The Trained Man
“Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” – 1 Sam. 17:33 (emphasis mine)
I LOVE the story of David and Goliath. Big ugly dude yelling stupid things about God and God’s people, then … an errand boy was sent into the Israelites camp. Goliath yells, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” Goliath is not only asking for a ‘man’ to challenge, but in the Hebrew, in this context, the word he chooses can also be translated as ‘champion, soldier, warrior,’ a mans man. In other words, send out your trained! Your BEST! Scholars believe David was about 17 when he basically told King Saul ‘send me.’ Saul’s response is natural, “You are not able to go” and proceeds to state what seems to be the obvious.
The rest of the story is amazing. Saul tries to get David to wear his suit of armor. Nope. There was no hesitation on David’s part. No, “Give me a minute while I figure this out.” David knew his God was with him against the lions and bears, he would INDEED be with him against the nine foot increasingly bad tongued Philistine. He takes his sling and stick, while picking up a few smooth stones on the way and RUSHES towards Goliath. (Dead giant) Goliath called for a man, King Saul said you are a mere lad. A boy did what a man was called to do. However! You see Goliath got exactly what he was asking for. David had trained in the fields alone protecting and defending his father’s sheep, killing all predators, Goliath may have been a warrior since his youth as Saul stated, but so had David. A trained man.
Intertesting side note: The narrative says that as David and Goliath approached each other, Goliath had his ‘shield bearer out in front of him’ he couldn’t do it alone. (Not so tough now big guy!) And beyond the glamorous flannel graph stories, David not only killed the giant with one swing of his sling, but ran to him, took his sword and cut off his head. He cut off the very thing that yelled those horrendous statements about his God. Who said the bible is boring!
What is God calling us to? What giant stands before us? Be assured they aren’t as tough as they proclaim! What have we been in training for all these years, in the isolation of ‘just me and God.’ May we too not hesitate when we are called beyond what we seem to be, when someone tells us, “You are not able to… You are only…” Let us not try to fit into someone elses ‘armor’ – but take up what we know and RUN towards what God calls us to. I’m sure if you wish to yell, “For Narnia“, God will understand. And remember, what may seem to be a simple ‘errand’ we may walk out victoriously slaying a giant.
* The whole exciting story can be found in 1 Samuel 17.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us spur one another towards love and good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)