Image courtesy of www.ministry127.com
The story of David and Goliath received came alive for me today and I felt I needed to share the insights.
1 Samuel 17 New International Version – David and Goliath
1Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah… 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them. 4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
We know that Goliath taunted the Israelites and they cowered every day for 40 days. David came to camp and heard the taunts and wondered aloud if there were no people who actually believed in God as able. His brothers hear of him and they were upset here was there…accusing him of wanting undue attention. He is overheard by the soldiers and eventually was brought before Saul.
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
In the midst of all this David did not lose sight of his connection to God and his unique walk with Him. In those days the prophets were the voice of God yet here was a young man who had a different outlook.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
Then there is final confrontation with Goliath and the subsequent defeat of the same.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 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. 46 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. 47 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.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
Let me get a bit technical here. Goliath was a giant so let me say a little bit about giants.
According to Health Grades (http://www.healthgrades.com/), gigantism is a very rare condition that occurs during childhood, due to extreme bone, muscle and organ growth. Gigantism is caused by an overproduction of growth hormone that occurs before a child’s bone growth plates have closed. This results in excessive growth and abnormally tall height. People with gigantism generally have very large hands, fingers, toes and heads. They also have changes in related characteristics, including coarse skin, excessive sweat production, and a very deep voice. They may have enlarged internal organs, such as the heart, kidneys, brain and tongue. This can cause complications, including high blood pressure, severe headaches, sleep apnea, diabetes, diminished vision, and heart failure.
The overproduction of growth hormone that causes gigantism is most often the result of benign pituitary tumours that press on the pituitary gland, causing it to produce too much growth hormone. In most cases, pituitary gigantism occurs in isolation.
That said, remember that Goliath was a giant and so some of these symptoms would apply to him. Did you ever wonder why he had a shield bearer? Of course we have always been taught it was to carry the shield but could it be that he needed someone to guide him? Could it be that his vision was blurry so the shape of the shield was the key to the direction to go? To add to that, why did he ask David; “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” Was David carrying a stick? Scripture tells us he had a sling shot and picked stones by the river, so where did the stick come from? Read on and you will see that there is no mention of the stick in scripture. David was a shepherd and he probably carried a staff when he was with his animals but it is unlikely to be in the battlefield.
Hahahaha…I see your understanding of the bible is coming alive like mine did recently.
I would suggest that Goliath had a shield bearer as someone who led him around because of he had very bad eyesight. Something else made me wonder, how come he just stood there when David slung the stone? There could be many ideas. He either thought the boy had no aim or he believed he was invincible. I dare say that got hit with the stone because he didn’t it coming until it was too late. Of course it was the appointed way for him to die.
In this I realised afresh that God in His wisdom worked it out such that ALL the glory could come to Him. It was a moment of #Grace. David had all he needed to defeat the enemies of God as long as he remembered to give Him credit. David affirmed his faith in God as the same God who saved him from the lion and bear. God would therefore save him and Israel from the hand of the Philistines.
So I have questions I am asking:
- Do we see the giant more because we have taken our eyes off the greatness of God?
- Do we know that the giant has personal defects that make it susceptible to destruction with God’s guidance?
- Are we trying to go about life dressed in the wrong outfits’ i.e. heavy, ill-fitting armour instead of light stone and sling?
- Are we connected to faith like David who said, “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.” Does faith ooze out of us and astound those around us like David’s faith astounded the soldiers?
It is time to move from how we have always seen things. We must move doubt to faith, grace and glory. Not for ourselves but for the honour and glory of God Himself. We are ordained for this so we rise every day to walk in it.
Image courtesy of www.thehopeassociation.org