There are few Bible stories more familiar than David and Goliath. In fact, the story of this young shepherd boy defeating this great warrior giant has become so culturally ingrained that it is used to describe any time a smaller force does battle with a larger one. We hear it in reference to businesses, where a large company tries to push out a smaller one, or when a sports game seems to be completely one-sided.
David and Goliath is the ultimate underdog story…
…but not really.
You see, we tend to think of this story as one about two men who do battle, one of whom had little to no chance of winning. But, in reality, it is about God. It is about God delivering His people using the most unlikely candidate.
David and Goliath is yet another example of God’s preference for using the weak and insignificant to accomplish His purposes.
Just look at who David was, a shepherd boy, the youngest of 8 brothers, so young in fact that he was not allowed to participate in battle. He was maybe 13 or 14 years old, “but a youth” as King Saul put it in 1 Samuel 17:33. He knew that Goliath could crush him with one hand, but he did not trust in himself. 1 Samuel 17:37 says this:
And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”
The story of David and Goliath is a reminder that God is the one who slays giants. God is the one who gives us the victory, as 1 Corinthians 15 says. We can’t slay giants. We can’t save ourselves. God’s reminder to us is that we are weak, and that’s the way He likes it. For when we are weak, He is strong, and His power is displayed through our weakness.
God does not use people who are giants in their own eyes. He uses those who trust that any giant is subject to the power of God. And if God is on our side, who can be against us?