I got into a few fights in middle school, but the time I duked it out with a teammate on the football team—who was about 100 pounds heavier than me—is the most memorable. Not because I won the fight handily; it didn’t go so well for me. Rather, it was memorable because I stood up to him in front of a large group of people, and I earned his respect and the respect of my peers. I was David fighting Goliath, with a whole nation watching.
The difference, of course, is that David clearly won his battle with Goliath. He wasn’t merely respected or revered because he had the guts to fight a giant; he was exalted because he defeated a national foe and stood his ground for an entire nation.
Sunday school lessons often teach us that there are many “Goliaths” in our lives, and we just need to trust in God for the strength to slay them. On this thinking, if I’d prayed a little more, maybe I would’ve toppled the Goliath on my middle school football team! It is true that we face all sorts of opposition in life that we cannot defeat on our own, but fighting the inconveniences and hateful people in our lives isn’t the point of the David and Goliath story.
As Ephesians 6:12-14 tells us, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual oppression. And there is no amount of stones we can throw at the Goliath of personal sin and demonic oppression threatening our eternal existence.
The true David, Jesus Christ, has slain the spiritual Goliath of sin and death on our behalf. Like David, He walked onto the battlefield as a humble Shepherd and walked away a victorious King. Though His beaten and bloodied body on the cross may have looked like the King was slain, the cross was actually His weapon of a choice, a stone thrown right between the eyes of sin and death’s mocking face.
May we not try to topple the Goliaths in our lives, but rather look to the One who’s already done everything to win the war. Our King stands victorious, and His victory is also ours. May we worship Him.
Written by Brandon D. Smith