The Faith of David

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, February 11, 2018 0 comments

by Logan Ames

In a perfect world, human beings would just automatically do exactly what God says because he said it and there is nothing to distract us or make us think we should not obey. That’s how God created things when Adam and Eve were first made, and ultimately the world will be returned to that utopian place when God unveils the new heaven and the new earth for those who knew and loved him. For now, we continue to live in our sinful world with our own fears and selfish hearts. The amazing thing is that God still uses us to accomplish his great works, even as we doubt him or turn away from him. Sometimes, we just need a little bit of extra motivation to do what we already know he has told us to do. When I was in college, I remember being in a Bible study where 4 of the 5 guys in the group had either started or continued going to church because of a girl that was there. Our Lord certainly knows how to reel us in!

Each of those men from that group are now married to women they met through church or Christian functions and they are serving the Lord in amazing ways. One of them lives in South Korea with his wife as missionaries, two are teachers, two are pastors, and one manages a ministry at another college. And several of us still get together to encourage one another every year though we graduated 15 years ago! To think that God used our desires to have girlfriends to either bring us to church or keep us there long before we even knew each other makes me laugh and smile. God will do his work one way or another, and he’s not opposed to use whatever he knows motivates us!

One of the greatest heroes of the faith was also initially moved to action by extra motivation beyond just doing what God wanted. I’m talking about David, a man about whom we learn a lot throughout the Old Testament. To try to put the faith and life of David into a short writing is a difficult task, but we can learn a lot about him from possibly the most frequently referenced Bible story of all time, both inside and outside the church. Hebrews 11:32 counts David among those who are commended for their faith, but we really begin to see that faith play out all the way back in 1 Samuel 17. The Israelites and Philistines are preparing to battle each other, but it likely wasn’t going to happen as long as everyone on the Israelite side continued to cower in fear at the sight of Goliath, a monster of a man who defied God and the Israelites and even mocked them daily. But God was waiting and urging someone to step up by faith and defend his name and his people. This was the occasion for David to make a name for himself by honoring God’s name and putting his full faith in him.

We do have to understand something about this story. We have to realize that Goliath was a messenger of Satan who literally took his physical stand against God twice a day every day (v. 16). Look at Goliath’s measurements and his armor in verses 4-7. He was six cubits tall, had six pieces of armor and weaponry, and the iron point of the spear was six hundred shekels in weight. You can either believe it’s a coincidence, or you can look at those numbers, 666, as if the Word is telling us about Goliath’s role in Satan’s great plan. If Goliath could kill David, Satan could eliminate the bloodline from which the Messiah would eventually come, take away Israel’s occupation of the land where the Messiah would eventually be born, and ultimately try to defeat the Messiah. Satan already knows it’s a lost cause, but it doesn’t stop him from continuing to rebel and try any way that he can to thwart God’s plans and promises. Anyone who would defeat this giant messenger of evil would surely be doing God’s work.

At the time of this story, David was just a young shepherd boy and the people of Israel had chosen Saul as their king based on his outward appearance. Saul was their king because he was their biggest and baddest dude. Yet, when they desperately needed someone to stand up to Goliath, “Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified” (v. 11). People generally follow their leader. If a leader shows cowardice, he can’t expect the people to find courage. Saul had been lacking leadership for a long time ever since he started walking away from the Lord and loving his own self and his position too much. And because the Lord was no longer with him, he had no faith or bravery to go after Goliath and the Philistines. A new leader was needed.

That new leader literally arrives on the scene in verses 12-26. Because he was the youngest and forced to tend the sheep at his father’s home, he wasn’t able to fight in the Israelite army and was just going back and forth between the two people he was serving, Saul and his father Jesse. His father orders him to take food to his brothers who are on the battle line with the Israelites. When he does this, Goliath comes out and shouts his usual mockery while David is still there. This is the first time David hears it and it’s almost like he is shocked no one has done anything about it yet. In verse 26, he says, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” David cared not that Goliath was so tall. He wasn’t bigger and better than God. The rest of the Israelites were terrified and saw themselves as little grasshoppers compared to Goliath, but David saw Goliath as a mere grasshopper to God!

Notice how David, who was full of faith in God, still had a slight ulterior motive. He figured he could serve and honor God and get a great reward in the process. Like I said before, God is not opposed to using other motivation to get us moving. David was told that Saul would give anyone who kills Goliath great wealth, his daughter in marriage, and tax exemption. I find it more interesting to note what Saul was NOT willing to give up - his throne. Here was Saul, a man bigger and stronger than all of Israel, yet a wimp who was afraid to stand up to Goliath but still desperately tried to hold onto his throne against ALL threats, including BOTH Goliath and David. And then there was David, a man who had no reason to even get involved in this mess until he heard someone talk about his God in a demeaning way and also heard what he could get out of the deal. One was a leader by name and title; the other was a leader by faith.

David goes on to defeat Goliath with a simply sling and a stone - the greatest upset in all of history. But it wasn’t, especially when you consider who was on David’s side. The people looked at David vs. Goliath and said there is no chance David can win. David looked at Goliath vs. God, using David as a mere servant to accomplish his purposes, and said there is no way God can lose. David went on to receive all that was promised him and all that motivated him, plus the throne of Saul. He never boasted about his conquests except to give glory to God for the victory. What are you facing right now in your life? Where are you afraid to move forward because there is an evil giant staring you down? Learn from David and choose to see the God that is on your side. When you do, you’ll see that it’s not you, but that enemy giant, who has absolutely no chance!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.