Today’s reading begins with the story of David and Goliath and concludes with Saul’s attempts to kill David.
The story of David and Goliath is one of the most well-known stories from the Bible, not only among members of the Jewish and Christian faiths, but among even who aren’t followers of either of these faiths. It’s alluded to throughout literature and in popular culture. It’s a nearly inescapable story for those in the Western world and maybe for much of the entire world.
What I find to be most striking about the story of David and Goliath is the fervor that David had for the LORD and subsequently how the LORD blessed David because of his zeal for the LORD and his glory. What drove David to the battle lines on that day was not a sense of national pride. It was not him seeking to glorify himself in battle. Rather it was David’s zeal for the LORD.
Goliath had stood in opposition to the armies of the LORD for forty days. He would come to the battle lines morning and evening and taunt the people of Israel and mock the LORD. Every battle-hardened member of Israel’s armies did not dare to go out against Goliath. Really, who would? Goliath stood around nine and a half feet tall and based on the weight of his armor of 125 pounds, he was not likely all height and no brawn. Any average person wouldn’t dare to go out against Goliath. To David, however, the opponent did not matter so much as the fact that this enemy stood in torment of the LORD and His people day and night and that this injustice could not be allowed to stand.
So David took what he knew he could handle, a sling and five stones, and ran towards Goliath. As he had done in defending his father’s flocks against lions, bears, and other threats, David placed a stone in his sling and threw it at Goliath hitting him in the forehead and knocking him out. David them took Goliath’s sword from him and killed him by cutting off his head.
Indeed the LORD was with David for him to have been so bold to go into battle with a warrior as imposing as Goliath. That being said, regardless of the LORD being with David, the act of defeating such an imposing warrior I’m sure galvanized David’s reputation among the armies of Israel as a man to be reckoned with.
I’m fairly certain that I don’t have the faith of David and certainly don’t have the zeal that he did. I wonder how my life and my ministry to the LORD would be different if I did.