The Bible: Fighting Your "Goliaths"

David and GoliathOur illustration highlights the bravery of the shepherd boy, David, who with a single slingshot defeated the heavily armed giant, Goliath. With its ground-level “camera angle” — taken from behind the Philistine warrior — this illustration presents a dramatic study in contrasts.

Towering over his young adversary is the huge frame of the heavily muscled Goliath, who stands almost 10 feet tall. He is protected by a feather-crested helmet and a tunic of overlapping leather strips. He is further reinforced with a full complement of scaled body armor made of leather with bronze attachments. The breastplate alone weighs 125 pounds. Strategically poised on top of a small stony ridge, Goliath takes aim with a 35-pound bronze javelin. The 15-pound spearhead points at the young man’s heart. A military attendant is slightly ahead to Goliath’s right. Peering over a large protective shield, he anticipates yet another easy kill for his master.

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About 100 feet beyond the two Philistines, David pivots his body and rotates his arm with careful balance as he purposefully winds his sling. Framed by the fringes of Goliath’s armored tunic and shin-guarded legs, David’s pale, lean, almost wispy, figure seems out of place on the battlefield. In fact, Goliath had taunted him a few moments earlier: “‘Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?’… ‘Come here,’ he said, ‘and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!’” (1 Samuel 17:43-44).

But David had refused man-made armor (verses 38-39). His strength was in the Lord. He told Goliath: “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” (verse 45). David’s spiritual vision made a world of difference. King Saul and the army of Israel saw only a terrifying enemy — the Philistine giant. David, on the other hand, saw a mortal man mocking Israel and defying the living God. David knew God would protect him when he faced Goliath because he looked at the battle from God’s point of view. And he won!

The Bible teaches us God’s point of view. When we study God’s Word, we are putting on a vital part of “the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). Indeed, the apostle Paul encourages us to “stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (verses 14-17).

This was the armor David put on. As Christians, we should follow his example. If we do, we can then look at seemingly impossible situations from God’s point of view. This will bring our giant problems into proper focus. Only then can we fight them effectively and win. With God’s help, the ultimate victory is ours.

“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” (1 Samuel 17:50).

Author: Jim Herst and Tim Finlay, 1995, 2012

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