Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

David, marble statue by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1623-24, Galleria Borghese, Rome

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
1 Samuel 17:45

Goliath offers a one-on-one fight to the death with any Israelite soldier who dares to step up. None do. Saul offers a reward of great wealth, his daughter's hand in marriage and a tax-free life.1 Still, no one will fight Goliath, who stands there mocking them for forty days. The soldiers in Saul's army are afraid of his great size and strength, and although tempted by the reward still cannot summon the courage. When David arrives to bring food for his brothers, all he hears about is the fearsome challenge and the great reward. The soldiers are torn between their fear and their greed. It is only David who sees the situation differently. David sees a man defying God, and David alone trusts that God will cause His people to triumph over this uncircumcised Philistine.2 And of course, He does. In David's mind there is never a doubt.

A person cannot dwell in two opposite states at the same time. We are either in fear or in faith. Fear is the place into which we fall, faith the one into which we must rise. Falling is much easier, or course—rising requires the defiance of gravity. At every moment of our lives we are faced with the choice of fear or faith, to turn away from or towards God. Secularists might describe this moment of choice as turning away from or towards integrity and truth. It's the same thing.

The story of David and Goliath is our story. Each one of us has met, or will meet our own Goliath, not just once, but frequently, and in many guises. It's worth pausing to consider how we have shown up in these situations, and how we would like to show up next time.

1 1 Samuel 17:25
2 1 Samuel 17:26