6 SALIENT LESSONS TO LEARN FROM DAVID VS GOLIATH THAT WILL HELP YOUR LIFE. 1 Sam. 17
The story of David who’s obedience to his father (1 Samuel 17) led to his victory over Goliath. Had David not obeyed the instructions of his father, he would have missed this significant opportunity to defeat the enemies of God. Here are some lessons to learn.
1. Be Yourself
When David was given the “OK” to fight with Goliath, the king attempted to put his armor on David, but it just didn’t fit. Instead, what did David do? “David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine” (17:39-40). David had not tested the armor, but what was tested, was David’s fortitude, skill, and faith. Do you feel as though your faith is being “tested”? This is a good thing: Peter states, “the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Be yourself. God has only made one you, be it! The trials and temptations you are going through are for you, and they may even help you assist someone else, later in life.
2. Using the Strengths of your Adversaries for Victory
One aspect of the battle account that many people overlook, is where David’s stone hits Goliath. Why did David aim so high? In verse 7, the writer informs us that Goliath had a shield-bearer that walked before him. As if Goliath’s height and shear strength are not enough, the battle is two against one. David uses Goliath’s “strength” (his height) to his advantage. Surely, the shield-bearer is not nine feet tall as well? David finds a weak link in his adversary. Also, when David strikes the giant down, he utilizes Goliath’s sword to cut his head off, “There was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it.” (17:50b-51). I wonder how many of us look to the one factor which frightens us about our adversary and uses it to our advantage. What is Satan’s greatest strength against you? Perhaps he focuses on your finances? Give them to the Lord, “For the battle is the LORD’s” (17:47); maybe its cancer? Job loss? Whatever can be named, the battle is God’s, as you were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). Be smart and ask the Lord to reveal to you, what is happening. However, with that stated, God’s timing is not our timing (Isaiah 55:6-9); this means that you need to purposefully set aside time for Him and His Word. When facing a battle, do you look at it confidently as David did, “I come to you in the name of the LORD…” (17:45)?
3. Make use of what you already have
Many people complain about:
What they don’t have
Why not having what they don’t have is a problem
Why they need “that thing” before they can get started
Why not having “that thing” is holding them back
But the truth is you have to make USE of what you’ve already got to get what you want. Compared to the armor and the weapons Goliath had, David seemed insignificant. After all, he only had a sling, 5 stones and a staff (Even though he turned down armor that was offered to him).
Yet he made use of it and it happens to be more than enough to get the job done. He still defeated Goliath regardless of the comparison in weight, strength, Armory, weapons, etc. David didn’t moan or whine because of the differences like the Israelite’s would have. He had a “so what?” attitude and left everyone in shock after defeating Goliath so effortlessly. With nothing but a sling and a stone.
4. Believe it’s possible
The Israelite’s didn’t believe it was possible to defeat Goliath which is why they feared him. If you were to rate their self-belief on a scale of 1 – 10, their self-belief would have to be less than 5.
But on the other hand, David’s belief would have been at least an 8 or more. That’s why it wasn’t an issue for him to challenge Goliath head-on and even take him down. And don’t forget David turned down the offer for an armory, which proves he strongly believed it was possible.
5. Look at Past Victories
David was able to trust the Lord because the Lord had led in many ways in the past (1 Samuel 17:34-37). David knew that he could fight Goliath even though he had never faced a giant in the past. David used the past victories to give confidence that God would continue to work in and through him.
You may be facing some great obstacles in your life today, but what have you seen God accomplish in the past? Don’t you think He is able to continue to work in greater ways in the future? Allow those past victories to encourage you to attempt greater things for the Lord. Maybe gaining new ground in your spiritual life is not what you need right now. Maybe you just need to get back to where you once were in your relationship with God. Get back thereby being inspired by God’s faithfulness to you in the past. Then boldly step forward into new victories God wants to give you.
6. Surrender Your Talents
We know a few of David’s talents by this point in his life. We know that he was a skilled musician and that he was a capable shepherd. Music didn’t seem to be the tool to pull out when facing a warrior giant. David surrendered his shepherding skills to do work for the Lord.
It is amazing to me to see people with wonderful talents and abilities sit back in church and not get involved for the Lord. They will even say things like, “if I could sing like Mrs. B. or speak like the pastor, then I would do something for the Lord.” Yet, these same people could be used to win children to the Lord by love and affection if they would step into a Sunday school class. Or they could use their computer skills to share the Gospel through the Internet or keep the church’s computers running properly. It takes a simple step of faith to use their skills for the Lord.
David had already demonstrated his great musical talent in the previous chapters of 1 Samuel. But that very public and prestigious skill of playing the harp did no good in this situation. What won the day was David’s ability that was honed while being an unknown shepherd boy who dedicated his life to living with stinky sheep.
An Excerpt from my Sermon to Methodist Church Nigeria, Diobu on Sunday 22nd Sept. 2019.
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