The story is found in 1 Samuel 17 (If you haven’t read it, now’s as good of a time as any). It begins with two opposing armies, the Israelites and the Philistines, drawn for battle on either side of a valley. Now, most of us know the story: the Philistine army had a champion, a giant warrior called Goliath of Gath, who stood before the Israelite army and demanded they send a man to face him. Whichever army’s champion was killed in the fight would have to surrender to the opposing army. Well, the Bible says that when that when the Israelites heard that proposition, “they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” Evidently, Goliath was so imposing, they didn’t believe they had a man capable of defeating him. They were so afraid, in fact, that the Bible says Goliath came forward saying these same words for forty days (1 Samuel 17:16) and they did nothing.
It’s at this point in the story that David arrives to the battlefront, not as a soldier, but as a delivery boy, bringing provision to his brothers in the army. Providentially, David arrived just as Goliath stood and shouted the same mocking thing he’d shouted twice a day for forty days straight. When David heard the taunt of the enemy, he responded differently than every other Israelite who had heard the words. A righteous anger rose up in him that this enemy had “defied the army of the living God,” unchallenged (1 Samuel 17:26). David responded saying “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:32).
You would think that after forty days of this, David’s offer would have been commended –at least someone was going to try, – but it was not. He was opposed by his own brothers, who accused him of having evil intentions; King Saul, who told him he didn’t stand a chance; and the enemy, who mocked him for thinking he was strong enough to win. Despite all of this backlash, David responded with faith, declaring that the same God who had delivered him before would deliver him again! He stepped into that valley with only his sling and five smooth stones, wearing the clothing of a shepherd. He declared before his enemy and the terrified ranks of Israel:
“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… that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17: 45-47
Read that again. Can you imagine how it must have been to watch this scene unfold? Can you imagine the Israelite army looking into the valley as their “champion,” an unarmored shepherd boy, goes out to face a military giant with that kind of boldness? Everyone doubted David. Goliath mocked him. His own brothers despised him. However, none of it mattered, because there was One who was for him, and as David declared in faith, so it was! Goliath was struck dead by the first stone David slung and the entire Philistine army fled in terror.
God will do the same thing for us, now, that He did for David, then! He has promised to fight our battles for us, but that doesn’t mean we can sit and do nothing while the enemy taunts. As long as we’re willing to let the enemy shout, we will be like the Israelite army—dressed for battle, with every promise of God backing us up, doing nothing. The reason David wasn’t afraid when he looked at Goliath was because he sized up his enemy in comparison to his God, not himself. Think about it. All David had to do was believe God. Fear and intimation is the main battle strategy of the enemy. Your enemy will always lie to you, loudly, because the only way the people of God can be defeated is if they refuse to step into the fight. David didn’t have to do anything except step into that valley and use what he had in his hand! The entire army of Israel sat terrified for forty days, and all it took was one boy who’d been looking into the face of God in a wilderness, instead of listening to the intimidation of the enemy. Goliath wasn’t defeated until someone had enough faith to step out into that valley!
Listen, the thing you’re facing may seem stronger than you are, but I promise you it’s not stronger than He is. Whatever battle you’re fighting can be won—whether it’s sickness or a financial need or depression or anxiety. It can be won. There is no enemy you can face that God can’t defeat. No matter what it is you feel like you’re up against, be encouraged today: The same God that stood with David against Goliath will fight for you, and if God is for us, who can be against us?