Goliath - you know the story, but how much do you know the back-story?

Everyone is afraid of something. How we deal with our fears is the key. The story of David and Goliath may not be as cut and dried as we have always thought. It’s not as simple we may have been taught.

Israel is prepared for war, they are ready to fight. And then Goliath comes out and issues his challenge. He is 9 feet tall. He wears a bronze helmet and 150 pounds of armor. The head of the spear is 16 pounds, as if it had a bowling ball on the end and he was able to throw that at a distance. This guy is a killing machine and also has a shield bearer with him.

He defies Israel to send him a man to fight, and Israel becomes dismayed. David has been delivering food to his brothers to the battle front for several days. Unlike the others who were frightened into paralysis, David confidently speaks out. Why? He had already killed a lion and a bear, really impressive foes. He’s not bragging, he’s saying I can do this because I have done that.

But more than that, his confidence comes from his God. He is on the Lords side. But, he is aware that he can miss. He doesn’t pick up one stone, he picks up 5.

He is also full of indignation because of the reproach against his God. This is not about us, this is about God. David says all will know there is a God in Israel. The battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands. This is not about David.

There’s something for us there. It appears more and more likely that we will experience a hostility against Christianity in the coming years we have not seen in decades. If we focus on what will happen to us, we will be lost. It is about God. We will need to focus on God and how He is perceived by others.

And also, it’s easy for us to draw together to take on the world and be brave and strong when we are together at the building. But put us alone, in the midst of attacking forces from the world, how will we respond then? Will we step out like David did?

Goliath issues this same challenge twice a day for 40 days. 40! The armies are drawn up for battle and here comes Goliath day after day, taunting them. And Saul doesn’t exactly give David a vote of confidence. And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth." No one thinks David can do this. This is where David’s faith comes in.

Note: There were three elements of ancient armies - infantry, Calvary and slingers, or projectile warriors, guys that shot arrows or flung javelins or slung stones, like a slingshot only much more lethal, much more effective. If you really understood ancient warfare, you would’ve bet on David. The slingers loved taking on infantry. They were stationary. These guys, history shows, could hurl a projectile farther than a Persian archer could shoot. They could hit shields every time from 650 feet with a stone going 70 miles an hour. It’s like a bullet. It’ll kill you. David brought a gun to a knife fight. The point? David should’ve killed Goliath. But what’s more, no other slinger would go out and there were 700 of them. None of them would go out. Only David would go out. That was David’s greatness. He went out there when nobody thought he could win.

Let's correct some possible misinformation: Goliath did not have a shield. Goliath did not die from the projectile. He was unconscious when he fell to the ground. But there was no sword in David’s hand. David took the sword of Goliath and killed him.

Lessons for us:

Faith is ignoring current thinking. The world will never, ever parrot God’s wisdom. Faith is trusting God in the face of current thinking. I can kill Goliath when no one thinks I can. Faith is strengthened by past victories. Remember triumphs you have had in the past, that others have had. Testimonies are important for us to share. Success stories are important for us to share. It is all about God. It is not about David or Goliath or Israel. It is about God.

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