1 Samuel 17: 23-26
As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.
Now the Israelites had been saying, ‘Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.’
David asked the men standing near him, ‘What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?’
The reason that David was willing to step up and fight Goliath when everyone else was terrified is the same reason that he wasn’t sidetracked and deterred by his brothers harsh criticism: no one was as big to David as God was. God was bigger in David’s life than any giant or any opinion.
All the Israelite army could see was how HUGE Goliath was and how small they were. The more they looked at him and the more they talked about him, the bigger in their minds he became.
David comes on the scene and sees things completely differently than everyone else. The real issue isn’t about how big the giant is, but how big his God Yahweh is.
Look at what David says:
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (v. 26)
David, a man after God’s own heart, is so consumed with God, is so passionate about His God, is so God-centred, that God is more real to him than Goliath is.
David reminds them all who the real giant is. The real giant isn’t some big guy called Goliath, the real giant is Yahweh, the living God.
It’s not that he doesn’t think that Goliath is big, he’s not blind. It’s that he knows that his God is bigger. Compared to his God, Goliath is a puny dwarf.
He sees things totally differently than everyone else sees because what he sees is filtered through his vision of God. His life is so saturated with God and he has such an awareness of the presence of God, that this affects how he views everything he comes up against in life.
I wear glasses when I’m driving, I’m short sighted. A while ago, suddenly one day when I was driving, I couldn’t see so well. Everything seemed blurred. I thought I was going blind. I went to the optician, got an eye test, and my prescription hadn’t changed. Strange, I thought. The optician said: 'Show me your glasses.' He looked at them and smiled. He then asked me where I keep my glasses when I’m not wearing them. I told him that I just threw them on the dashboard of the car. 'That explains it', he said. 'The lens has got warped.' The sun coming through the car windscreen was so hot that it had warped the lens of the glass and therefore everything I looked at through the lens was blurry. The good news was I wasn’t going blind. The bad news was I had to spend £150 on new lenses.
We all see life, we all see reality through a certain lens. We all have a worldview through which we make sense of the world around us. Some of it comes from our background, our culture, our family, our experiences, our education, our beliefs and so on.
How we see the world and make sense of reality is not so much about how the world is, but it’s about how we are. Two people can see the exact same event in totally different ways depending upon the lens or worldview they see it through.
In this story, everyone is looking at Goliath and thinking: Look at how big that giant is – how can we ever win?
David looks at Goliath and thinks: Look at how big God is – how can I lose?
They’re all thinking: Look at how big he is – how can I win?
And David’s thinking: Look at that big forehead – how can I miss?
David saw what all the others had totally missed. They are all looking at Goliath, while he is looking at God. And when you see God clearly, when you see God as He really is - it changes everything.
Your beliefs about God, your understanding of God, of His character, His power, His love, His sovereignty, His authority – these beliefs you have about God will always determine how you face your giants. In fact they will determine how you live your whole life.
The most important thing we can do as Christians is too know and understand more of the character of God. Of the nature of God. Of His ways. We do that through experience and through studying His Word, the Bible. The Scriptures tell us what God is like, how God works, how God relates to us, what God’s will is for us. We need to fill our minds with God’s Word, God’s truth, so that that becomes the lens through which we see the world. God’s promises never fail – if God gives a promise we can take it to the bank. God never lies, He never changes, He is true to what He has said.
We need to cling to promise like Deut 20: 3-4 which says this:
“...today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be faint-hearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Or Romans 8: 31-32; 37
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all— how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?.... in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
So we focus on God’s character through meditating on and studying His word the Bible. And we also do it through worship. As we worship God gets bigger. Whatever we focus on in life gets bigger and whatever we focus on will control our behaviour.
If we focus on people – they will get bigger and pleasing people will control us.
If we focus on money, it will get more important and having it or lack of it will control us.
And if we focus our eyes on God – fix our eyes on Him in worship and praise – then He gets bigger in our hearts and minds and His nature controls how we live.
We need to judge reality not by what we see, but by the truth we know.
The giant might be big- but my God is bigger.
The giant might be great – but my God is greater.
The giant might be powerful – but my God is more powerful.
The giant might be strong – but my God is stronger.