David catches up to his brothers and hears the threats of the giant, Goliath. (See What’s Next for David?)
“What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Samuel 17:26
One of the soldiers hears David’s comments about Goliath. Apparently the soldier thinks that David is ready to challenge Goliath because he reports the discussion to Saul. Saul tells him to bring the challenger in.
When Saul sees that it is David, he protests that he is just a boy and this giant has been a fighting man from his youth. Here is the place where we find out about the details of the lion and bear story. David tells of striking the beasts to rescue a sheep, then grabbing them by the hair, striking them again and killing them. He concludes his account by telling Saul,
“…this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” I Samuel 17:36-37
Do you see the value of the preparation God gave David? Do you hear who he believes in and trusts explicitly? Saul doesn’t have that kind of mindset. Since no one else has offered, and these are desperate times, Saul agrees to let him try.
You know the story—how Saul dresses David in his coat of armor, helmet, sword, the whole nine yards. Never mind that David is maybe five foot seven, while Saul is a head taller than anyone else.
David tries to walk around with all this soldier stuff on his back and proclaims that this is not for him. He must stick with what he knows best—sling shooting!
David takes off all of the soldier garb.
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. I Samuel 17:40
As I picture this scene, just the mere differences in size compounds the drama. I think of our pastor who stands 6 foot 5 inches while our minister of music is about 5′ 5″. They generally avoid standing next to each other at the pulpit. Being pitted against someone 9 feet tall is hard to imagine.
Differences come in many packages. Differences in size, yes, but also differences in opinions, differences in ideals, or ways of doing things; differences in temperaments. We all have our differences to overcome. Will David meet the challenge of size, experience, and equipment? Perhaps the greater question—on whom is each depending? Self or God?
As we face the giants in our lives, may we find strength in God to carry us through.
~ Joyce ~