Courage

Seeing Your Enemies As They Are: David vs. Goliath

from 1 Samuel 17, New Living Translation Version

How Goliath and the Israelites saw Goliath (the enemy)

Then Goliath, a Philistine championfrom Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.  (v. 4-7)

How Goliath taunted the army of Israel

“Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!”

When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.  (v. 8, 11, 16) 

How David (servant of God) saw Goliath (the enemy)

“What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (v. 26)

What David’s people thought of him and how they saw him

Eliab: But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” (v. 28)

King Saul: “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” (v. 32-33)

What David thought of himself

But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (v. 34-37)

How Goliath taunted David

Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. (v. 41-44)

Why David fought

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (v. 45-47)

Every time I read this story, my heart swells with home team pride! 🙂 Everyone saw David as the unfortunate underdog, but he knew that the LORD he fought for made him a conqueror! There is POWER in our knowledge of God. There is STRENGTH in knowing what God will do for us and bring us through. There is VICTORY in defending the honor of God and those associated with Him.

Think of how the enemy (Goliath in this situation) taunted the Israelites. He terrified them with his presence, his apparent dominance of the situation and his words. He had esstentially defeated the army of Israel before they even went to battle. Imagine that! The army of Israel was the Army of the Living God – as such they were guaranteed victory, but in their minds, they were no match for the “Philistine Champion from Gath.”

How are you viewing your enemy? Do you listen to what your enemy says about themself or are you listening to what God says about you?

David was not intimidated. David did not look at the physical situation. What David proclaimed was: (1) I am a servant to the king, (an anointed king postioned by God), (2) the Philistines defied/disgraced the armies of the Living God (the offense was deserving of death), (3) the battle was the Lord’s, (4) the Lord will conquer His enemies, (5) all will know the Lord rescues His people.

Honestly, what more do we need to know for our own personal battles? See Ephesians 6:12.

Our victory is already written in God’s Word. We need to stand firmly on His Word in order to continue to walk in victory. To “stand on the word” means to know and believe the Word – you have to trust the Word of God. It’s your belief and trust in God that allows Him to carry you victoriously through your battles.

Encourage others and share your victory over Goliath in the comments.

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