No one would accuse us of exaggeration if we described the last few months in the U.S. as trying times. With each month, we’ve experienced a new crisis, layered on top of the one that came before.
COVID-19 sickened hundreds of thousands in our country and worldwide has sadly taken many people’s lives. The government’s response, variously called “stay at home” or “shelter in place” or “lockdown” has made a major impact on the economy and the lives of each citizen.
Then the U.S. became embroiled in social unrest, a term that includes both legitimate peaceful protest and an array of conflict. This social unrest is ongoing, for the initiating questions of racial injustice, police brutality, and the need for reform is still there.
Finally, there is uncertainty. For many Americans, it’s a question of what does the future hold? What’s next? This can be a looming and scary issue.
This all reminds me of David and Goliath, one of my favorite Old Testament Bible stories (1 Samuel 17).
Goliath was the giant, a man that Bible scholars say was 9’ 6” tall, with the proportionate strength to go with this height, for his spearhead alone weighed 90 pounds and his armor some 125 pounds. Impressive.
Add to this, he was a champion of the Philistines, meaning he was an experienced and successful fighter. He came out morning and evening to challenge (mock) the Israelite army under King Saul, calling for them to send someone to fight him to the death in gladiator–style, winner-take-all. The king and his army of soldiers were afraid.
This gamesmanship continued for forty days, until David, the shepherd boy (actually, a youth or young man), present on an errand from his father to his brothers in the army, heard Goliath boast. When David heard this, he inquired what would be done to the man who killed Goliath, and this reached the ears of the king, who noted David’s youth and Goliath’s warrior prowess. David said, referencing his experiences in the wilderness watching his father’s sheep, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37).
The rest of the account (real life, not a cartoon) is amazing. David picks up five smooth stones from a creek, and with his slingshot, literally runs toward Goliath, who belittled this “kid” and threatened to tear David to pieces.
David said, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down . . . that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17: 45-47).
David swung his slingshot, and one stone sailed true, striking Goliath’s forehead, killing him.
We’ve all faced the Goliath of COVID-19, the Goliath of this economic downturn, or maybe in varying ways the Goliath of social unrest. Or perhaps there is another Goliath in your life? How do we defeat Goliath?
Do as David did; choose five smooth stones:
- David exercised faith in the Living God.
- David proceeded with confidence, based upon his faith not only in who God is but in what God had demonstrated in his life till then, helping him protect his sheep from attacking bears and lions.
- David certainly displayed courage—based upon his faith and confidence, he ran to meet Goliath.
- David acknowledged right up to the very moment the action started that he was fighting not in his strength but in the name of the Living God.
- And don’t forget, David was not all attitude and talk. He took action. He ran, he swung his slingshot, he dispatched Goliath in the order of the day, proclaiming victory for the Lord and the Israelites, who finally found their courage and chased the Philistines back to their home, defeating them thoroughly.
SAT-7’s viewers in the Middle East and North Africa are beset with many Goliaths, e.g. overlapping crises, entrenched hatred, poverty, hunger, and violence. SAT-7 broadcasts every day, all day, sharing the truth of the Word of God. SAT-7 points viewers to the Living God, who enables the Church in the Middle East to go before their Goliaths.
Any Goliaths in your life?
Pick up your own five smooth stones, then run right at Goliath with the confidence and courage of your faith in the Living God.
Dr. Rex Rogers
President, SAT-7 USA