“For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers.””
1 Samuel 17:16,17
We often refer to fellow Christians as believers, and that is a very fitting title. The work a Christian most needs to do is: believe! Jesus says in John 6:29, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” And yet, believing is often the most difficult thing to do. Most of us can probably identify with the man who responded to Jesus with these words: “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
The story of David and Goliath is perhaps the most well-known and well-loved of all the Bible stories. But sometimes the familiar stories carry details that have evaded our notice. In the verses above, we read that for forty days Goliath took his stand and taunted the Israelites. We can imagine the Israelites dressing up for battle and taking their positions, day after day, for forty consecutive days! Yet, they did not move forward to conquer the enemy, but continued to huddle together in fear.
Sometimes, the church of God can be guilty of huddling together in fear, rather than moving forward to conquer the enemy. But the single greatest reason for fear, is a distorted view of our God. God does not demand that we have our lives all together before He will use us! He simply calls on us to believe in Him! He is the One who specializes in accomplishing the impossible, and He often uses the weakest means! God did not use the strongest Israelite to conquer Goliath, but He chose to use the young shepherd boy, David! God used weakness to defeat strength – to show that the battle is His! Alistair Begg says, “No one is too great to be defeated by the Almighty, nor too small to be used for His glory.”
Ultimately, this story points us to the cross, where God used what seemed utterly foolish and unbelievably weak to the world, to provide the greatest deliverance this world has ever witnessed! “We preach Christ crucified … for the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Cor. 1:23,25)