It was over as soon as it began. David stood victorious. The giant’s head had a stone enter it one moment, then became separated from the rest of the body the next. David’s adrenaline may have been pumping through his veins, with sweat instantly dripping down his forehead, as blood gushed from the villain’s neck, though I doubt he was thinking about how famous this story would become, not only in his lifetime, but over the next few thousand years.
Yet the story did become famous. It’s probably the most famous underdog story ever told. Sure, there was Luke Skywalker versus the Darth Vader. Yes, there was Frodo versus Sauron. And who could forget the time when I had to get milk out of a coconut with only a hammer and a screwdriver? I’m still going to say that this underdog story has been known by more people than any other. It’s kind of a big deal.
Killing Goliath was even harder than you think
When Goliath was challenging Israel to send someone to fight him, David was already anointed as the future king, but he had yet to take the throne, because Saul was still alive (rejected by God, but alive) and reigning as king.
Of course, no one else knew that except Samuel and probably some of David’s family, not that his older brothers treated him with much respect, even if they did know. He was just a good looking young man who spent most of time playing music and shepherding. Nothing about his appearance would have made him an easy nomination for the job.
Goliath wasn’t just a giant, he was a war hero, and the champion from Gath. David may have been the high school quarterback, but Goliath was a hall of fame linebacker who had certainly killed his fair share of regular sized folks in his day. David may have killed a lion and a bear as a shepherd, but Goliath was a professional killer of men with weapons and armor.
Goliath was armed and dangerous. David
used to bullseye womp rats needed to sling a stone perfectly into the forehead of his opponent in one shot or he would have been the one without a head. No pressure or anything.
There is no such thing as a fair fight
I get anxious when I re-read my own books. There are tense moments. I wrote them and know exactly what’s going to happen, yet I can’t wait to read what happens next, mostly because I want to get through whatever the protagonist is going through.
That feeling only becomes magnified when I am reading someone else’s book or watching a new movie where I know the hero isn’t going to lose (hint: if the movie is called “Wolverine” put your money on Wolverine to be okay when the credits roll) but I’m not sure how they are going to escape.
I imagine that’s how David felt as he was picking stones up from the brook. He knew God was in charge of the situation, but I bet he wanted to see the story unfold as quickly as possible. After all, he left the sheep with a hired servant, so he had things to do when he got back home from the fight.
I said this was an underdog story, but that’s mostly just how people perceive it, not how it was in reality. The truth of the matter is that David knew who was going to win the fight before it began, telling everyone who could hear him that the LORD would deliver him.
Everyone will tell you that David killed Goliath. David would tell you that the LORD delivered him. Both are true. And there’s no way Goliath was going to win. The script was written before the story unfolded.
This is the part where I am supposed to tell you how to fight giants in your own life
Chances are that you and I will never have to find a way to kill a nine foot tall military man with over a hundred pounds of armor for any reason whatsoever. Transformers, maybe, but I doubt it.
But the point of this underdog story is not that we have to muster up some way to overcome our biggest fear. David’s confidence was not in his ability to use a sling. David’s confidence was in the LORD.
It didn’t matter if David had a Javelin or a sling or if he had to bare knuckle box Goliath, because he had been anointed by God and fought with the LORD on his side. And he didn’t do it for himself.
People want to overcome things all the time. Have you ever had to look for a new job? Have you ever needed to find a place to live? Is there something you want to say to someone, but aren’t sure how?
Christians face obstacles every day. They don’t overcome all of them. But not all of their battles are on behalf of the LORD. But when we fight for God, with God’s Spirit directing us, then there is nothing that can stand in our way.
That’s why this story is incredible. Because all it takes to live for God is to believe in God and act upon that belief.
What’s your favorite underdog story?