This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. 1 Samuel 17:46 (NIV).
Giants … They come in all shapes and sizes. David’s giant (1 Samuel 17) was nine feet nine inches tall … a bicep bulging, bronze breast-plated, boast belching, bone-breaking, man of war. What do the Goliath’s in your life look like? What’s towering over you? What’s making you hide, run away, or cower in fear? What’s the snarling, terrifying, depressing giant striding through your home, your dorm, your office, your classroom?
The giants we face today don’t wear 60 kilograms of armour or wield 7 kilogram iron spears. But they do brandish blades of abuse, abandonment, affliction, anguish, atrophy, or accusation. The giants we struggle with are people we can’t please, debts we can’t discharge, grades we can’t attain, cravings we can’t satisfy, pornography we can’t pull away from, deadlines we can’t meet, thoughts we can’t control, drinks we can’t deny, a past we can’t put to rest, or a future we can’t face.
Giants defy, dismay and dominate. How long has your giant challenged you? The Israelites had fought Goliath’s family before. Three hundred years earlier, Joshua had driven them out of the Promised Land. But they’d returned. That’s what giants do … they keep coming back. Our father’s and grandfather’s fights become our fights. Sickness stalks us, greed grips us, pride pursues us, and friendships fail.
When we see Goliath take his stand we wince at his talk – shrink back at his taunt (1 Samuel 17:24). What chance do we have against this giant? Deeply shaken we lose hope (1 Samuel 17:11).
So we see Goliath. But do we see God? David saw the champion from Gath and heard his degrading defiance (1 Samuel 17:23). But David saw and heard something more. He saw the Lord. Everyone else was fixated on Goliath. Saul was shaking in his sandals and his soldiers shivering with fear. But not David.
Do you see God? David sees what others don’t and chooses not to see what others do. The Israelites see a man-killing hulk. David sees a giant-slaying God. How often do we major on giants when we should major on God? Are you complaining about people or griping about your problems? Are you spending time thinking about the stresses, strains or size of your giant? David doesn’t dissect the battle or niggle over the odds. That’s not to say that David doesn’t see Goliath. But while he sees the giant – he sees God more. David knew that the battle belongs to the Lord (Proverbs 21:31). Looking Goliath in the eye he cries: “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-axe. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock” 1 Samuel 17:45 (MSG).
When a giant is out for your blood you can do only one of two things: advance or retreat. David took him on. What are you doing with the giant in your life? Sometimes we try to ignore it or insulate ourselves from it. But we can only duck behind a work desk or hide out in a nightclub for so long. Sooner or later the work will run out or the party will be over.
Listen … Giants don’t give up or go away. They mock us, curse us, and threaten to destroy us (1 Samuel 17:44). Giants are no respecters of people. They have a single objective – to make road kill of us for the buzzards (1 Samuel 17:44). Cowering in fear isn’t an option. The only sure defence against a giant, is attack.
That giant in your life … it’s time to go on the offensive. David loaded his sling and took a swing. He beat Goliath with a swishing stone (1Samuel 17:50). The stone flew true and sunk into Goliath’s skull. The bronze greaved legs buckled under him, he crumpled to the ground, and died. Drawing Goliath’s sword from the sheath, David sliced off his head (1 Samuel 17:51).
So David got ahead (pun intended). But what about you? If you focus on the giant you’ll stumble, but when you focus on God, the giant tumbles. To be victorious you must take your eyes off the giant and look to the Lord. Read David’s words in 1 Samuel 17. Notice how he speaks more about God than he does about Goliath. David’s God thoughts far outnumber his giant thoughts. What ultimately gave David the edge over the Philistine was the fact that he’d enlarged his vision of God. Can we take on the giants of depression, alcoholism, insecurity, abuse, failure, anger, gluttony, immorality, rejection, homosexuality, hatred, jealousy, remorse, impurity, and the like? Absolutely … But not in our own power. The only way to successfully take on a giant and win is with God given strength. So look up, giant slayer. Ask God to make you a man or woman after His heart. For the battle belongs to the Lord.