The Israelite army was afraid. In fact, King “Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified” (1 Samuel 17:11) because of the giant Goliath. He taunted them morning and evening. He was huge (over nine feet tall), well equipped, and well armed.
David didn’t seem to notice. He didn’t focus on Goliath’s size or helmet or coat of armor. He didn’t consider the javelin on Goliath’s back or his shield or his sword. David’s focus was on God’s faithfulness. When a lion, and on another occasion a bear, carried off a sheep, David didn’t analyze his strength in relation to the bear or lion. He rescued the sheep, and when the animals turned on him, David killed the bear and the lion with the strength God provided.
When it came to David vs. Goliath, the odds were not in David’s favor. He was unprotected. He didn’t have a coat of armor or a shield bearer going before him to fend off Goliath’s javelin. David was underwhelming in size and armed with a “stick” (Goliath’s word) and a slingshot. How much of Goliath’s forehead was even visible, vulnerable, and uncovered by Goliath’s helmet? Even if David’s aim was precise, what sort of target did he have?
“Do not be afraid of sudden terror . . . because the Lord will be your confidence” (Proverbs 3:25,26 EHV).
The New International Version of the Bible translates this passage, “Have no fear,” as in none. As in don’t waste your time or consider what could go wrong or how you are going to make it if things don’t go as planned. Don’t go through the scenarios evaluating the percentage of favorable to unfavorable outcomes. And whatever you do, don’t curl in a ball and pull the sheets over your head (my go-to).
Don’t put your confidence in your résumé or past performance, the many good decisions you’ve made, your strength, or the well-positioned friends around you. Make God, the Lord God Almighty—your refuge, strength, fortress, shield—your confidence. There’s no one stronger. There’s nothing mightier.
Maybe you, like me, fall for Satan’s taunts all too often. Maybe the headlines and rumors and millions of willing vessels (like Goliath) only too happy to do Satan’s bidding get under your skin and cause you to fret like they do me.
We need to stop looking at Goliath and fix our eyes on Jesus.
Too often I look at the email or the diagnosis or the news reporter (the armor, the shield bearer, the javelin, and the sword). I look at the corruption, injustice, and powerful forces going against the unarmed, uninformed, unprotected. And it all seems so out of control, so lopsided, so unfair.
A man brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus. Things were totally out of control. The demon often threw the boy into fire or water. The parents were woefully unmatched against the demon.
The man said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-24).
How many times have you prayed, “If possible, if there’s a way, if only”?
Jesus’ brother James would say this: “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:6-8).
We can go through life running from all the Goliaths, shaking on the hillsides, and complaining to whoever will listen. Or we can look the Goliaths in the eye and confidently remind them as David did: “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 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” (1 Samuel 17:45,47).