It is now time to move on to Healthy Lifestyles – Walking with God David’s Way Part 2. Remember that when you appreciate God’s protection over your life and praise Him for doing so, His favor shall be upon you all the time. This is what David did. God always protected him from wild beasts as he looked after his father’s sheep. In turn, David composed various songs and sang about the greatness of God as often as he could.
In Healthy Lifestyles tips – Walking with God David’s Way Part 1, we left David at the battle front where the Israelites were about to engage themselves in battle against the Philistines. He had already delivered the foodstuffs his father had given him. He was now curious to find out who it was that was making the Israelites run away from the battlefield with fear written all over their faces.
He glanced to see what had terrified his three elder brothers who were in the Israelite Army together with the rest of the soldiers. They had scampered like frightened sheep who had just seen a lion in their midst. Why should Saul’s soldiers run away from an enemy soldier like frightened chickens? Was there any need to do that when they had the Living God in Israel? Or had they forsaken their God and had run after man-made gods who were now unable to defend them in times of enemy attacks?
Eliab, David’s eldest brother, came where David was and discouraged him from doing anything silly. He rebuked David when he was trying to inquire about what would be given to the one who would defeat the giant who was threatening the Israelite army. He just wanted his young brother to go back home and look after the family’s sheep. However, David continued asking about the reward for killing Goliath. The answer was a welcoming remark to David’s ears. Was it really true? Was it possible that he could become the son-in-law of King Saul? Was it also true that his father’s family would be exempted from paying tax in Israel? Was it also true that he would receive other good gifts from the King? This was too good to be true!
Word spreads out quickly! One of the sons of Jesse is going to challenge Goliath! It cannot be Eliab or the other two of his brothers because they have been running away from Goliath since the challenge began forty days ago. Who can it be then? What! Face that giant! Only a mad soldier wanting to commit suicide can do that. It was said that Goliath had been fighting battles from a tender age and had not lost any. His body was gigantic. So was his shield and spear. His battle garments were also metallic. Why challenge such a one? Indeed, challenging Goliath was suicidal.
David was oblivious of the soldiers’ concerns. This giant who is calling himself GOLIATH has to be killed today and have his body fed to the birds of the air. He has defied the soldiers of the Living God and insulted their God. His death will let everyone know that the Maker of the ends of the earth dwells in Israel and no proud soldier can insult Him. This Living God is the one who had protected him from death as the bear or lion attacked him. Today is the last day for the Israelites to be insulted by this uncircumcised Philistine soldier.
David is escorted to King Saul. The long awaited good news had reached him. There was a young man who was willing to challenge the giant GOLIATH. At last Israel, as a nation, will be freed from this fearful soldier. God had a way of answering his people in one way or another. But why hadn’t God used him or his son, Jonathan, to free the nation from such an attacker? What King Saul did not know is that strong leaders produce strong followers. His leadership at this stage was weak and so he had produced week followers who were also running away from this giant called GOLIATH. Even his name suited his gigantic stature.
King Soul is disappointed when David is brought before him. He did not expect a youth to go out and fight with the giant and was about to rule him out when the young man said with confidence, “I am a shepherd who looks after my father’s sheep. I have not lost any sheep so far because whenever a bear or a lion grabs my sheep, I follow the beast and grab back the sheep from its mouth. Whenever it tries to attack me, I turn round and kill it. Therefore, my God who has saved me before from the lion’s mouth shall protect me from being defeated by this Philistine giant. (1 Samuel chapter 17).
King Soul is still not convinced and he tries to assist this youth with his military apparel. David tries to walk while wearing this new military attire, but is hampered greatly. With due respect to the King, he takes off the military hardware. He is confident of being in the same attire when attacking a lion. He gets hold of his sling, chooses five smooth pebble stones and declares himself ready to meet the giant. This encounter will show Eliab, his elder brother that he had not come to watch the battle, but to defeat Israel’s enemy number one.
As the two champions advanced towards each other, both camps start cheering their own champion. For Goliath,s camp, the soldiers are happy that only a youth has been sent forward to fight their champion and they are overcome with overconfidence. What escapes their mind is the fact that Goliath is up against invisible forces of the most High God. They forget, too, that Israel at one time had raised soldiers who were experts with sling shots according to Judges 20 v 16.
The giant looks at him and recognizes the fact that David is just a boy moving towards him with a club. He is greatly disappointed. He just imagines people telling him that he had only managed to defeat a boy and not a real man. He hails out to David, “Am I a dog that you should approach me with a club? Come to me and I shall give your body to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.” (1 Samuel chapter 17 vs 43 – 44).
David answers back with eagerness, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.” (1 Samuel chapter 17 v 45). Here it is important to note that David is emphasizing the armies and not one army which King Saul had. Therefore, David believed strongly in the invisible and invincible armies of the Living God. God commanded the invisible legions of angels on His side.
David goes on to say that the lord will deliver Goliath into his hands and that all the people shall know that there is a God in Israel. When he finishes his verbal attack, David hurried and ran to where the giant was. He paused to aim a shot with his sling. The stone sank into the giant’s forehead. Goliath fell face downwards. At the sight of this, Goliath’s shield bearer ran away while David rushed for the sword and cut off the giant’s head. He lifted the head up and the Israelite army cheered noisily and pursued the Philistine army killing most of them. The Israelites came back later and looted the Philistine camps. It was a great victory that turned tables in the Israel army.
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We can learn many lessons from David’s victory in defeating the giant. While everybody knows that no one likes to lose a fight, some leaders do not want to practice the law of victory. If the leader wins a battle, it affects the whole army. We can see above that David turned the coward soldiers into vigilant victorious people who attacked the Philistine army. The Israelite army was no longer petrified at the sight of the enemy soldiers they had been running away from the past forty days. What made the difference this time?
David’s perception of the giant was very different from everybody else’s. He did not see an invincible giant, but an opportunity not to miss hitting such a huge body with a stone from his sling. Moreover, David decided to use a proven method of a sling which he had been successful with in the past in killing a bear and a lion. He did not follow the conventional method of wearing protective garments while marching into the battle field.
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