David’s three older brothers were among the soldiers that fought in the army against the Philistines. We are familiar with the story of Goliath who was over nine feet tall. His size and stature was intimidating and his challenge to Israel was to send a soldier who could fight him. For forty days, the armies lined up, but none of the soldiers among Israel were brave enough to fight him. Every day David took supplies to his brothers who were stationed in the army. Every day David had to listen to Goliath posture about how mighty he was. Every day David watched the soldiers, including his brothers, shrink back from this Philistine.
“All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid”(1 Samuel 17:24). David was curious, about the reward, that the King would give to the man who faced and killed Goliath. He was also indignant that his own people seemed afraid to tackle this enemy of God. ‘Who is this uncircumcised Philistine who defies the armies of the living God?’ David knew his place and his standing in God. Perhaps it was his youthful exuberance and the lack of fear which was associated with his age. Either way, David had the mindset which God could use to take down Goliath.
David’s brother was angry that he asked questions and spoke about Goliath. Perhaps he was being protective as he knew David was the type to position himself wherever there was trouble. Maybe he was ashamed as David’s boldness made him question his own courage and conviction. David paid no attention to his rebukes but carried on with his enquiries. I believe that the idea to tackle Goliath was already established in David’s mind. For forty days he walked back and forth from the battle and waited for someone to be bold enough to move forward. David’s frustration from being able to see and hear, made him want to get involved.
We know how the story ends and Isreal was better off because David had the boldness to stand up to a bully. We have to be fearless in our convictions and don’t allow fear to cause us to shrink back from a challenge. What David had over every other soldier in that army was conviction and boldness. Too many of us are tolerating situations that the Lord has given us the resources to tackle. We may need to pray and ask God for revelation knowledge to discern how to address some issues. Either way, folding our hands, running away, shrinking back or being avoidant will not make things better. Nothing is impossible or beyond our capacity when we fight in the strength of the Lord.
“and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand” (1 Samuel 17:47).