Can we face our Giants?
1 Samuel 17:41-58
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.
54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.
55 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?”
Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.”
56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”
57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.
58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.
David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”
Another week goes by and another new super hero blockbuster is released. There is a reason why super hero films are so popular, it’s because they resonate with us. There is something about being the hero we love, we desire… jumping in to save the day, helping people and fixing things. Putting an end to the injustice, stopping the villain and bringing the bullies to justice. Here, David is the unlikely hero standing up to the villain and bringing justice to the bully. When we read this, it helps us to have courage and face our own giants in life. Because while all the odds were against David he comes out the victor, he comes out the champion of his people.
The problem I find when it comes to a story like this is I love to see myself as the hero. It’s because I want to be the hero, I want to be there facing my giants, marching out to meet my foe, armed with my faith in my heart and a sling in my hand awaiting whatever comes my way all the while humming ‘onward Christian soldier.’ But in the end, I am the hero of the story. What we see in this account is a boy who is too small and weak to even where a suit of armour, yet God uses his weakness to bring victory against all odds. There is nothing wrong with being strong and courageous but the reality of what we see here is that David should not of won this battle. He was a boy and Goliath was a giant can that be any more obvious who is meant to be the victor? But when we look at this account and see God as the hero then the truth of this passage is able to change our hearts.
We are meant to see God as the true hero of this passage, with the harsh reality that we are more like Israel sitting on the sideline then like David marching out to battle. While Israel are passive, David actively wins this battle and his victory is credited to his people. In the same way we are not the champions of our salvation, we are not able to defeat sin and death, we need a champion to fight in our place, while we lay helplessly on the sidelines. This champion is Jesus and his victory over sin and death is credited to anyone who believes in him by grace through faith. Take courage that God works through our weaknesses! Our greatest giants were defeated by our champion Jesus on the cross, that we can boast not in ourselves but in the Cross of Christ: ‘May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world’ Gal 6:14.
Head: With impossible odds this account demonstrates who the real hero is. While we like to believe we are the hero’s and see ourselves in David’s place, we see that God is the real hero here.
Heart: How does knowing that God is the true hero and has defeated our greatest enemies, help you understand God?
Hands: How does knowing that God is the true hero and has defeated our greatest enemies, help you to live your day today?
Prayer: Lord thank you for being the hero. Lord forgive me for the times that I have tried to act the hero and take the credit and glory that rightfully belong to you. Thank you that you have won the victory and faced the giants that I can never face. Lord help me to trust in you, help me make you my great stronghold and help me to find my rest in you. Amen
A song to listen to: From the Day
Ben Harvey – Adelaide Presbyterian Church