David & Goliath – Choosing to Believe
I’m going to tell you a story that will be very familiar to you, but maybe with a different twist than you have thought of before. It’s from I Samuel 16 & 17.
David was the youngest of 8 brothers and because of that, he was the shepherd.
One day the prophet came to see them, and his Dad sent for him to come out of the field. Amazingly, when he arrived at home, the prophet anointed him to be the next king! And then…..David went back to being a shepherd. Weird.
Time went by, and we don’t know what happened to the other 4 brothers, but we know that the older 3 were in the army. The Philistines were some seriously mean dudes and the armies of Israel were out fighting them when once again, Dad called David in out of the field. This time he was to take provisions to his brothers.
When he got there, he found the army in a stalemate with the Philistine army. The Philistine’s mightiest warrior, Goliath, had challenged the Israeli army to settle this by a one-to-one battle. Simple rules, our man wins, we win and you are our slaves. Your man wins, you win, and we’ll be your slaves.
Ok, Goliath had some advantages.
He was 9 feet tall, with a plume on the top of his helmet, making it seem more like 11 feet. Yikes.
He had weapons. Israel didn’t. They even had to sharpen their hoes by going to the Philistines. (I Samuel 13:19-22)
He wasn’t afraid. Israel’s king and warriors were. They were afraid of being slaves again, like their ancestors were. They had grown up hearing the stories.
The Israelites king, who was a head taller than everyone else wasn’t going to go fight. (I Samuel 10:23)
David was appalled. He knew God. After all, he had spent a lot of time with him. Not much else to do out in the fields with the sheep. He remembered the first time he really watched God work – this bear had come out of the brush and tried to steal a sheep. David prayed and fought the bear, and won. That had happened again later with a lion. That time he even got the sheep back from the lion’s mouth. Yeah, his God was big enough. So, he spoke up.
Well, you know the story from here. David went out there with just the same slingshot he used on the bear and lion, and knocked old Goliath out and then cut his head off. The Israelite army attacked and won. And David became king, right? Wrong. It was many, many years later before that happened.
Hmm, I don’t know about you but I’ve had some giants in my life, and some bears and lions, and some promises that didn’t ever seem to come true…….. how about you?
Bears and lions. Those are the things that build our faith….make us believe that God can do anything. David had to have these things in order to face Goliath. Ok, bears and lions are scary, and I’m sure that David had no idea why he was dealing with them….at least not from the viewpoint that he would need this skill for the future to save a nation.
You have stories like that if you think about it. What are the things in your life that have helped you believe that this God is real? Where has He showed up in your world and answered your prayers? Maybe you haven’t ever dared to ask him to….
I know, sometimes, it doesn’t seem like he does come through. David could have looked at it like that. Seriously, no one had showed up to make him be king. Maybe that was just a crazy old man that came that day, maybe it wasn’t God. Maybe that’s what you have thought. Maybe you didn’t really get forgiveness when you asked because it seems like you can’t stay on track. Maybe you just thought you heard God because what you thought he said hasn’t come true. Maybe someone around you is telling you that it wasn’t God just because they haven’t heard him like you have.
So why did David have faith? Because he chose to believe. He chose to look at the things God had done rather than at his disappointments in what God hadn’t done yet. And he lived to see those promises fulfilled.
At some point, if you really want to know God, you have to choose to believe….