Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. Yet sometimes it’s reduced to a children’s story or a clever little song. In the secular world, “the phrase ”David and Goliath” has taken on a more popular meaning denoting an underdog situation, a contest wherein a smaller, weaker opponent faces a much bigger, stronger adversary.” (Oxford Advanced American Dictionary) With all of this, the great messages of the story can be lost.
A couple of points hit me as I read thru the passage in 1Samuel 17:32-51. The context is of the small shepherd boy against the giant warrior… it’s really no contest… a joke. In fact Goliath mocks David and holds him in contempt. Yet David is not intimidated and responds in the power of the Holy Spirit saying … “you come against me with sword and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hands; I will strike you down and cut off your head.” What an incredible act of courage and faith by David. No wonder the Bible calls “David a man after God’s own heart…. willing to do whatever God asked…” (Acts. 13:22, 1 Sam. 13:14, Heb. 11) We know David was far from perfect, but what a great and courageous man.
David raises another powerful truth …. “All this multitude , too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he shall deliver you into our hands.” The battle belongs to the Lord…it’s his battle, not ours. He allows us to play a part, but he’s the commander. I find this is such a powerful truth even for us in 2022.
Too often I can think it’s what I bring to the “battles of life” that determines the outcome. If I’m strong and gifted and courageous, then I will be victorious. Yet David reminds us that the “battle is the Lord’s”. He will bring the victory. On our own we are generally overmatched… with Christ, we are never overmatched. This is of fundamental importance.
Recently many of our family and friends have faced a number of daunting challenges… issues of health (physical and mental and spiritual). On our own, we can feel like David coming against Goliath… no contest…what are we to do…this is not going to end well. Yet in Christ and his power, we can have confidence in the ultimate outcome…. for the battle is the Lord’s. We need to have hope in God.
True hope is anchored in truth. If it’s not based on truth, it’s not hope…..it’s at best “wishful thinking”. So, let us center our life and hope and trust on Jesus. In him, we can have real hope in the outcomes of our battles. In Christ, the battle is the Lord’s. And that is very good news.