The story of David and Goliath is one of the most familiar stories of the Bible. Sports broadcasters and announcers like to use this story to explain Great teams vs. Not So Great Teams. When the odds are heavy on one side of the competition. Remember when the New Jersey Nets faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2002 NBA Finals, everyone was saying this is a David and Goliath contest. This story is shared with little children to teach the lesson of overcoming great odds or little people can do great things. However, this story also has something to teach young adults and adults. We know the outcome, we know how the story ends, but how did David muster up enough courage to face Goliath when no one else could. How did David stand up for the Lord against all odds?
Let us examine the situation. The situation is clear-cut. Two nations are at war Israel and Philistine. The dispute could be settled by simply sending down their respective champions. The Champion of the Philistines is Goliath, the famous giant of Gath. Whose height was "six cubits and a span", which, taking the cubit at 21 inches, is equal to 10 1/2 feet, truly a giant of a man. For forty days, Goliath called for any challengers, but none came from Israel.
There are giants we have to face today. Problems and concerns can feel like giants. Health problems, Financial problems and Marital problems can all feel like giants. Governmental problems, Employment problems and Children problems can look like giants. Theses giants even have names. Names like Visa, Discover, Mortage. Names like Rescission, Terrorism and Anthrax. Names like Cancer, Arthrisis and even Aids. Old names like Drug Additions, Infidelity, and Violence. New names like Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Taliban. Large corporation are folding in the face of some of these giants. We feel powerless and unequipped to handle the giants of this new millennium. Like Goliath, these giants are standing in the valley, intimidating us, scaring us, putting the spirit of fear in us. But there is some good news. The good news is that others have faced giants and walked away victorious. Others have stood toe to toe with giants and came out on top. Giants don’t have to win. We can overcome the giants in our lives.
Now let us remember the other characters in this story. We have David’s Brother. David’s big brother, one whom David no doubt admired and looked up to. However, when David suggest that someone should go down and face Goliath, his brother tries to discourage you. One of the first things we must do if we are to conquer the giants in our life is to overcome discouragement. There will be people close to you who will try to convince you that you cannot beat the odds. You cannot beat the system. The giant is too great and you are too small. But, with God, all things are possible. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Do not allow anyone to tell you that you cannot conquer and overcome the seemingly giant problems and obstacles in you path.
Next person we see is Saul. I see Saul as a lover and not a fighter. We live now where a lot of people think they are lovers and not fighters (spiritual). They do not fight to keep their marriages, their community free from drugs, their children from the wrong crowds; they will not fight for anything. However, the children of God are called to Stand up and fight with the weapons of God, prayer, praise, and the word of God. Not each other, not physical violence, but with what Martin Luther King, Jr. called soul force. Draw a line in the sand, tell the evil of this world this far and no further.
So how did David muster up enough courage to go down to face Goliath? David says that he has fought the lion and the bear and God has delivered him from them. The lion likes to hunt at night, under the cover of darkness. The lion likes to keep its prey in fear with his loud roar and then it seeks out the weakest in the group to separate them from the rest. The Devil is described as a roaring lion in 1 Peter 5:8. He cannot destroy you but he can scare you to death. This is how the Devil tries to conquer our soul. By making a lot of noise. Fill our lives with so much busy-ness that we cannot hear the voice of God. Problems seem greater than they are because the Devil amplifies and magnifies the problem in our lives. However, David had the testimony that God has delivered him from the lion. David had the testimony that problems and challenges that he had in the past that seems too big to conquer God has already delivered him. We should learn from our experiences with the lions in our lives. When we were kids the dark, and monsters under the bed scared us but God has delivered us into adulthood, therefore we should not be afraid. We should use our past experiences with God to help us stand for God in the face of present and real dangers.
Secondly, David recalls how God has also delivered him from the Bear. In scriptures the bear is more furious than a lion (Amos 5:19) & (Prov. 28:15). The bear is certainly a very cross animal; the name that was given to it in Bible times means a grumbler or growler. Hibernates, lay dormant during the winter months then comes out hungry and grumpy. That is a bad combination. Some people are like that ambitious and irritable. Anything will set them off. They are always complaining about something, problems in the world, problems in schools, problems in the family, problems in the government, problems in the church. Something is wrong with everybody and everything. It is too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry. Nothing seems to please them, and they attack you. They attack your dreams, they attack you plans, they attack you hopes. If you have never faced a bear-type person, just keep on living. However, David had the testimony that God had delivered him from the bear.
It is based on these testimonies that David could face Goliath. David had faith that with God’s help he could face the enemy. David believed that if God delivered from the lion and the bear, he will surely deliver him from this giant. You can face the great challenges when you realize that God has delivered in the past. When you realize that God has delivered you from sin and temptation in the past, you should be able to stand for God now in the face of wickedness and unrighteousness. If the Lord have saved your soul, you should stand for him. Every trial, every tribulation, every test makes me stronger to face the giants in my life. You will be able to say the same God that brought me through that will bring me through this one.
After you have conquered your lion, after you have conquered you bear you will are capable of conquering the giant. In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews we are told how the heroes and heroines of the past were able to conquer and overcome great obstacles in their spiritual journeys by faith. By faith David was able to conquer Goliath. We too will be able to conquer the giants by faith. Faith that has been forged by experiences, faith that has been tried by lions and bears, faith that has been through the fire of disappointments and setbacks. By Faith we will be able to stand for God in this present age.