Facing our Goliaths…


1 Samuel 17:19 Now Saul (the king), and (young David’s brothers), and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. 24 All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid. 25 The Israelites said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free in Israel.” 26 David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

The passage paints such an interesting scene for us. The armies of Israel, thousands of warriors equipped with armor, sword, and shield, form a battle line – only to turn back when they see the giant Goliath. But not David, who was just a teenager with no armor or weapon or training in warfare. As we will read in the passage for tomorrow, David volunteers to fight Goliath when no one else in Israel’s army steps up. At first it seems laughable, even suicidal, that David would fight Goliath. But then we read the last sentence above:

“For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

Every other warrior of Israel looks at Goliath, sees a mountain of a man, and hides. David sees Goliath and feels no fear. Why? Because David understands it is the living God who fights for Israel, not the warriors of Israel. As such David knows he has nothing to worry about. Hence, he volunteers to fight on Israel’s behalf.

As I think about our passage this morning I see Goliath as a metaphor for the struggles, cares, problems of life. We all have at least one Goliath we’re batting right now. Maybe several. I’ll admit there are many times I’m much more like the warriors of Israel than I am like David. This morning I’m asking the Lord to search my heart for places of fear. Fear is normal – it happens. But our passage is reminding me that I do not face my Goliaths alone. God goes into battle with me, and with you, every day.

Lord give us grace to trust your presence in and around us. Turn our hearts from fear to hope in you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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