Most people have heard the story of David and Goliath. Whether from a Sunday school children’s story or the lyric from a song, we are all familiar with the idea of a little guy slaying a giant.
In 1Samuel we read the story of young David, a shepherd boy delivering food and supplies to his older brothers in battle. The youngest of his brothers, he is not expected to join in the fight. In fact, his brothers don’t want him there at all. When he overhears about the giant the army of God is facing, he decides to have a shot at him. No one believed he could defeat the giant.
31 When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them [q]to Saul, and he sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and [r]attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and [s]struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has [t]killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted 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, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.” 1Samuel 17:31-37
To fight the giant, King Saul offered David armor, a bronze helmet, and a sword. However, he did not use them. Instead, he chose to use a sling and five smooth stones. Goliath the giant taunted him but David remained confident. David had God on his side.
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” 1Samuel 17:45-47
David struck Goliath with just his sling and a stone. He then used Goliath’s own sword to kill and behead him. Who would have ever believed young, untrained David could defeat a vicious giant men were so afraid of? David didn’t defeat Goliath, God did. God gave David victory! This is one of the best underdog stories ever told!
Many times in the Bible we find that God uses those we think least qualified to fulfill his purposes. Moses, Rahab, Esther, Gideon, and the apostle Paul are just a few among them. (I encourage you to look these up if you aren’t familiar with them.) Let us remember God is in the business of doing the impossible, even today. He continues to use the least of these for His purposes if we allow Him to work through us.
*A version of this post appeared on Wayside Women’s Blog.