A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” 1 Samuel 17:4-7, 42-43a
One of this New Year’s Resolution is to read through the Bible. I am not following one of those “read-Bible-through-in-a-year” plan. No, I am taking my own sweet time. October is tomorrow and I have only made to 1 Samuel, but I am feeling pretty proud of myself.
Today’s reading is 1 Samuel 17 or better known as the David and Goliath story.
As a child I loved to read this story. My parents had purchased beautiful, large-print books with the gold-tinted pages which were filled with Bible stories. I would pull one of them off the shelf to read about the Old Testament characters. David taking on Goliath was one of my favorites. So as I read 1 Samuel 17 today, I was very familiar with the story.
Re-reading the details, I am struck by the size of Goliath. He was over nine feet tall. People who are taller than six-feet six inches overwhelm me. I can’t imagine looking up at someone over nine feet tall. The descriptions of his armor are impressive. I would feel as if I was the size of bug in his presence.
Then, take his contemptuous reaction to David. I suspect he had a low growling bass voice that boomed out of his large body. He looked David over and pronounced him “a stick;” that would have finished me off. Yet, David seemed to be blind to these facts. He wasn’t impressed by Goliath’s size, his advanced armor and weaponry, or his taunts. He ignored all those details. What was David paying attention to?
It felt different reading this story today. A lot of changes have occurred this year. I turned 51 years old with more health issues, my oldest is finishing his college education, my middle son is back home trying to sort out his future direction, and my youngest is a junior in high school. It won’t be long before I am an empty nester. I am trying to get used to my father’s passing two years ago. I have cut my clinical hours, but have taken on more responsibilities, including writing and self-publishing a third devotional. The list goes on and on.
What are the Goliaths in my life? Or, in your life? Are they financial difficulties? Health issues? Death or loss? Loneliness?
Do they seem pretty daunting, as if they are over nine feet tall?
I think I need to be more like David. Instead of focusing on the size of my problems, I need focus on the size of God. Like David, I need to know that my heavenly Father is so large that my difficulties seem like nothing to him. And like David, when I obediently follow God, I need to believe I will successfully slay those giants.