The lesson of David and Goliath is one of the most well known accounts from the Old Testament (1 Sam. 17). It has become part of our vocabulary in every aspect of life. Yet sometimes we lose sight of the real point in the story. David has come to represent any underdog who attempts to overcome insurmountable odds. Goliath, on the other hand, represents the greater power, the obvious winner unless something previously considered impossible happens. This is our collective understanding in society, but it implies many incorrect things.David himself did not in any way believe that the odds were against him. Quite to the contrary! In fact, as his boldness suggests, he was confident of victory based upon past success (1 Sam. 17:33-37). The difference was that David was not relying on himself for the victory, and he did not believe that it was his fight. He told Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with 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 defied” (1 Sam. 17:45). As far as David was concerned, Goliath was the underdog. He was mismatched against God! He continued, “Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Sam. 17:47). We often try to take far too much on ourselves, and in the process also take the glory. We want growth in the church, but then when it happens, we act as surprised as anybody or congratulate the preacher or the latest “get big quick” scheme that has found its way into the congregation. Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6). Furthermore, it was Paul’s acceptance of God’s will and Christ’s mind in his life in which he had confidence: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me” (Phil. 4:13). Paul had confidence that doing God’s will was always the best decision, and it was that confidence that he sought to pass on to others. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).David’s confidence was in God because his heart was with God, and it was for these reasons that God was also with him (Jas. 4:8).
by Kevin Rhodes