If you want to follow along, you can read 1 Samuel 17
The Philistines stood on one side of the mountain, and the Israelites gathered on the other. With one valley between the two crowds stood a nine foot Philistine for the Israelites to conquer. They were terrified.
The fear stands out on the Israelites’ faces. David comes forth, volunteering to fight. I can imagine the confused looks when this scrawny boy steps up. Saul tells David he’s “just a youth” and that Goliath has been a man of war since he was young.
David tells Saul about the times he tended the sheep, and how he would fight off the lions that tried to attack the sheep. David killed the lions, and he could kill Goliath in battle.
With confidence, David explains to Saul that the Lord will be with the Israelites. Saul allows David to represent the Israelites in battle, and David even takes off his armor because he’s not used to it.
I can imagine the Israelites’ fear and rage at David taking off his only security. This is a boxing match (so to speak) with a young boy against a nine foot reigning champion. This scene is as good as grade school dodgeball when you’re depending on the littlest guy to catch the ball to save the rest of the team. David really has his odds stacked against him.
But he remains confident. He strips himself of armor and shows up against Goliath with a couple of rocks. Bold. And probably comical to the Philistines. Of course, we know David flings his rocks to hit Goliath in the face and kill him. But David teaches us more than just how to defeat someone double your size.
David teaches us how to trust God for fighting his battles.
David says with confidence, “For the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hand.”
I want to face my battles this way. All too often, I raise my skeptical eyebrow at God. I question whether he can really perform a miracle for me, or if he just saved them for everyone else. And if you find yourself there, you’re not alone. A crowd of Israelites shared this same doubt. Thank goodness for David who decided to trust God rather than partner with the Israelites’ fear. Faith in God’s hand is more powerful than the strongest man or glossiest armor.
David also teaches us that God prepares you in the quiet to fight battles in public.
When we see God’s hand in the quiet place with him, we can trust his hand in the big things. This quiet place is where God reveals himself.
You see, David explains that he knows how to fight Goliath because he spent his time tending sheep. He spent time fighting and killing the lions that preyed. Isn’t it amazing that God used David’s time watching sheep, of all things, to prepare him for saving the Israelites?
What’s in front of you might seem insignificant, but we can TRUST that God has a plan in mind. God is good at using the small thing in front of you to prepare you for the big you can’t see yet.
We might take the small, seemingly insignificant things more seriously if we trust that God will use all of it! What a difference it would have made if David complained about his time with the sheep.
When we can see God’s faithfulness in the daily tasks, we approach the next hardest thing with grace and confidence in God. May we be expectant for God to use our “ordinaries” and know it’s all important for seeing God’s hand in our lives.