My son has always loved the story of David and Goliath. Recently I asked him, “Why do you love this story so much?” His answer was so precious: “I like that there is a battle, between a big guy and a little guy, and that the little guy wins.”
4-7 A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor—126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail—the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds.
8-10 Goliath stood there and called out to the Israelite troops, “Why bother using your whole army? Am I not Philistine enough for you? So pick your best fighter and pit him against me. If he gets the upper hand and kills me, the Philistines will all become your slaves. But if I get the upper hand and kill him, you’ll all become our slaves and serve us. I challenge the troops of Israel this day.”
11 When Saul and his troops heard the Philistine’s challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope.
12-15 Enter David. He was the son of Jesse the Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse, the father of eight sons, was himself too old to join Saul’s army. David was the youngest son. While his three oldest brothers went to war with Saul, David went back and forth from attending to Saul to tending his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.
16Each morning and evening for forty days, Goliath took his stand and made his speech.
17-19 One day, Jesse told David his son, “Take this sack of cracked wheat and these ten loaves of bread and run them down to your brothers in the camp…”
26David asked, “What’s in it for the man who kills that Philistine and gets rid of this ugly blot on Israel’s honor? Who does he think he is, anyway, this uncircumcised Philistine, taunting the armies of God-Alive?”
31 The things David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul. Saul sent for him.
32 “Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.”
33 Saul answered David, “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced—and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.”
34-37 David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb…God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”
Saul said, “Go. And God help you!”
38-39 Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge.
David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off.
40 Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.
41-42 As the Philistine paced back and forth, his shield bearer in front of him, he noticed David. He took one look down on him and sneered—a mere youngster, apple-cheeked and peach-fuzzed.
43 The Philistine ridiculed David. “Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?” And he cursed him by his gods.
44 “Come on,” said the Philistine. “I’ll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I’ll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice.”
45-47 David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!”
48-49 That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, face down in the dirt.
50 That’s how David beat the Philistine—with a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. No sword for David!
1 Samuel 17:4-19, 26, 31-50 The Message (MSG)
My Life has its giants too. My Goliaths, if you will. Strongholds I can be taunted by, sins I am battling, and ultimately all victories in the LORD – if I’d just show up and fight.
Enter David. No offense, but he was the LEAST likely to beat this giant from Gaul. Talk about ill-prepared, ill-equipped, and all-around just the wrong guy for the job!
This is how I feel every day of my life friends. I am a physician trained as an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. I made a living caring for patients with all of the latest tools and gadgets in Davinci robotic and laparoscopic surgeries. I studied and practiced with office managers, nurses, temperature controlled ORs, consultants, ERs, ICUs, and more.
Then we moved here, to the rural savannahs of Northern Uganda, and NOW IT IS JUST ME.
I am truly a modern day version of the ill-equipped David, a little guy fighting a battle against a big, big enemy: HIV/AIDs, cancer, malaria, typhoid, schistosomiasis, vitiligo, arthritis, cholecystitis, diabetes, heart disease, broken bones, broken relationships, broken hearts, and everything in between.
I was recently asked “What do you miss the most from USA?” My answer, as true today as ever, is modern medicine.
Friends, I am doing the job of 100 physicians – just as David was fighting the fight of hundreds of Israelites. I have tried on the armor of others, wanting desperately at times to be fitted for another’s battle, but THIS is where the LORD has me.
So the question stands then, for me and any fellow little guys in the crowd, what are we to do? How do we face our big enemies in the battlefield called life? I think we can learn a thing or two from our friend David.
- Show up and fight. We can become preoccupied and anxious-ridden over a dilemma in our lives—we must engage the battle and stop fearing from the sidelines. Pray, fast, confess, train, counsel… just do something.
- BE YOU. We could be offered great ideas that work well for others. But YOU have to use what works for YOU. For David, a slingshot and rocks. For me, a head lamp, 3-0 Vicryl suture, and a whole lot of prayer.
- Call on the name of the LORD. Did you see the confidence young little David exuded throughout the entire story? I pray my son can emulate that in his life as he navigates battles with the “big guys” throughout his life.
We come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops.
The battle belongs to God!