A GIANT KILLER?
Memorise: For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit domortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Romans 8:13
Read: Colossians 3:1-6, 3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Bible in one year: 1st Colossians 1:1-4:23, Proverbs 26:1-14
David is the biblical man for all seasons, the most complex and many-sided human character in the Scripture. David was variously shepherd, fugitive, politician, king, poet, musician, prophet, warrior, friend (of Jonathan), lover, father, sinner (adulterer and murderer), penitent and “type” of Christ. David is unique among bible characters by virtue of being fully known to us, both from the outside (as subject of narrative writing) and from the inside (as writer of Lyric poems). While many post biblical exegetical and literary traditions take extravagant liberties with biblical data, the traditions stemming from David can all find biblical basis. This includes the Puritan image of David the reformer, the true child of God resisting the assaults of a tyrannical king (Saul), beset by slanderers and enemies; the champion who fought against God’s enemies, the king who reformed the nation and established worship on a holy foundation.
The role in which David is best known to the Western imagination is that of ‘boy hero and giant killer’. When David killed Goliath, he became an instant public hero, a civic liberator providing possible inspiration for fictional heroes, following in his wake from Beowulf to Jack (of the beanstalk). To this day we read in the newspapers about someone pulling of a “little David” act in sports or politics, or about a “David and Goliath” contest. David’s success in expanding the territory of Israel was unequalled in the annals of Israeli history.
David’s career as a national hero was preceded by his career as an underdog. The youngest son, belittled by his older siblings (1st Samuel 17:28-29), David was considered so unlikely a candidate among Jesse’s sons to be anointed as the future king that he had to be summoned from tending the sheep after the other brothers had been passed over (1st Samuel 16:6-11).
Subsequently, he had a career as a fugitive, fleeing from the wrathful Saul, living continuously on the edge. There is even a touch of David as a rebel and a desperado. Jesus cited David as a precedent for disobeying the Levitical laws on the basis of the time when David took consecrated bread to feed his hungry men, and also ate from it too (Matthew 12:3-4). Then there is David the political strategist. Even after he was anointed king of Judah, David had to undertake a long process of consolidating his power until he eventually became king of the entire nation (2nd Samuel 2-5).
Anyone who has ever been to Sunday school probably knows the story of David and Goliath. In fact, the concept of a boy giant-killer excites even the imaginations of unbelievers. And well it should. Not only is this an actual historical event and a wonderful Bible story to tell our children, it is also a powerful demonstration of victorious spiritual warfare. It’s a story we need to revisit often as we mature in the Lord. The imagery in this story is rich with profound spiritual truths and insights that can help strengthen our own understanding of how to engage effectively in spiritual battle. With your study group, read through this passage, ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind and heart to new truths, and then together begin to ‘mine’ the rich treasure contained in this passage.
Father, please give me the grace to achieve greater feats than David.