In a previous post I shared that David was never the underdog in the story of David and Goliath. So with that, if David could come down from the stands (Hebrews 12:1) and run alongside us, if we could run a lap with this legend of the faith, what would he teach us? Here are five things I think David might teach us:
1. Giants are not always as strong and powerful as they seem.
The story of David and Goliath proves that, and I’m convinced that David knew the moment he stepped onto the battlefield that he had the advantage. Giants are not always as strong and powerful as they seem, because sometimes the shepherd boy has a sling in his pocket.
Now, this truth cuts both ways. If you’re facing a giant in life, whether it’s a situation at work, a debilitating sickness, an uncertain future, if you’ve got a giant in your life, I want you to know from Scripture that giants are not always as strong and powerful as they seem. But sometimes we’re the giant. Maybe your giant is the fact that you’re young and invincible and you don’t think there will ever be consequences. Be careful, because giants are not always as strong and powerful as they seem. Maybe your giant is your bank account or your success in the corporate world. You think that’s made you invincible. Be careful, because giants, even that padded bank account, does not make you as strong and powerful as you might seem. Maybe your giant is your self-reliance. You don’t ask anyone for help, you don’t need anyone, you’re not willing to let anyone speak into you or correct you. Your pride has made you the master of your own domain, and your pride is your giant. Watch out for giants, because they are never as strong and powerful as they seem.
2. Just because the vast majority of people believe something doesn’t make it true.
For David to even make it to the battlefield with Goliath, he had to counter the collective wisdom of the entire army of Israel. These were older, more experienced, battle-hardened men. If you would have taken a poll, 100% would have said that walking onto that battlefield with Goliath was a suicide mission. That’s why you can’t always trust polls, and that’s why you can’t always trust popular opinion. There will always be this pressure to go along with the majority because if the majority of people believe something it must be right, or at least that’s what they want you to believe.
But a majority of people can all be wrong, which is why as Christians we can never stop being people of the Word, because if we allow what’s culturally acceptable to influence us rather than timeless Scripture, then we’re in for a world of hurt. 100% of the Israelite army thought that facing Goliath meant death. And guess what? 100% of them were wrong. Just because the vast majority of people believe something, doesn’t make it true.
3. Taking down a giant starts with the courage to look at things from a different perspective.
That’s the genius of David. What everyone else saw as an asset, Goliath’s massive height and his weighty armor, David saw as a liability. Now, if Goliath suffered from acromegaly and if he had poor eyesight, David would have had no idea. He just knew that slingers could take down heavy infantry and the Goliath was a sitting duck, as long as David didn’t approach the battle from a standard perspective.
One of the reasons the Apostle Paul in the New Testament was so effective was that he didn’t approach life from a standard perspective.
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
So, whatever your giant is, if that giant looks imposing and unconquerable, start looking from a different perspective. If you don’t know how to do it, ask someone! God gives some Christians the spiritual gift of wisdom. Find one and ask them for a different perspective!
4. Success begins in the quiet moments when no one is looking.
It would be a gross exaggeration to think that David walked onto the battlefield that day, for the very first time picked up a slingshot, and magically hit the bullseye and took down Goliath. When David was talking with King Saul beforehand, he said how he’d taken down a lion and a bear before when they attacked the sheep. There’s a lot of free time when you’re a shepherd, time he used to hone his craft of being a slinger.
That’s where many of us fall off. We want to hit the lottery without getting a job. We want to slay the giant without doing the work. Success begins in the quiet moments when no one is looking.
5. No matter how big your giants are, God is bigger.
David knew that Goliath was big, but at the end of the day, he knew his God was bigger. It was that simple faith that gave him the courage, along with his knowledge of the battle, to walk on the field that day. No matter how big your giants are, God is bigger.