The sermon I heard today spoke truth to a well-familiar story from the Bible. David vs. Goliath. The epic battle of good vs. evil. Put up a scrawny 17-year-old shepherd boy against a nearly 10-foot monster of a man and you start to get chills for the kid. Picture Justin Bieber vs. Arnold Schwarznegger circa his Conan the Barbarian days. Not a chance, right? Think again! God refuses to look at how big, beautiful, or bold you are; He looks into that substance inside you that makes you what you are. He looks at the heart. And David had it! God used the skinny kid to take out the big bad bully because David had heart.
Nobody believed in David. King Saul basically told David to leave when David asked to fight Goliath. David’s brothers were shocked beyond belief when David was chosen as the one to be the future king. Jesse failed to believe. The Israelites were probably ducking their heads, finding it hard to watch the handsome shepherd boy walk onto the battlefield to certain death in their minds. And then of course there is Goliath himself who laughs at David as the two foes square off. David could care less, and he lets the giant know this. After hearing the taunting voice of Goliath bellow over the battlefield, David talks some smack of his own.
1 Samual 17: 45-47 (NIV) states, “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. 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. 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.”
Can’t you imagine the reaction of the crowd here? The Israelites shielding their eyes, afraid for their young hero. The Philistines wide-eyed and more than likely laughing at David’s boldness. But none of this deters David. He calmly gets five smooth, small stones and whips out his sling, boldly charging the giant. Me? Heck, I’d be shooting that sling from behind a rock! Duck and cover … and probably run! Not David. Not this shepherd boy. He is so confident that he charges Goliath. The giant pays the price as the rock impales his forehead, killing him on the spot. I can only imagine the size of that cloud of dust puffing up after he fell lifeless to the ground.
If only I had that kind of faith in all I did. Do you ever doubt yourself? Where are is the “Goliath” in your life? I’m guessing not many of you have 10-foot giants chasing you, but what about those big obstacles that loom in front of you? Maybe your Goliath is cancer. Maybe your Goliath is a bunch of demons from your childhood, scars that just won’t go away. Is your Goliath the state assessments coming up? Teaching a certain kid that gets under your skin like a nasty rash? What is holding you back from pushing forward with confidence like David did? Is it finances? Lost friendships? Self-confidence?
Do you know what God says about those Goliaths in your life? I think He sums it up best in Joshua 1: 9. Moses is gone. The Israelites are so close to the land of Canaan, their promised land of milk and honey. Joshua, like any typical human, needed that Knute Rockne pep talk from God to get him moving. God does so when He says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Any time you lack faith in something you’re facing, recite this verse. It will decimate any Goliath before you and prove all over again that through God all things are possible. Or just recite my personal favorite, my life verse: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4: 13).