I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. Psalm 25:2 (NIV)
Our next-door neighbor invited my family to celebrate their son’s fifth birthday. Javi received a junior stomp rocket as one of his gifts. We watched as he quickly assembled the toy. He set up the launcher and placed one of the soft foam missiles on the plastic tube. Then he stomped on the pad and the rocket soared into the air above our heads.
For a while Javi seemed satisfied to fire the projectiles sky-high, but as the marketers of this product say: “Kids naturally find creative ways to have fun…They quickly learn how to angle the launcher to hit targets.”
Sure enough, Javi discovered an irresistible target—my seventeen-year-old son, George, sitting nearby.
Enlisting the help of his older sister, Javi mischievously directed the launcher towards my son. Then, to make sure his victim did not escape, he ran to hold down his object of attack. With his small hands, he clutched the arms of my over-six-foot-tall son, while he shouted for his sister to step on the pad and launch the rocket. Javi, his little face screwed up with effort and intensity, used all his strength to detain George.
My son couldn’t stop laughing.
At one point George stood up and, with Javi still hanging onto his arms, he lifted the little boy high off the ground. Then George sat down just in time for the missile to lightly brush his torso.
Javi believed he had the strength to restrain my son, even though George towered over him. Seeing the small child with my gigantic son reminded me of the story of David and Goliath, in which a boy overcame a giant.
A Boy and a Philistine Giant
I’m sure the Philistine army laughed as a lad, not even old enough to join the Israelite army, dressed in ordinary clothes and with only a slingshot in his hand ran towards their revered warrior. Goliath stood over nine feet tall. Dressed in bronze armor from head to foot, he no doubt created a menacing and fearful sight as he wielded a heavy sword.
Goliath had kept the Israelite army from advancing against the Philistines for well over a month. The Israelites were probably skeptical of David’s ability to overcome their impossible situation.
What gave David the courage and tenacity to face Goliath? Why did he believe he could beat the giant?
David had simple faith in God. He believed God would protect him, and with God he would be successful. “Easier said than done,” I can hear you say. However, David did more.
David looked back to previous occasions when God had been with him and had rescued him. In these instances, his adversaries had been a lion and a bear. The recollection of former victories filled David with certainty. God would not fail him.
David relied on God.
Yet, David was also practical. He realized the unfamiliar, heavy armor provided by Saul would not help him in the battle. He knew it was better to attack Goliath with what would work—his tried and tested slingshot with a few stones.
Having faith in God, focusing on previous demonstrations of God’s goodness, and finding familiar strategies enabled David to overcome the giant.
Overcoming Your Giant
What Goliath are you facing in your life?
Is it a broken relationship that seems unfixable, financial hardship with no way out, or negative thoughts that fill your mind? Does the giant leave you despondent? Does it shame and oppress you? Does it make you timid and afraid? Whatever impossibility stands in front of you and holds you back from going forward with your life, the story of David and Goliath shows it can be defeated.
Your situation may look hopeless and your faith may look ridiculous to those around you. However, the Bible promises we do not need to fear, the enemy will be silenced, and we will overcome.
We are reminded to not look at the menacing appearance of our giant. Instead, scripture tells us to focus on God and the strength he gives us.
Think back to a time in your life when God protected you and use this to give you courage and firm belief your current enemy can be defeated.
Be practical, too. It is important to have faith, but we need to make use of proven expertise—trained counselors, advisors, therapists, and pastors—so we can overcome the difficulty we face.
Have faith in God, focus on God’s goodness, and find help. Then slay your giant.