As a kid growing up in church, I was often told the story of David and Goliath.. many times through the wonderful world of flannel graph! It was always one of my favorite stories, a story of the underdog. I was told about how this little shepherd kid who could not fit into kingly armor would go out with a simple slingshot and take down a gigantic mighty warrior. I always had this picture of an ill-equipped boy with maybe a little too much gusto standing in front of this behemoth and basically making a pretty skilled but lucky shot with a rock. The giant goes down and the underdog is victorious. Take a few minutes and read through 1 Samuel 17 for the story.
That is a great story. As an adult I have found this story to be rich with so many things that as a kid I missed. First of all, David was prepared and capable. King Saul confronts David in 1 Samuel 17:33 by saying "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth." David replies with his resume in verses 34 - 37. It reads:
Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”...
One thing that I think we miss culturally is the insult of this Philistine being "uncircumcised". David is referring to the fact that this Goliath stands in utter defiance of the Living God. How would David know that he was uncircumcised? Well, I won't go into some of the days popular taunts toward the Israelites but they were quite vulgar. This Goliath was blaspheming the Holy God in the most vial ways in front of the army of Israel and they stood there petrified!
After David gives his resume, Saul's response at the end of verse 37 is great "... Go, and the Lord be with you!" From here many of us know the story. David expertly dismantles the giant. He does it with skill, precision and confidence in his many hours of practice. He was ready to stand in faith. He had prepared. He did not go headstrong into a fight that he was ill-equipped. He also did not take up weapons and armor with which he had no experience. He used the skill set he had developed and used it with deadly efficiency against his opponent.
Let's take a moment and examine our own lives and skills. What are we developing? Are we rushing into spiritual battles for which we are ill-equipped? Have we practiced with our tools and have we become efficient with them? Maybe we don't even know what our tools are? These are good questions to examine. Spend time in prayer and study and the Lord God will affirm your skills... much like he affirmed David's by awarding him a great victory!
Soli Deo Gloria