The young man, David, stood before the giant. His mind was spinning. He must act and act quickly. He was keenly aware that his actions would result in life or death. When he awakened that morning to his regular routine of tending the sheep, he had no thought that the day could possibly be his last day alive.
Just after sunrise, David’s father, Jesse, had requested that his youngest son run supplies to three of his older brothers who were fighting with King Saul against the Philistine army. Loaded with food for his family and food for the captain of their regiment, David hurried to the front lines. He had arrived at the time when the two hosts went out to face one another with a battle of words. Insults flew even if ammunition did not.
David could feel his heart pounding within his chest. The very atmosphere felt electrified reminding David of the times when, while he was out on the field with the sheep, the sky pelted the earth with torrential rains and great bolts of lightning. Amidst the tumultuous noise of the soldiers’ shouts, David found his brothers. Barely had he begun to dispatch his father’s communiqué when the champion of the Philistines marched onto the field. The giant Goliath, who stood over 9 feet tall, hurled curses at the Israelites and the God that they served. For forty days, he had waged a word war, attacked with verbal insults, fought with spoken weapons. For forty days, the armies of the Lord had been thwarted at the sight of him, defeated by the threats he threw, and conquered by the fear of him.
David stood in dismay. None of his imaginings of the battle field had yielded this scenario. Israel served the God of their forefathers who had defeated Egypt in the mighty Exodus event, caused the walls of Jericho to crumble at the sound of a shout, and pummeled the armies of five Amorite kings with hail during wartime in Joshua’s day. When David was a young child, Jesse had rehearsed the glories of battle to his children. Dad’s words had struck David’s heart creating faith and had delivered truth into David’s soul securing hope. For the honor of his nation, his people, and his God, David determined he must fight Goliath.
His eldest brother, Eliab, accused him of vain ambitions of a youth; and the King, Saul, forewarned him that Goliath had been a soldier longer than David had been alive. Nonetheless, the word war launched from brother and King could not conquer his courage. David remembered his battle with a bear who sought to ravage his father’s sheep and a lion who tried to annihilate the flock. David had conquered. God had aided. Those fights yielded supernatural victories. Why should David expect a different outcome when the flock to be protected was the people of God? David’s courage mounted. He could go up against the Philistine.
There, on the field of battle, David stood before the giant whose armor weighed more than of David’s body and the head of his spear equaled the circumference of David’s torso. The sounds of Goliath’s threats to feed the boy’s dead carcass to the vultures became muted by the shouts of resolution emanating from David’s passion. He ran – not away from the threats to cower in fear – but toward the enemy. He ran. David ran while loading his slingshot with a stone from the brook. David ran while pulling backwards on the slingshot’s pouch. David ran as he released the pouch and fired the projectile into the air. It landed. The rock landed into the forehead of Goliath.
When he awakened that morning to his regular routine of tending the sheep, he had no thought that the day could possibly be his last day alive. But by the day’s end, David was alive and Goliath was dead. The war of words had ended with the victory of faith. The enemy of the Lord had become the conquest of the people of God.