Are you listening to God or Goliath?

For 90 days, the nine-foot, nine-inch Philistine warrior would strut out each and every morning, blaspheming the name of God and belittling the Hebrew army. The giant would dare any man to take him on one-on-one. Whoever won, that army would be declared victor, and they all could go home. Unfortunately, not one Israeli took up the challenge, but—as you probably know—the shepherd boy David chose to confront the warrior.

Goliath came prepared for battle with a bronze helmet, a coat of mail weighing 125 pounds, bronze leg armor and bronze javelin with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. David came in his tunic, a slingshot and five smooth stones.* 1 Samuel 17 tells the story of the confrontation, which began with the traditional trash talk.

    Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.

    David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

As you know, it was Goliath who became buzzard meat.

We have a choice whose promises we will believe: a well-armed enemy or an omnipotent God:

“You’re a loser, a worthless failure” or “You’re a child of God.”

“You can’t do it” or “I will give you strength.”

“You’re out of work and you’re going to starve” or “I will provide for you.”

“You have six months to live” or “In Me, you have eternal life.”

“Your prodigal children are lost” or “I will guide them home.”

“No one loves you” or “I love you unconditionally.”

“You’re alone” or “I am with you.”

We have a choice whose promises we will believe: the loser or the winner.

© 2009 James N. Watkins

* Goliath had four equally large brothers, so rather than David thinking, Wow! It’s going to take five shots to bring this guy down, the future king may have had one smooth stone for each of the Gittite brothers.

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