Can you remember a time when you were terrified? I remember once in Cordoba, Argentina, driving home by myself late at night. I had mistakenly taken a risky route that I only used during the daytime, but it was too late when I realized what I had done. I noticed some guys playing soccer in the middle of the street, so I slowed to a near- stop. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with fear when I saw guys running toward my car with bars in their hands. I sped forward, causing several to dive out of the way. As I finally exited the danger, I felt my heart beating in my chest. I had narrowly escaped peril.
Once David, a seventeen-year-old shepherd on a mission for his father, saw the entire Israelite army frozen in fear. A colossal of a man was challenging them to send out just one warrior to fight. No one dared to answer the challenge. That was because Goliath was almost ten feet tall! Can you imagine him trying to come through one of our doors? Even his weapons were intimidating. His spear was near fourteen feet, and its tip weighed about sixteen pounds. It was a guided missile when launched by his mighty arm. The chain mail suit that he wore weighed around 150 pounds. David inquired why no one answered his defiant call to fight.
Once David volunteered to fight the giant, they tried to suit him with the latest armor and weapons, but he refused, preferring to use what he was used to using. They had served him well, fighting off wild animals who attacked his flock.
David wasted no time facing off with the Goliath. No one ever showed more courage than David did on that day. When Goliath came out to David, he said, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” He taunted David, “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” (1 Sam 17:43-44).
David boldly responded, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, 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 I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Sam 17:45-38).
As David ran toward the Philistine, he put his hand into his bag, took out a stone, and let it fly. The stone struck the Philistine right between the eyes, and down he came. Everyone was surprised, but not David; he completely expected to defeat this enemy.
What was David’s secret? Where did he get the courage to fight Goliath? How could he face an enemy with all the odds against him? The answer is that he knew how powerful his God was, and he knew God would help him. David took the first steps, but God used David’s competency and gave him boldness. The story still inspires us even today because it’s true, but beyond that, this is the way battles are won today—by trusting in God.