As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 1 SAMUEL 17:48 ( NLT )
David faced one who foghorned his challenges morning and night. “For forty days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted in front of the Israelite army” (17:16 NLT ). Yours does the same. First thought of the morning, last worry of the night—your Goliath dominates your day and infiltrates your joy.
Saul’s soldiers saw Goliath and mumbled, “Not again. My dad fought his dad. My granddad fought his granddad.” You’ve groaned similar words. “I’m becoming a workaholic, just like my father.” “Divorce streaks through our family tree like oak wilt.” “My mom couldn’t keep a friend either. Is this ever going to stop?”
No one else discusses God. David discusses no one else but God. A subplot appears in the story. More than “David versus Goliath,” this is “God-focus versus giant-focus.”
David sees what others don’t and refuses to see what others do. All eyes, except David’s, fall on the brutal, hate-breathing hulk. All compasses, sans David’s, are set on the polestar of the Philistine. All journals, but David’s, describe day after day in the land of the Neanderthal. The people know his taunts, demands, size, and strut. They have majored in Goliath.
David majors in God. He sees the giant, mind you; he just sees God more so. Look carefully at David’s battle cry: “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (17:45).
When was the last time you did the same? How long since you ran toward your challenge? We tend to retreat, duck behind a desk of work. For a moment, a day, or a year, we feel safe, insulated, anesthetized, but then the work runs out, and we hear Goliath again. Booming. Bombastic.
Try a different tack. Rush your giant with a God-saturated soul. Giant of divorce, you aren’t entering my home! Giant of depression? It may take a lifetime, but you won’t conquer me. Giant of alcohol, bigotry, child abuse, insecurity . . . you’re going down . How long since you loaded your sling and took a swing at your giant?
Too long, you say? Then David is your model. God called him “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22 NIV ). He gave the appellation to no one else. Not Abraham or Moses or Joseph. He called Paul an apostle, John his beloved, but neither was tagged a man after God’s own heart.
One might read David’s story and wonder what God saw in him. The fellow fell as often as he stood, stumbled as often as he conquered. He stared down Goliath, yet ogled at Bathsheba.
A man after God’s own heart? That God saw him as such gives hope to us all. David’s life has little to offer the unstained saint. Straight-A souls find David’s story disappointing. The rest of us find it reassuring. We ride the same roller coaster.
We need David’s story. Giants lurk in our neighborhoods. Rejection. Failure. Revenge. Remorse.
Giants. We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone. Focus first, and most, on God. The times David did, giants fell. The days he didn’t, David did. Test this theory with an open Bible.
Adapted from Max Lucado’s book of the same title