“A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span (about 9 feet 9 inches). He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armour of bronze weighing five thousand shekels (about 125lbs); on his legs he wore bronze greaves (armour for the shins), and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed 600 shekels (about 15lbs). His shield bearer went ahead of him.” (1 Samuel 17:4-7)
Wow! This giant of a man carried over 10st of metal on his body – no wonder he got someone else to carry his shield! He was HUGE and formidable and seemingly invincible. Verse 16 says, “For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.” (Forty is representative of trial or testing. Jesus was forty days in the wilderness and the Israelites were 40 years in the desert.) So, every day, morning and evening, Goliath goaded them, showed them how big, strong and unbeatable he was. The Israelite army went out to meet the Philistines every day and shouted the war cry but, as soon as they SAW Goliath, they ran away in great fear!
Along comes annoying little David, boasting about how the Lord had kept him safe as he watched over the flock, battling lions and bears and saving the sheep from the jaws of the predator. He faced the giant and said, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against YOU in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.”
David had selected five smooth stones from the stream; not even rocks or sharp stones. He’d already decided he wouldn’t wear armour as he could barely walk in it and, anyway, he wasn’t afraid because he knew that the battle was the Lord’s! Now, if you know anything about Hebrew, you’ll know that five (hei) is the number of grace. David didn’t pick his weapons to inflict maximum impact, he picked his weapons knowing that God uses the “weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Cor 1:27) David was not afraid because he knew his God! Even though Goliath looked upon him as just a boy, to be derided and despised – a pushover – David saw the enemy as already defeated.
God used the gifts he’d already given David as a shepherd, plus his skill with the slingshot, to provide one of the most unexpected victories in history. And David, knowing he could not beat Goliath in his own strength, gave all the glory to God, even before he set out. Finally, even though Goliath was dead, David cut off his head with Goliath’s own sword, the Philistines scattered and the Israelites then pursued them, killed them and plundered their camp. The enemy was totally defeated.
So, what Goliath are you facing today?
Is the battle yours, or the Lord’s?