No one names their child Goliath, do they? No, I don’t think so. The name has been used plenty throughout the millennia, but only as metaphor for seemingly insurmountable opposition. Sports always has its Goliaths, the perennial powerhouses that dominate year-in and year-out, and we apply the tag to “the system” and its matrixed components—political, corporate, and influential individuals. But no one names their child Goliath, for he was both an overconfident bully and an underachieving loser. He was intimidating in appearance: larger than any professional wrestler, and strong, he wore 125 pounds of armor, and the mere tip of his spear weighed 15 pounds, roughly as much as the steel ball used in shot put competition. “Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.”1 Vini, vidi, vamoose. (I came, I saw, I ran the other way.)
David saw things differently. The colossus stood before him, there was no doubt about that. But the battle against him was not David’s; it belonged to the One who, though unseen, was infinitely stronger than any Goliath His people could ever face. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,” said David, “but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands … and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”2 His were the words of faith—“confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”3 Then with one stone skillfully hurled from a shepherd’s sling, Israel’s menace was no more.
Not all Goliaths are external; many challenge us from within. Fear and pride in all their manifestations rise up against us in overwhelming proportions, and in times like these we must fortify our soul in words of faith. When despair advanced against David, for instance, he strengthened himself with hope, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”4 Feeling alone amid conspiracy, the king assured himself of God’s faithfulness: “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”5 Recalling God’s goodness from the past gave David peace in the present—“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”6
Paul reminded the Corinthian believers, “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak …”7 May this be our way of life, as well. Let us speak faith, as David did.
Father, I believe. Grace me to speak your greatness in the freedom of faith. Amen.
1 1 Samuel 17:24
2 1 Samuel 17:45, 46
3 Hebrews 11:1
4 Psalm 42:5 ESV
5 Psalm 62:5, 6 ESV
6 Psalm 116:7 ESV
7 2 Corinthians 4:13