philistine army

From zero to Hero


“God can use anyone to do big things, regardless of age, gender, race, importance, popularity, or notoriety.”

David was just a shepherd boy when God used him to defeat the mighty giant, Goliath. Armed with only a sling and some stones, David did the unthinkable. He dueled and slew Goliath, the most feared man in the world at the time. This spectacular performance would catapult David from zero importance to super hero. Thereby giving credence to the general argument that God can use anyone to do great things. Who would have thought a small axe like David could have fallen such a big tree like Goliath.

According to 1 Samuel 17,

The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies lined up across from each other. A Philistine giant named Goliath, measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor came out each day for forty days, taunting and daring the Israelite to fight. But Saul, the King of Israel, and the army were too terrified of this giant to make a move.

One day David’s father, Jesse, sent him to the battle lines to see how his brothers were doing. David was the youngest of eight sons and probably just a young teenager at the time. While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily rants and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel. David responded, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?”

So David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the giant. Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd’s staff, slingshot and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults.

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 … today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air … and the world will know that there is a God in Israel … it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath’s head. Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant’s forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath’s sword, killed him and then cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. So the Israelites pursued, chasing and killing them and plundering their camp.

Might does not always make right.


David with the Head of Goliath

David with the Head of Goliath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recently concluded Presidential election campaign reminds me of the story of the duel between David and Goliath. (Romney was Goliath and Obama was David). Goliath on one hand, was tall and brawny, one of the most feared in the mighty Philistine army. He had a reputation of tearing his victims apart. (Romney blew away his opponents in the primary). David, however, was just a boy in a frail body with a sling and a stone and an extremely weak Israeli army to back him up. At least, that was what Goliath and his army thought. (Romney underestimated the Obama campaign). Here, is what Goliath said when David approached him:

“Am I a dog that thou comes to me with staves?” The Bible says the Philistine curse David by his gods. He then entreats David: “Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air and to the beasts of the field” (1 Samuel 17:44). Then David said to the Philistine, “Thou comes to me with a sword and a spear and a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied” (1 Samuel 17:45)

David had a secret weapon–his faith in God. He knew that the battle was not his. It was the Lord’s. Therefore, if he allowed God to fight the battle for him, he would be victorious.

Similarly, Mr. Romney is perceives as the stronger of the two candidates. He had the power of his millionaire donors behind him. Like Goliath, he was confident that he would rip his opponent apart. However, as we have learned in the David and Goliath story. Might does not always make right. Mr. Obama had the small donors–the people on his side. He knew that the greatest asset in any election was the people. Money is crucial, but money do not vote. People do.

In the end, David overcame the mighty Goliath and his Philistine army and did what he promised. He cut off Goliath’s head and gave it to the fowls. Likewise, Mr. Obama prevails over Mr. Romney. As I have said before, “Might does not always make right”.

The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong


David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osma...

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).

Those are the words of David, a shepherd boy staring in the eyes of Goliath, the mighty Philistine. Goliath was a strong and powerful member of the Philistine army that was lining up to do battle with King Saul‘s army.

Cocky and bubbling with confidence, Goliath shouted to the ranks of the Israeli army and requested a duel. “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you, not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. However, if I prevail against him and kill him, there after you shall be our servants and serve us.” And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and extremely afraid” (1 Samuel 17:8-11).

But God had a plan for Goliath and his army. He chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; likewise, He chose the weak things of the world to confound the things which are strong. He would use David to destroy Goliath.

The mighty Goliath was furious when David appeared before him. He disdained David for he was just a youth who had kept  his father’s sheep. “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” He asked David. “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” He exclaimed. Nevertheless, all that cheap talk, never ruffle David. Just like Daniel in the lion’s den, He was calm cool and collected.

The bloodthirsty Goliath was confident he would tear David to pieces. He was wrong. The battle was not David’s. It was the Lord’s. David did not rely on his strength. He knew he was no match for Goliath. However, with God fighting the battle for him, victory was assured. David slew Goliath with a sling and a stone.

Like David and Daniel and so many others in the Old and New Testament, victory is guaranteed for you and I my friends; but only if we allow God to fight our battles for us.