Facing Giants

I Samuel 17 retells the events of David facing Goliath, and, in this conflict, David exhibits four qualities we can emulate when we face giants in our own lives. These giants may not be as obvious or as aggressive, but they provide a threat to our spiritual survival, so let’s look at these qualities and how we can apply them in our own lives.

David Facing the Giant

David displays faith when encountering the threat of Goliath. The military had withdrawn from facing the giant. I Samuel 17:34-37 recounts David making his case to King Saul, and, in this, he expresses his faith in Jehovah. Along with this faith, he demonstrates trust. Instead of trusting in the king’s weapons and armor, David trust’s God to deliver victory. He shows the correct attitude before danger. He doesn’t try to take credit from God when facing Goliath. In his eyes, the victory belongs to God. Finally, David runs out to battle, doing exactly what he said he would do.

Our Giants

We face giants in our own lives. They are distractions. They prevent us from moving forward. They blind us to the goal we hold so dear. I John 2:15-17 introduces us to the giant of worldly interests, and, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds his audience that our priorities reflect the contents of our heart. Luke 12:15 begins the parable of a rich man who places his trust in his possessions. What he is not prepared for is meeting God.

I Peter 2:11 speaks of desires and lusts that battle with our souls. Immorality is always readily available to tear down our spiritual security. Additionally, discouragement can tear us down. Isaiah 35:3 makes a call to strengthen the weak, to comfort the afraid. Acts 11:21-23 and I Thessalonians 5:14 both speak to exhorting and encouraging among the brethren. Discouragement can lead to bitterness and self-justification.

Finally, a lack of direction can be a giant in our lives. Returning to I Samuel 17:25-27, David learns of Goliath and the rewards the king has prepared for the one who defeats him. Verses 28-30 records David reconfirming this goal, verifying the threat Goliath poses and the rewards involved. David sees a goal before him, and then he pursues that goal.

Emulating David

How do we avoid being consumed by these giants of desires, discouragement, worldliness, and lack of focus? Quite simply, we begin by setting a spiritual goal. I John 5:4 reminds us of the power in our faith. Through our faith in God, we can overcome anything, and it sustains us in difficult times. I John 4:4 and Galatians 2:20 both speak of the way we live our lives, trusting in the power of Christ within us. I have to rust God enough to put my faith into action. The first few verses of Philippians 2 reminds us of the attitude we should have, and James 2:17 reminds us that we have to take our faith into obedience and do the right thing.

If we have faith and trust in God, if our attitude is right, and if we are willing to take action, we can face those giants waging war with our souls. We can overcome, striving toward our goal of an eternity with our Father.

lesson by Tim Smelser