1 Samuel 17:17-39
17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. 18 And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.” 19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
20 So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle. 21 For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army. 22 And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. 23 Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. 25 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”
26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
27 And the people answered him in this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”
28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”
29 And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” 30 Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.
31 Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. 32 Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.
Man is impressed with the externals; he doesn’t see the heart. God is different. He doesn’t judge by appearance or intelligence. King Saul hadn’t learned that, however, so he looked at David and said, “You don’t have the size for it. You’re just a kid. Look over there at that giant!”
As I picture it, David was blinking and thinking, What giant? The only giant in my life is God. That’s a dwarf over there, Saul. God is not impressed with the externals; He looks on the heart. God is omnipotent! And if He’s on my side, omnipotence can’t lose.
So often, when facing our own giants, we forget what we ought to remember, and we remember what we ought to forget. We remember our defeats, and we forget the victories. Most of us can recite the failures of our lives in vivid detail, but we’re hard-pressed to name the specific, remarkable victories God has pulled off in our past.
Not so with David! He says, “You know why I can fight Goliath, Saul? Because the same God who gave me power over a lion and a bear will give me power over Goliath. It is God who will empower me . . . so just let me at him.”
Well, that let Saul off the hook, so he says, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.” Isn’t it remarkable how people can use spiritual clichés to cover up their empty lives? They know all the right words to use . . . all the pious-sounding sayings. Saul sure did.
Then Saul said, “Now wait a minute, David. We have to fix you up for battle.” Imagine it! You can’t tell me the Bible doesn’t have humor, because it says, “Saul clothed David with his garments.” Here’s Saul, a 52 long, and David is a 36 regular.
What works for one person will not necessarily work for someone else. We’re always trying to put our armor on someone else or wear someone else’s armor. But that’s not the way to do battle. It was a great breakthrough in my own life when I finally discovered that I could be me and God would use me. I couldn’t operate well, wearing another’s armor. God provides unique techniques for unique people.
Can you name the specific, remarkable victories God has pulled off in your past?
— Charles R. Swindoll