Focus – Facing Giants
By Major Anne Pickup –
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty…whom you have defied.” I Samuel 17:45
Facing a new year brings hope, a chance for new beginnings and new goals. But for some, facing a new year can be like facing a huge, intimidating giant. Challenges involving finances, health or relationships can seem insurmountable. Knowing that certain changes are coming–job, home, school graduations, family members moving, can make one feel frightened and insecure. To some, just heading into the unknown is like facing a giant.
David, a young shepherd, faced the giant Goliath in a life or death battle. From his courageous confrontation we can learn how to face our “giants” in 1997.
The armies of Philistia and Israel had gathered at the Valley of Elah to once again do battle. Rather than hand-to-hand fighting, this was representative combat. Each side chose a champion to represent them. Each champion represented not only the army, but the god of the army. This type of battle was not about who had the fiercest, best equipped and trained army, it was a battle between the gods. The champion stood in the strength of their god and the outcome reflected whose was the greater god.
The Philistines choose Goliath to be the channel for their god Dagon. Goliath was nine and half feet tall, wearing armor that weighed over 200 pounds. His javelin was taller than he was with an arrow head weighing 25 pounds. This was a giant of a man. He looked impenetrable.
Israel sent out a shepherd boy. Young, inexperienced, untrained in military maneuvers and whose body had yet to develop the strength of an adult male. The odds seemed impossible. David had no delusions of his military prowess or strength. He was there representing Israel, but more importantly, he faced Goliath in defense of his god, Yahweh.
Goliath harassed Israel for forty days. He insulted and belittled the God of Israel through name calling and ridicule. Arriving with food supplies for his brothers, David was stunned that King Saul had allowed such an outrage. In response to Goliath’s defiance, and in God’s strength, David volunteered to face this diabolic giant. Physically the odds were impossible. Spiritually there was no match! Charles Swindoll says, “most people on the battlefield saw only one man–Goliath. But David saw the Lord.” David knew the battle belonged to the Lord.
David faced Goliath. We face giant difficulties, trials and temptations. Our problems, stresses and troubles are often Goliath-like…huge, impenetrable, with impossible odds. Satan uses them as diabolical weapons intent on destroying our faith, our lives and our souls. At times, when we struggle under the strain of life, we can almost hear the insulting laughter from the enemy.
Many of the struggles that will confront us in the coming year will be from the enemy, Satan. If we remember the principle of representative combat we will have new strength to face the difficulties. The struggle will not be about ourselves, it will be a frontal assault on our spiritual life, and an attack on our God. God is mightier than the enemy. He wants us to win. He will empower and strengthen us to win. We can lean into His strength and faithfulness. We can use the spiritual weapons He supplies. We are soldiers fighting the good fight, but the battle belongs to the Lord.
Onward Christian soldiers!