Updated: Aug 25
In prayer one recent early morning, deeply troubled about matters of the heart, I told my Father that I did not want to be like the Children of Israel who—more often than not—feared and fretted, worried and what-if'd when faced with present-day crises, even though they had personally experienced past deliverances—deliverances that resulted from looking to God in their distress. . .of appealing to the only One who could change the outlook of their crippling situation. . .of crying out to the Most High and His covenant-keeping character.
No, I desire to be like David, the young shepherd boy who assuredly declared, “God delivered me from the lion and the bear. He’ll deliver me from this uncircumcised Philistine” (I Samuel 17:37). I want to imitate this anointed servant who looked at present-day problems with a rearview mirror memory. As a result, David confidently overcame Goliath, the enemy's intimidating, roaring champion, the one other soldiers had repeatedly cowered and fallen to.
In dramatic storytelling style, God’s Word tells us that this lowly shepherd boy—the anointed future King of Israel—triumphed over the daunting adversary with just a sling and a stone. Full of faith, this youth overcame the Philistine’s blasphemous warrior; then, with Goliath’s own sword, cut off his head, igniting confidence in Israel's army and securing its victory.
I am nothing—just a mere shepherd boy—when facing the giants in my own life. Giants that scoff and spew lies to try to convince me that I or those I love don’t have a fighting chance. Giants that mock the great name of my holy God. Giants that so many others have been beaten and broken by, time after time.
Yet. . .like David, I possess the arsenal needed for a decisive victory: a vivid memory and my sling and stones.
Because of my position in Christ, through His death and resurrection, the writer of Hebrews declares that I can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that [I] may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:17). And because I’ve experienced my faithful Father come through time and again as I’ve cried out to Him so many times previously when the enemy has strategically "gathered his forces for war," I must choose to look back, purposely fixing my thoughts on past victories. As the enemy "[takes] his stand" and "every morning and every evening" relentlessly shouts his defiances against the Lord Almighty and His oversight of every detail of my life and those I hold dear, I must renounce the example of the Israelite army and choose to imitate David, in every moment in which I'm tempted to worry and fret.
I must choose to remind myself that in my life and the lives of loved ones whom I’ve interceded for, God has never failed. Not one time.
I must choose faith over fear and floundering.
Then bolstered by this faith (my shepherd boy's bag), which such remembrances stir up within me, I must choose to use the resources—my sling and stones—that I’ve been given: prayer's power, partnered with the Word's promises and precepts. Truly, this is proven strategic precision equaled to David’s sling and stone, and what enables me to defeat the Goliaths that tempt me to "lose heart" on my personal Christian sojourn.
God, in His awesome, unequaled power, could have knocked Goliath down stone-cold dead with just one breath. There’s no denying this. However, He chose a lowly shepherd boy—not great in stature but great in faith—to deliver the knockout. When challenged by a present-day crisis, young David, with only a sling and a stone, remained collected and confident. Instead of being crippled by fear and anxiety as all the other soldiers were, he was consumed by faith, for he had contemplated the reality of his God and the reality of his past deliverances.
In every uncertain situation that would naturally evoke alarm, David had come to know God as the unrivaled victor He most assuredly is.
This youth truly understood what Apostle Paul would pen over a thousand years later: that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12). Unlike Israel’s army of so-called fighting men—"servants of Saul”—this young, humble servant of the Most High understood that “it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s" (I Samuel 17:47), not man's. He got it, where so many others did not.
As Goliath stood proudly and taunted loudly, “every morning and evening,” defying the armies of Israel and demanding an opponent, David knew that it was really God whom Goliath was defying. It was the Holy One of Israel whom this "uncircumcised Philistine" dared to mock and deride. And David had absolute surety that Goliath would not have a fighting chance against the Lord Almighty who, as Revelation 19:4 informs, is commander of the angelic armies of Heaven.
Fellow sojourner, I don’t know what particular matter might be pressing heavy on your heart this day, or what Goliath-sized challenge is spewing and scoffing and mocking, tempting you to feel fearful and defeated. I don’t know if there’s a towering giant in your midst, persistently shouting its “usual defiance”—relentlessly taunting, taking its stand against you or against another you’re doing battle for.
But, most assuredly, I do know this: that just as David had all he needed to defeat this overwhelming enemy that others were too weak to overcome, you have all you need for the battle. You have your shepherd’s bag, slingshot and stones. With your rearview mirror faith, prayer’s power, and the Word of God, you have the precise arsenal necessary to upset the enemy’s unremitting threats and calculated schemes.
And just like David, when you and I know to whom we belong, and when we utilize the weapons in our possession, God comes to our aid, fights our battle, and defends His holy name.
So, let’s keep remembering.
Let’s keep praying.
Let’s keep striking the enemy with the triumphant stones of God's true, authoritative Word.
Victory is certain.