A Study In Contrasts (Or, Watch the Giants Fall)

A study in contrasts.

First, Goliath:
9-feet, 10-inches tall.
A warrior since his youth.
Armed with a javelin hanging down his back that was the size of the crossbeam of a weaver’s loom and had a 12-pound iron tip, plus a sword strapped to his side and an armor bearer going before him.
Protected by 100-pounds of metal plated armor, a brass helmet and shin guards.
With a full-body shield that was 8 ½ feet tall.

And then there was David:
Too young to go to battle.
Too young to shave.
Considered only good enough to watch sheep.
An errand boy, bringing his brothers provisions.
Handsome, but oh, so young.
Mocked by his older brothers.
Doubted by the King.
Armed with a shepherd’s staff and a sling shot, plus five smooth stones.

King Saul tried to save David from himself.

First, he tried to talk him out of the battle.
“You can’t do this! You’re too young and inexperienced. You’re no match for Goliath.”
But David told him about the lions and the bears that attacked his sheep.
They stole lambs – but David pursued them and rescued the lambs.

King Saul tried to protect him from himself.

“At least take my armor and use it. At least it’s something!”
But a grown man’s armor didn’t fit David.
And he wasn’t used to it.
Couldn’t even walk in it.
So he said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

And so he went out to face Goliath.
Two armies on separate hills, watching this conflict happen in the valley below.
One army fighting in the name of their Philistine gods.
And the other, thus far, fighting in the name of King Saul.

But David did not fight for his country.
Or for his family.
He did not fight for his reputation or for his own glory.
He fought that giant because Goliath was speaking ill against the God of Heaven.
Defying the God of Gods.
Openly mocking Him.
So David fought that giant.
But he fought Goliath in the name of the Lord.

He ignored Goliath’s taunting.
As well as the doubts of those who were supposed to be on his side.
And he ran forward, doing all he knew to do.
Reaching into his pouch.
Pulling out a smooth stone and sliding it into place.
And letting it fly.

As David did all he knew to do, God did what only He could do.

For the sake of His name, He directed that rock to one of the only vulnerable spots on the heavily protected giant.
Down Goliath went, with a crash.
And David finished the job, using Goliath’s own weapon against him, cutting off his head with his own sword.

The Philistine army fled.
And the newly energized army of Israel raced after them, winning the war.

I don’t know about you, but I am facing a giant or two myself these days.
Things that feel impossible.
But things I know God is calling me to do.
Loving people in His name, even when they are at their most unlovely.
Serving where He has called me to serve, even when it is exhausting.
Using my gifts for His glory, even when they feel inadequate.
Even when I feel inadequate.

Giants of fear.
Giants of doubt.
Giants of rejection.
Giants of loneliness.
Giants of conflict.
Giants of confusion.

Giants that taunt me, defying the One True God, the Truth I know, the promises He’s made.
Giants that are, at best, daunting, and, at most, terrifying.

I know that I do not have it in me to defeat these giants.
They are stronger than me.
Better armed.
More experienced.

But I have something they do not have.
Or, rather, I have SOMEONE they do not have.
The God of Heaven is for me and not against me.
And, “if God is for me, who can stand against me?” (Romans 8)

I fight in the name of the Lord.
For His glory.
Not mine.
For the sake of His name.
Not mine.
Because He is worth it.
Not because I am fabulous. Or even fit for duty.

Like David, I will run forward, doing what I know to do, using the tools God has given me.
But I will run with confidence, ignoring the taunts.
Ignoring the doubts.
Even the ones that come from my own brain.

And I will let fly with all I have.
Knowing God will do the rest.
He’ll have to.
Because I can’t.

I bet you face giants today, too.
Yours might be tangible ones, like health challenges.
A struggling marriage.
Rebellious kids.
Financial troubles.
Or the loss of a job.

Or they might be far more intangible, like mine.

Regardless of your giants, can I encourage you to be like David?
(And while I encourage you, I’ll also remind me.)

Don’t depend on your own strength.
Don’t look to people for your help, your strength, your deliverance or your wisdom.
Look instead to the Word of God.
The one that is written down.
And the One that came down from heaven to show us how to fight the giants.
The One who defeated the greatest enemy we have at the cross and conquered our greatest fears with the empty tomb.
The One who promises to never leave you or forsake you.
Look to that Word.
And while you do that, yes, remember the battles you have won in the past.
But look ahead in the confidence that the God you serve is The ALL-Powerful One.
Give it all you’ve got – but do it in His name.
In His way.
For His glory.

And watch the giants fall.


A note from me to you…
If you like my writing, if it encourages you, then I need your help.
If this blessed you, please share it. Many thanks!

 

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