Some Thoughts on . . . David and Goliath
By Rodney W. FrancisIn 1 Samuel 17 we have recorded the very well-known account of David and Goliath. It is a very interesting yet challenging story, for it reveals how a young man of faith could defeat a wily old enemy warrior through unconventional means. It is also an example of how the conventional ways of training men and women for war do not necessarily gain the needed results. We need supernatural strategies that work!
LEARN TO WALK BY FAITH
The first thing I would like to remind us of is that David was not even a part of the army! He was merely visiting his older three brothers (taking some home cookies) who were part of Saul’s army. David had learned how to walk in faith in his secular work (a shepherd boy out on the country hills) ~ it was out there that he learned to prove the power of God to protect his responsibilities, caring for the sheep and the lambs. When a lion or a bear came seeking some easy food, David rose up against them and destroyed them, thus protecting his father’s flock. The principles of faith that he learned by experience out there had given him a good training to fight other enemies of the Lord. When David visited his brothers and heard the challenge of the giant Goliath, something inside of him stirred with righteous indignation. It got worse when he saw the great army of Israel ~ along with his three brothers ~ cower and run into hiding at the sound of the giant’s voice. How interesting that when David voiced his concern and offered his services to go and silence that “uncircumcised Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:36 ), that the very people and brothers he was going to save and take into victory, turned on him and began to ridicule him for his outspokenness. Yet it was David’s brothers ~ not David ~ who were trained and supposedly equipped for such a time as they were now in. But all the conventional training in the world did nothing to allay their fears as they saw the size and stature of the giant.
So, what made David different? He was called and anointed by God! (1 Samuel 16:12-13 ). The Spirit of the Lord came on him from that day forward! David learned to flow in and follow that Holy Spirit anointing in his life, and that made him different. That is why the baptism in the Holy Spirit is so important in our lives today. It brings the anointing of God and sets us apart for God to use. As we will listen to Him and obey what He says, we will find that He will use us in unconventional ways to baffle and defeat the enemy! God knows the right strategies to be used in every situation, so it is important that we hear His voice and follow His instructions.
WE NEED SOME NEW DAVID’S TO RISE UP!
Which brings us to this present hour ... Do we not see a parallel to the days in which we live? We are living in unprecedented days and the Church of Jesus Christ (God’s army of today to combat the enemy’s advance) seems unable to combat the advances of the enemy through conventional means. We have to realize that we are living in days when we need some David’s to come along and deliver us out of the hand of the enemy! David was not trained for the army. God trained him in experience in the work place! He had to know and prove that God was with him when the lion and the bear attacked his flock! He had grasped the principles of faith through actual experience, and he saw God come through for him each time. Now he is in another one of those situations where the enemy is far larger than the prey! But David was not phased by outward appearance. He was motivated and moved by a relationship with the Living God that he knew would stand with him in the battle. Even the criticisms from his older brothers did not deter him! Soon it came to King Saul’s ears that David was willing to go and accept the challenge of the enemy. But even King Saul tried to talk David out of it! Neither he, nor any of his trained men, were prepared to go, and when someone was, they turned it into a negative and personal attack to try and bring David down to their level of doubt and unbelief. At that point David turned to personal testimony of what the Lord had personally done for him. His faith was strong; strong enough to stay above the doubts and unbelief of his own brothers. Finally, King Saul let David go out and face Goliath, while the army of Israel hid behind rocks and in holes, waiting (they believed) for the inevitable slaughter of their younger brother. But David knew things they did not know. His faith was in the Living God, not in unproven theories and a conventional training system that got them qualified into the army. Where were the benefits of their training right now? Fear was certainly controlling them, not their training expertise. How true this Proverb is: “The fear of man brings a snare…” (Proverbs 29:25 ).
It seems to me that today the conventional means of training men and women for the ministry is not working. The Church often seems powerless against the onslaughts of the enemy that is infiltrating on all sides. Quoting Scriptures and telling people to “pray more” is not enough to turn the battle into a victory for God. Did you notice that David did not fight Goliath with conventional armor or weapons? His tactics caught the enemy by surprise, so much so that Goliath in absolute dismay started to “curse David by his gods” (1 Samuel 17:43 ). Even Goliath was not relying on his physical stature and strength ~ he was believing and trusting in his false gods! What a lesson we Christians need to learn here.
WE NEED TO KNOW THE MIND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
For the Church to win in these last days of time we, too, need to know the mind of the Holy Spirit as we face the giants that are arrayed against us. If we are relying on what we have been taught by man, then we are going to finish up fearful too; and we will be powerless to rise up against the Goliath’s that are out to strip God’s people of the authority and power of God. And that means defeat! Notice that David’s weapon was so simple: a sling and a stone. No armor, no shield, no sword; just a sling and five smooth stones. David knew how to use a sling, but his real confidence was in the Living God he served.
When Goliath tried to weaken David by his accusations and character assassination ~ and failed ~ David was undeterred and ran toward the enemy, speaking his faith and confidence that God would deliver him into his hands. One stone from David’s small sling found its mark. Bulls-eye! Right in the forehead, and Goliath went crashing to the ground. David’s brothers and all Israel were all in stunned amazement to see this non-uniformed farm boy doing their job for them ~ single-handedly! It was only after Goliath had fallen to the ground that David took his (Goliath’s) sword and cut off his head, bringing a definite finality to a wonderful victory by a very young man of faith.
ARE WE GRASPING THE REAL ISSUES?
Today, dear Christian, it is not how much we have learned, or how much you know, but rather what are we doing with the faith which comes from hearing the word of the Lord? (Romans 10:17 ). Are we grasping the real issues and principles of faith? Or are we just giving head knowledge and mental assent to what God says? If we are, then there is no way that we will stand against the Goliaths that are attacking the Church today. We could even be guilty of trying to discourage and hinder those young men and women who have learned something in their secular occupations through proving God is with them when they stand up against the enemy.
Like David, we, too, have to discover for ourselves what works and what does not. For it is no use trusting in methods and weapons that will not give us the necessary victories required today.
How interesting that just one young man’s faith brought a great victory to a whole nation! Therefore, do not feel you are not qualified enough, or experienced enough, if you have not been trained through conventional means. You will be able to praise God that you were not when you have a great victory through the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is why Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit are so important in our lives today. They are God’s unconventional means of surprising, baffling and defeating the enemy through words of knowledge, wisdom, spiritual discernment, faith, etc.
And guess what? Without any training or qualifications David became the head of Saul’s army (1 Samuel 18:5 )!! And it did not stop there. David finished up being the king over all Israel ~ no training or qualifications ~ but he walked in the anointing power of God’s Holy Spirit. Today that same Holy Spirit power and anointing is available to every one who dares to believe Jesus! That includes you and it includes me. Hallelujah!!
Please take some time to read through 1 Samuel 17 again.