Last Sunday, we talked about the ultimate example of courage- Jesus.
I thought it would be cool to focus on a different Bible character each Sunday, with the following caveats:
- I don’t know everything that there is to know about the Bible
- None of these people were perfect
- I’m not necessarily going to talk about a person’s entire life- just mainly one situation that speaks to me about courage.
With that out of the way :), let’s talk about David.
We’re gonna pick up in the David/Goliath story where David has already seen Goliath and though the ENTIRE rest of the army is afraid to fight him, David is asking Saul for permission to challenge Goliath himself.
1 Samuel 17: 33-37
Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”
So much of King David’s life is marked with bravery. And many of us know the rest of this story… David gathers stones, goes up and tells Goliath that he’s about to be a goner, then slings one stone and knocks Goliath to his death.
Here’s what I love about this passage : Goliath wasn’t David’s first rodeo. God didn’t say, “I know you’ve just been hanging out in a field, now put on your big boy pants and go kill a giant.”
No, instead God gave David some practice rounds, if you will. A lion. A bear.
[Obviously not mild practice, but compared to a massive human that has an entire army freaked out, yeah- a bear isn’t that big of a deal.]
But I bet that day the lion entered David’s line of sight, David was scared. I’m sure of it! But he didn’t listen to the fear, he did the brave thing; he protected his sheep. And he killed that lion. And then a bear.
And then Goliath.
Each little step of courage gives you the gumption to take the next bigger one.
I changed high schools the summer after my sophomore year, 1996. I didn’t move houses, I just changed schools. At the time, it felt like a massive battle and sacrifice. And it was.
But in July 2011, I moved across the ocean.
High school was my lion. Edinburgh was my Goliath. [there were a few bears in the middle there… and another Goliath… but I’ll tell you all that later….]
If you are facing a Goliath, huzzah! It means you have already slain a lion and bear. It means that God knows your capacity for courage and knows that you can handle Goliath.
But, I also have to be honest and say, today’s Goliath is tomorrow’s lion.
David lived that truth too… first a lion, then a bear, then Goliath, then armies.
What does that truth look like in my own life? What could take more courage than moving across the ocean?
I. Have. No. Idea.
And it kinda freaks me out to try to conjure up an answer to my own question.
So instead, I cling to this- the fear of moving away from America is today’s slain Goliath. And I will simply rejoice in the victory, knowing that the courage is building into me gumption for the next time.
. . . . .
What is your Goliath?