For awhile now, I have been giving attention to the narratives in the Bible where the situations faced by the people of God collectively or privately were utterly impossible. When you read several of these in one sitting, you discover themes running through all of them. First, there is the impossibility of the challenge ahead. Whether it be facing a giant or a fortified city, impossible is the operative word. Secondly, God works through both His people and pagans. It does not matter. His purposes will be accomplished. He moves the hearts of kings who do not believe He exists, as well as pagan priests and leaders of His tribe. God has no limits to His power or plans.
Commentators believe Goliath was between nine and ten feet tall. No doubt the centre for the local basketball team. Goliath is representative of every giant we have faced, are facing or will face. He is the collective expression of every doubt, fear and worry we hold within our soul. He represents overwhelming odds against us. Not only was he huge, he was able to literally stop an entire army on his own. By just standing there and inviting anyone who dared to come and face him, he paralyzed a nation. From leadership down, they could not move. They had no direction and no hope.
God has no limits to what He can do. David enters the narrative. God wants us to know from the very beginning that the proportions are daunting, to say the least — not only the size of both men but their preparedness for the task ahead. Goliath is a warrior, David a shepherd. Goliath is clad in full armour. David is clad in light clothing with sandals on his feet and a shepherd’s staff and sling attached to his belt. The list is endless as to the differences. There is only one supreme difference in the story. GOD. All eyes are on the obvious. On both sides, they are all looking at that which they can see. What they cannot see is the invisible work of God.
God loves to slay the giants in our lives as they appear, one by one. We all have such in our lives, past, present and future. I remember the giant of fear when facing an uncertain life-altering surgery. I remember the giant of worry when leading a church into a building program. Imagine, me leading such an adventure. Me, a person who to this day cannot put a Lego set together or properly use a miter saw (thank goodness for wood filler). I remember the giant of crippling anxiety when God opened doors to establish a bereavement resource centre and teach at a university/seminary. God loves to slay the giants of our lives as they appear, for His honour and glory.
Today, you might be staring down a giant. Giants always invite us to look at them and the enormity of their size and power. When we do, fear is just around the corner. However, our God invites us to look far beyond. He invites us to look into His eyes, His face. As we do, everything changes. Many times, the situation does not but our perspective certainly does. We are looking into the face of the One who promises we shall conquer, not merely survive.