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5.16 1 Samuel -- Goliath

 Saul sat in his tent, and Israel was paralyzed with fear.  There was no man who could stand against the Philistine champion.  This was not just cowardice, it was reality.   Positive thinking here would not accomplish anything except to get the challenger killed.  Goliath is a type of Satan facing the unsaved man:  the latter is no match for the devil.

It is unfortunate that the matchup of David and Goliath has become a common fable of modern culture, a variation of the Tortoise and Hare story.  The wrong lessons are drawn from the tale:  virtue triumphs over evil, courage can overcome raw power, take a stand against injustice.  These are noble sentiments, but they are not the "moral" of the event.  Instead, this story stands in the great tradition of the deliverance narratives of Judges, such as  Gideon and his army of 300 brandishing trumpets and pitchers against an army of 135,000  (Judg 8:10).  This too was an insane matchup!   The point is that God chooses the weak and unqualified to demonstrate to the world that He, not man, is the deliverer.  Quite honestly, David the shepherd boy, was dead meat in the hands of Goliath, five smooth stones or not.  The difference was -- and the point of the entire event was -- the power of the Holy Spirit that came upon David after Samuel anointed him.


We see this in David's confession:

        "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied....The whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands" (1 Sam 17:45-47).

          This was not bluster, this was not being "macho."  This was a proclamation of the agenda of God in history.  As Goliath is a type of Satan, so this confession is a type of Jesus' warfare against the devil.  And both conflicts were undertaken so that "the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel."  This is the larger purpose of God, it is more than just the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines -- rather, it is for Him to be glorified in the eyes of all mankind.  At this point, the foreign nations are not necessarily included in the plan of redemption, but at least they are among the witnesses of God's deliverance.  And all of this is the fruit of the Spirit's empowerment.  Without that, David, for all his courage, would not have prevailed.  And that, unfortunately, is a part of the story that the modern world chooses to ignore.

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