Read His Words Before Ours!
They call themselves the “army of the living god” and “the chosen people,” but from here all I can see is a bunch of cowards.
Every day, I walk down from our encampment to the valley between our armies.
Every day, I call out to their king Saul, and invite him to send his best men to fight me.
And every day, the Israelite king and his armies quake in terror.
For forty days, I have dared them to defeat me.
And for forty days, they have cowered in fear.
For all their talk of “the one true god,” not a single soldier has been brave enough to challenge me. Their faith wanes, as it should. If their god were powerful and capable of helping them to defeat us, the powerful Philistines, he would have done so long ago. No true god would allow someone to keep dragging his name through the mud if he were able to stop them. Were they smart, they would have sent scores of men. I may be big, but one big man against forty is still only one man against forty.
Pity. I had hoped for a little fun before we enslave their people. Instead, they have chosen to embrace their cowardice and swallow their protests. Each day that I stand and wait, I search the faces of those I can see, looking for a sign of courage or anger I can exploit. But none seems to appear.
So, I taunt them all. Who is going to stop me, anyway? Ha.
Not king Saul. He’s shaking in his boots and hiding in his tent. I watch for him every day, but he never comes close enough for me to catch a glimpse of him. I know he hears me from the way his men murmur and cast their eyes away, refusing to make eye contact with me. Some king. What good is believing in a god who doesn’t even give you the courage to look your challenger in the face?
Disgusting. And his army…Ha! Who am I kidding? What army? Sure, they camp together on the hill just ahead. They have weapons and strategies, armor and ranks…but that’s where the resemblance ends. Even now, I see them peering down at me. I can practically smell their fear. It’s almost tangible.
But today…today something is different. I don’t have their full attention. When I shouted my taunts this afternoon, many whispered to one another, almost ignoring me. Something has shifted. There is almost a sense of…expectancy? Hope? I don’t know what it is, but I don’t like it. Whatever it is, no matter.
I am Goliath. No one will dare try to stop me.
King Saul and his army didn’t know what to do when faced with what they perceived to be insurmountable odds. Goliath was huge and powerful, and his method of warfare was mental even more than it was physical. He recognized their weaknesses and played on them to the best of his ability. Day after day, he taunted the Israelites, exposing their doubt and fear. Saul’s authority was shaken, and he was reduced to nothing more than a trembling leader hiding in a tent. His men couldn’t count on him to build their faith or courage. Chosen people or not, they lost sight of their identity.
It’s easy to criticize Saul and the Israelites for losing faith, but are we really so different from them when we face our own “giants?”
Illness, injury, pain. Estranged relationships, a floundering marriage. Eating disorders, addiction, or even abuse.
When we fail to see a way around or through our struggles, do we claim God’s authority over the situation and in every area of our lives? Do we pray His promises back to Him and claim His victory in our dark places?
Or do we assume the role of victim, forgetting that we serve a miracle-working God?
Our “giants” may not bear the name Goliath, but they are no less opportunities for us to proclaim God’s power, authority and victory in the face of what we would consider a hopeless cause.
When David saw Goliath, he could have turned and run. No one expected him, a young shepherd, to fight the powerful enemy who scared even the king. But David held God’s word in his heart. He believed that God was Who He said He was and that He could do what He said He could do.
And here’s the crux of the matter:
He acted in faith, and Goliath fell.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!