1 Samuel 16:1 – 18:16. This is one of the famous stories in the Bible that most people know. David, a youth, fights the giant Goliath who is challenging the Israelite army. It has become symbolic for any struggle where the odds are terribly mismatched and the fight looks hopeless. In this case Saul was still king but he was scared and he had lost God’s blessing by lack of obedience. God had Samuel anoint David to be the next king but David was not king yet and David seems to know it is not his time yet. God tells Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (16:7)” David was known for being “a man after God’s own heart.” Our story today lets us look into David’s heart as he faces Goliath.
Unlike King Saul, David is not afraid of Goliath. The outward appearances do not determine his courage. He remembers all the times God has helped him as a shepherd to kill the beasts that threatened his flocks. David sees his source of power as outside himself. He can be brave.
Unlike King Saul, David is not threatened by the status of King Saul or height of Goliath. After David kills Goliath, the people sing praises of David who killed “his ten thousands” while Saul killed “thousands.” Saul realizes David is a threat to his throne. Fear begins to plague Saul’s kingship. David, on the other hand, obediently does as requested and refuses to be jaded by jealousy or false aspirations. We do not see David playing politics with his popularity.
Unlike King Saul, David forms a deep friendship with Jonathan, son of Saul. “Jonathan became one in spirit with David” and this friendship would provide a loyalty and “north star” during his time before he becomes king. David was able to cross party lines and see issues and talents clearly.
Possibly most importantly, David realizes that Goliath has not picked a fight with the Israelites but with God. “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. (17:45)” Clarity of vision to understand the core issues in an argument is important.
It is easy to look at our world today and feel overwhelmed – environment/fires, immigration and displaced people and assigned leaders, potential spread of disease, and all the other issues we hear about on the news. We are like David facing Goliath. May we remember that God looks at our hearts, not our looks. May we remember all the times when God has helped us in the past and remember that he is able. May we not be distracted by petty jealousies and may we be loyal in our friendships. May we see clearly what the core issues are and seek God’s heart. Blessings as you face your challenges.