October 29, 2012

Stand // Day 11

Standing Against Giants

For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.” 1 Sam. 17:16 (NIV)

No one stood more determined or more confident against a giant than did a shepherd boy named David. It’s one of my favorite stories in the entire Bible. You’ll find it in 1 Samuel 17. I read it when my faith is challenged by the giants I face in my own life. David’s resolve to stand against Goliath was uncompromising. Regardless the size of the giant, the opposition of his own brothers or the ridicule of the King who said, “Don’t be ridiculous! How can a kid like you fight with a man like him? You are only a boy, and he has been in the army since he was a boy.” David was determined to take his stand.

You may wonder where he got that resolve. How could he have been so convinced that he would defeat the giant? If you review the story, you will discover what is so often overlooked. In verses 34-37 David tells the King about his experiences while taking care of his Dad’s sheep and goats when they would be attacked by a lion or a bear. He said, “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” In other words, this wasn’t David’s first rodeo. God was already training this young shepherd boy to be a giant slayer! He was learning to trust God; and to him, Goliath was no different than one of the lions or bears he had already encountered. As we learn to trust God with the smaller giants in our lives, we will be ready to face the bigger ones. In fact, David didn’t focus on the size of the giant like those around him. Others said, “He’s too big to hit!” David thought, “He’s too big to miss!” Others said, “Look how big he is next to us!” David thought, “Look how small he is next to God!”

The real reason David was able to stand against this giant is found in the brief dialogue he had with him on the battlefield. Read this:

Meanwhile, the Philistine (giant), with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. ‘Come here,’ he said, ‘and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!’ David said to the Philistine, ‘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 hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.’” 1 Samuel 17:41-46 (NIV)

I hope there’s a video of this when we get to heaven! David stood against this giant the same way you and I must stand against ours. He had learned to trust God to protect him with smaller giants. He knew that God’s name and honor were at stake. He came against that giant not in his own strength or name but in the name of the Lord ALMIGHTY. And at the end of the day, he wanted the whole world to know that there was a God in Israel bigger than any giant we could ever face.