighboring country to Israel, gathered for war against Israel. They lined up their forces on one side of the valley and the Israelite army was on the other side. Neither army wanted to make the first move because whichever one attacked first they would have the disadvantage because the army with the higher ground always had the advantage. Instead of going to battle, the Philistines sent a representative from their army to challenge a single representative from the Israelite army. Whoever won that fight won the battle. The champion the Philistines selected was who? Goliath. Goliath stood 9 ½ ft. tall (the same height as this cardboard cutout), his armor weighed approximately 125 lbs. The head of his spear alone weighted 15 lbs. For 40 days these two armies lined up at the battle call, and every day Goliath would come forward from the Philistine line and issued his insult and challenge to the Israelite army. And every day the Israelite army, including King Saul and David’s three oldest brothers, would run in fear back to their camp. In their eyes there was no way they could defeat Goliath, he was an impossible problem.
1. Face the Problem, Don’t Run Away or Get Sidetracked
Hiding from the giant
When we face giant problems in our life, we tend to do the same thing the Israelite army did. We become so overwhelmed by our problem that we tend to run from it or ignore it because we are either afraid it or we don’t know what to do about it. Unfortunately, our problems rarely go away on their own, when we run or ignore them, instead they have a tendency to get bigger, and every day the problem seems more intimidating than the day before.
Example: People start having health problem but refuse to go to the doctor for fear that something is wrong.
Another tendency we have when facing giants is to do what David’s brother Eliab did. We tend to skirt the real issue and start arguing with people about insignificant issues. When David’s brother Eliab heard that David was inquiring about the reward for killing Goliath, he got steamed that his littlest brother, the anointed one [say sarcastically], was even thinking of challenging Goliath, and Eliab jumped down David’s throat and falsely accused him leaving his responsibilities (David’s sheep) just to come see the battle.
The truth was that David’s oldest brother Eliab was shaking in his boots, and he knew David had seen his cowardice. So out of his own guilt and jealousy of his brother, he began accusing David of ridiculous things. The problem was not with David, the problem was that there was a nine foot tall giant out on the battlefield that David’s brothers were afraid to face.
Many times when we face a giant problem and are unwilling to address it or deal with the problem we begin to lay into those around us about insignificant issues, we make mountains out of molehills, all the while ignoring the elephant in the room, the real issue. We know there is an issue but we are afraid to deal with it. Do you sometimes get distracted away from a major problem, and start arguments over insignificant issues?
Example: Husband who has been given an impossible task to do with an impossible deadline then comes home and yells at his wife for dinner being 5 minutes late. “I can’t believe you have dinner late, I told you I would be home at 5:30 and here it’s 5:35.”
Facing the Giant
David did neither of these things, he teaches us the first principle. David faced the giant. When David heard the threats of Goliath, he asked (17:26), ‘who does this Philistine think he is anyway that he would defy the armies of God?’ David wasn’t going to hear any of it. He wasn’t going to let this giant insult God and God’s people. He wasn’t going to live in fear, he was going to defeat the giant. He was going to face the problem head on, and deal with it right away, not on his own strength but by God’s might.