In my Bible study last week, I was teaching on I Samuel 17 and the story of David and Goliath. Although everyone is generally aware of the story line, I enjoyed pointing out some details.
For example, we talked about how Jesse (David’s dad) referred to him as the “youngest.” Literally, that Hebrew term means “runt of the litter.” We noticed that Goliath had been taunting the Israelites for forty days. Forty is the Biblical number for testing. Moses fasted on the mount for forty days, the spies checked out Canaan for forty days and Jesus Himself was forty days on the backside of the desert.
We talked about Goliath’s size (somewhere between 7’7’’ and 9’9”). The Dead Sea scrolls say over 7 feet. His armor weighed about 250 pounds. He had to have a servant carry his shield, or he wouldn’t have been able to walk around.
We noted that David’s brothers mocked him asking, “Why did you really come up to the battlefield?” And they teased him about his lowly job of tending sheep. (Wait until they see what else he can do!)
David finally came to King Saul’s attention and the young lad began to ask some pertinent questions about Goliath: “Who is this guy anyway? Why hasn’t someone taken him on? Who will defend the honor of our God?”
And then Saul began to prepare David for battle. And he did so in the only way he knew. He began to dress David in his own armor. He covered David in a coat of some kind of mail. He put shin guards on him. He adjusted his own bronze helmet on the young boy.
Pretty soon it became obvious that Saul’s man sized suit of armor and his sword, shield and other battle implements did not physically fit David. David took it all off and grabbed 5 stones and his slingshot. One shot later, Goliath was done.
Saul thought his routine, his weapons and his plans would serve David in the battle. But that just isn’t the case. David needed a tailor-made “weapon” in order to defeat his enemy.
And so it is with us. Whatever “giant” you might be facing this week, be sure to seek the Lord for fresh insight and spiritual weapons. You can’t reuse the blessings of a friend or “wear” the armor of a trusted pastor or Bible teacher. When we stand before the giant of fear or lust or jealousy or anger or whatever, our approach has to be bathed in updated prayer, using current insight for God’s word, applied in a meaningful personal way.
Saul’s armor didn’t work for David. And trying to mirror someone else’s faith won’t work for us either. One size of faith does not fit all. Let’s make sure this week we appropriate the right spiritual “armor” and be properly outfitted for our own battles.