The ways God fights for us is evident all throughout the Bible. Maybe you remember a Sunday school lesson about a boy named David and the dreaded giant, Goliath? Stick close because these five lessons are powerful for giving us victory in life when we’re feeling defeated.
God Fights for Us When Our Everyday Goliaths Show Up
Every scary story I heard as a child began, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
Not this one.
It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday in the summer – with absolutely no plans. A little over a month after Mr. B and I got married.
And then an unexpected knock on the door.
I had no idea my life would be turned upside down for the next 15 months. No idea the tears and heartache our new family would deal with. And I had absolutely no clue how God would work on my own heart while we endured such hardship. But that’s the way it goes sometimes, right? They (whoever ‘they’ are) are right. “In the blink of an eye, your life is changed forever.”
All because some jerk of a giant came in unexpectedly and demanded a fight.
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What You May Not Know About David and Goliath
That must have been exactly how the Israelites felt when they found the Philistine army camped out in Judah.
The Philistines Come Looking For a Fight
Samuel had already anointed David as the next king of Israel, although his time hadn’t come yet. After the Philistines set up, King Saul and the Israelites set up on the hill opposite them with a valley separating the two armies. (1 Samuel 17:1 – 3)
A 9-foot-tall giant named Goliath (maybe you’ve heard of him) came out with his helmet and armor on, loaded with a spear and a shield bearer. Yep, you heard me right. He had a human who carried his shield ahead of him. Goliath called for an Israelite fighter to come against him.
The prize? Whoever lost would become the slaves of the other. (v. 4 – 9)
Needless to say, the Israelites bore no match for the giant or the army.
It went on like this for forty days!
Every day, the giant came out commanding an Israelite fighter. And the Israelites high-tailed it whenever they saw him.
Then one day…
David’s father, Jesse, asked him to bring some food to the front lines and check on his brothers.
When David showed up, Goliath started in on his daily tirade, calling for someone to fight him. Just as it happened each day the Israelites ran when the giant came out. At this point, King Saul offered a number of riches as well as one of his daughters in marriage and, the cherry on top, whoever defeated the giant would not have to pay taxes.
David’s ears perked up.
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King Saul found out someone showed interest in fighting Goliath and called for a meeting. After meeting with David though, Saul wasn’t convinced David could bring victory to the Israelites. David recounted how he had killed “both lion and bear” (v. 36, NIV). Since Goliath had “defied the armies of the living God,” he would be killed in the same way.
David claimed boldly, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (v. 37, NIV)'The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.' 1 Samuel 17:37 (NIV)Click To Tweet
What Happened Before the Sling and the Stone?
David changed Saul’s mind!
Saul gave his own armor to the excited warrior but it didn’t fit David right. Wearing Saul’s armor would have been detrimental to David’s safety.
Do you know what David did?
David took the armor off.
He figured he was better off going into battle naked with the King’s (God) armor than inadequately protected with the king’s (Saul) armor.David determined that it was better to go into battle naked with the King's armor than inadequately protected with the king's armor.Click To Tweet
David grabbed the things he used in previous fights as a shepherd. A staff, stones, and his sling. With these things in hand, he began his approach toward Goliath.
Goliath didn’t take David all too seriously. “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” (v. 43)
David (the gutsy kid that he was) headed toward the Philistine and said, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty...This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands.” (v. 45, 46).
The Battle As We Know It
As the giant moved toward him, David sprinted toward the battle line to mee him. (v. 48) David slung the stone so hard “[it] sank into [Goliath’s] forehead, and [the giant] fell facedown on the ground.” Then, David cut off the giant’s head with his own sword. And took it back to Jerusalem.
How the Scary Story Ends
For me, the next fifteen months was brutal. I dwelt on our troubles often… obsessively, even. I kept talking at God instead of spending time with and listening to Him.
Looking back, I remember hanging on to David’s words “you come against me with spear and sword but I come against you with the Almighty God.” And I’d love to tell you I knew these five lessons and came out the other side triumphant. The drawn-out fight left me depleted but I learned some invaluable lessons.
And the next time the doorbell rang (less than two years after the first time), I was ready.
5 Powerful Lessons for Victory When You’re Feeling Defeated
1. Draw on your past victories with “the Lord who rescued me.”
Write it down. Several times if you have to. “The Lord who rescued me from _______ will rescue me from _____ .” In fact, I made a fill-in-the-blank printable of three different verses you can frame or laminate as a daily reminder. Grab it in the resource library.
2. Use the tools you’ve already been successful with.
Not every piece of advice will be suitable for you. Not every tactic for defending yourself is best for your situation. David took off the ill-fitting armor and used the tools that had already proven successful. Tools God gave him!
You have them, too.
3. Claim your victory*.
David claimed his victory over the Philistine before they had the first blow of the sword. He was also a “man after God’s own heart.” Every step of the way, he knew God was with him because he prayed and spent time with God. His claim for victory wasn’t on his own abilities and strength but on God’s.
The Davidic Psalms are evidence of that.
*Don’t forget to spend time with your Heavenly Father, who loves you. He will guide you and give you confidence to proclaim your victory.
4. Face your fear head-on.
David faced the giant head on. He didn’t shrink back. In fact, he “ran quickly toward the battle line to meet [Goliath].” (v. 48, NIV)
5. Celebrate your victory.
David celebrated the victory. And given how he glorified God for his past victories, I know he glorified God in his victory as well. With the head of the Philistine on display for the people of Jerusalem to see.
Maybe you can go get ice cream or chips and salsa, instead.
You’ve got the Almighty God with you. Draw on Him and His strength. You can get through this, sister!