Today's passage: I Samuel 17:31-58
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." I Timothy 4:12
How insulted must Goliath have been! Not only did Israel send this kid out to do a man's job, but an unarmored kid without fighting weapons. Goliath's armor bearer who went before him carrying his shield was probably even taller than David. Goliath was furious. It was as if Israel did not take him seriously. It was as if this was a practical joke they were playing on a proven warrior. It is not a joke. Israel fully expects to see David demolished. His brothers are already writing a note home to Dad to let him know they tried to stop him, but as the baby brother who tended to get his way, he wouldn't listen. The medics have their first aid kits nearby knowing they will not have a chance to use them before David expires. They don't even bother with the stretchers because Goliath will kill anyone who tries to go near David's body. Goliath has already said that David's carcass will be vulture meat.
The Israelite and Philistine soldiers hear Goliath and David shouting to each other across the valley. Goliath is muttering and ranting because a boy stands before him. But David seems confident, poised, as if he had killed thousands of giants. David claims the battle for Jehovah and assures Goliath he will be the vulture food this day.
Goliath ambles toward David, his hefty figure weighed down by his armor. He almost looks as if he moves in slow motion. David, unhindered by any armor moves swiftly. He is agile as he whips the sling around his head. Goliath lifts his heavy sword and slashes downward, but David's small stature and speed become an advantage, because Goliath misses. He has to determine where David has moved so he can attempt to slash at him again. The hillside soldiers watch this scene as if an elephant is lumbering at a pesky flea. The flea's movements are so quick, that the elephant no soon turns around than the flea is behind him. David catapults a stone which buries deep into Goliath's forehead. Ding, dong the witch is dead, oh no, that's another story. Goliath's armor bearer scurries out of the way as his large shadow hovers closer to the ground. Armor rattles and creaks as his massive body slams against the rocky terrain. A breathless David stands on the giant back, unsheaths his sword, and decapitates Goliath with his own weapon.
Stunned, the Israelite soldiers process what has just happened, armor up, and pursue the remaining Philistine army. The Philistines, on the other hand, have already left camp. They have not had to fight a battle for a considerable while now since they've had a champion to fight all of their battles for them. They have been lazy and have not bothered to train. They do not think their fighting will match up all that well with the trained Israelites, and they are right. Some of them are able to reach the safety of Ekron, but many of the Philistines never make it home alive.
Saul is curious about David. This young man who has played a harp in his palace, obviously had some hidden talents. He knew David, but he wasn't all that familiar with the family. My study Bible says that he didn't really care about the origins of a harp player, but now that his daughter would be marrying this giant killer, he would want to know who would be related to the royal family. Which kind of makes me wonder why any father would offer their daughter as a trophy anyway? I mean, I know that would be great motivation for a soldier, but what if he was a mercenary? Would you really want to give your daughter over to that kind of man? At least, even if David was from a nobody family, he loved God. Saul would not have to worry about her spiritual well-being, not as if that was something Saul would actually factor in when it came to giving his daughters in marriage.
David had more to contend with than just going up against Goliath. He had to battle prejudices against his youth. Everyone thought he was too young to do the job. Experience is respected, sometimes revered. But God did not choose someone who had experience. He chose David, because it doesn't really matter how old or young someone is, it matters how surrendered they are. David had given his whole heart to God. It was because of David's inexperience as a soldier, that God could get all the glory. It was because David's dependence, that God could help him win the battle. An experienced soldier might have relied on his training, an untrained soldier would have to rely on God. When I feel like I am experienced enough to handle a situation or do a job, it may be because of that very reason that God does not use me. Because who will get the glory in that situation? When I feel ill-equipped to respond, it may be the very thing God wants to accomplish the task, because I know I can't do it without Him. I will surely be in prayer and I will surely let Him lead. I may have natural talents, but God does not always choose to use those, sometimes He uses the unnatural talents, so that He is glorified. My inexperience may show, my inabilities may surface, but God will give me the sufficiency I need when the time comes. If I look at others and think, "I could have done that so much better because I have this talent and I have that skill" that is exactly when God will elect someone else. Why? Because when accomplishment comes despite abilities, there is only One who can claim success. There is only One who can take the credit. When I feel too young, too inexperienced, too skill-less to accomplish something, I can remember David who may have felt the same way too, only he had the confidence in the God who would do the conquering. My inexperience may show, but it will show Him greater.