Have you met your Goliath? Goliath is that great big giant of an obstacle that seems unbeatable, and impossible to defeat. It is that one huge problem that you think just might be your undoing — a difficulty so great that it has you entertaining the thought that you are close to throwing in the towel.
Perhaps you have met him in the past. Or maybe Goliath is troubling you even now. Most of us have a Goliath or two in our lives. I want to encourage you to confront Goliath today — to deal with this enemy that robs your life of hope and joy.
King Saul of Israel had been fighting tooth and nail for most of his life for every inch of the Promised Land. Even though the land was “Promised,” it did not come easy. (Most promised lands are that way – we have to work and struggle for them.) Ever since the day Joshua took over the leadership of Israel from Moses, there had been a struggle. On that very first day when they crossed the Jordan River to head westward to their promised homeland, there was no welcome sign saying, Welcome to the Promised Land!”
Lately, the Philistines had been gaining the upper hand. King Saul was getting older and very weary. Now things had really taken a turn for the worse. The Philistines unveiled their “secret weapon” – a nine foot nine giant named Goliath. This powerful, fearsome creature was out daily taunting the Israelites, issuing a challenge that had King Saul’s army cringing behind their shields. There wasn’t a soldier in the camp who wanted to take on Goliath. Fear and despair took hold in the camp and ate away the courage of every last man. Each day Goliath looked bigger and the soldiers of Saul felt smaller.
You and I probably have times when our Goliaths seem to grow as we seem to shrink. On one particular day, Goliath began shouting insults to the soldiers of Israel and he challenged them to a fight.
Let’s read 1 Samuel 17:8-11 (NIV) Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
After hearing these threats, an adolescent shepherd boy named David looked around and asked “Who is this person who is insulting the armies of God?” You see, David wasn’t afraid of the Philistine giant. King Saul sent for David and this is the conversation they had: 1 Samuel 17:32-37 (NIV) David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” .
So David, instead of putting on armor and a sword, chose to dress casually…carrying only a sling in his hand…with five smooth stones that he collected from the stream. He was ready for war. Listen to what David said when he confronted Goliath: (vs. 45-47). David took out a stone, and slung it and it struck Goliath on the forehead and killed him. The young, weak boy defeated his Goliath.
WE NEED TO TRUST GOD. When David went to fight Goliath, it was not the standard resources that David was trusting in. It was not the armor of Saul or the strength of the whole Israelite army, but it was GOD…David believed that God would defeat Goliath. If David had bought into the standard thinking, he would have been killed. He thought outside the box! God was his strength and the battle was the Lord’s — not his.
When we come to those times of confrontation with Goliath, our first line of defense is our relationship with God. We must trust in His strength…no matter what others may consider the best way out of our difficulties. No matter what problem or Goliath we may be facing…God can deliver us. Our problems can be solved by trusting and relying upon God!
Most of us, like the Israelites hear the threats of Goliath and loose heart. We would really like to have the courage of David and his trust in God, but we don’t quite get around to entering the field of battle.
So I would like to ask you for a verdict today. I would like to encourage you to decide to conquer Goliath. If you will make that decision, surrender your resources – however small or meager – into the hands of God and trust the Lord to walk with you into the battle…You will make a wonderful discovery — a life changing discovery.
You will discover that Goliath is just a wee little man after all!
They say there are not atheists in foxholes. It’s amazing how religious and how spiritual we get under pressure in a moment of bargaining.
It was that great American wit, Mark Twain, who once said, “Man is the only animal that blushes, and the only animal that needs to. We are ashamed, are we not, of things we’ve done in the past. Nobody is free who is unforgiven. Instead of being able to look God in the face or to look one another in the face, we want to run away and hide when our conscience troubles us.”