In the familiar narrative of David and Goliath, David, a teenage shepherd, was sent by his father to deliver some food and check on his older brothers who were fighting in King Saul’s army. He arrived at the battlefield just in time to hear and see the opposing army’s superstar giant, Goliath, issue his daily challenge. Goliath trash-talked and bellowed for an Israeli soldier to step forward and fight him one-on-one, with the outcome being the deciding factor in which nation would be the victors and which would become slaves.
This stack of Duplo blocks is playing the part of “Goliath” for my illustration 😉
Incensed by the apparent fear paralyzing Israel’s army, something unseen took place within David. He likely took stock of:
- The high stakes situation before him (raise your hand if you want to be a slave?)
- His physical ability and experience (as a shepherd, he had killed both lion and bear in defense of his flock)
- The possibility that God could use him (perhaps he wasn’t there coincidentally?).
With passion for God, confidence, and perhaps some teenage swagger, he inquired of the soldiers why such taunting was being tolerated and asked for details of the reward being offered to the man who could defeat the giant. It was at this point that David’s brother overheard him…
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 1 Samuel 17:28
Angry-faced Lego guy is playing the part of Eliab in this illustration, and yes, those are Snickers’ legs in the background 🙂
At the very moment when David had gathered courage to take action, the enemy borrowed his brother’s voice to persuade him to shrink back using three distinct messages that he continues to use (on us!) today:
- “Why have you come down here?” David was sent by his father, but this question was meant to deliver the message,
“You don’t belong here.”
- “with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert?” Aiming to diminish David’s ability and accomplishments, the enemy asserted the lie,
“You don’t have what it takes.”
- “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” The accusation and judgement leveled at David with this last verbal blow was,
“Your character and motives are questionable.”
Whatever level of fear and doubt David may have felt after hearing these messages, we know he ignored it and ran toward the giant, changing the course of history. I want to do the same when I’m faced with the choice to watch from the sideline or make a bold move. I’ll remind myself to expect one or all three of these opposing messages (even within my own thoughts), and I’ll pray this prayer…
God, give me discernment to recognize and ignore diminishing lies that oppose Your purposes and keep me sidelined. May I engage with confidence and passion, like David, accomplishing all that you intend each day.