Often told to young ones and used in Children Bible books, the story of David and Goliath is one many of us grew up hearing. A story I frequently read growing up in church became so alive to me one day as I read it to our oldest son, Nicholas. As Nicholas sat on my lap he began to tear out pages from my Bible, but I was filled with child-like wonder, and too busy to notice his little mess. You see, as I read God began to highlight aspects of this story I failed to see before.
During one of the many battles between the Philistines and Israelites, Goliath, a giant who stood over nine feet tall, came out every day to taunt the Israelites.
“For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand” (1 Samuel 17:16). Then, one day, a young teenage boy, David, came along and delivered some food to his brothers, who served in Israel’s army. David, a shepherd boy, happened to arrive around the time this giant, Goliath, made his daily taunt towards the Israelites.
Most of us know what unfolded next—David actually killed the Giant with just a sling and a stone. Taking on an incredible feat, a young boy slayed a giant with merely a sling and a stone. Seems unreal, doesn’t it?
However, I believe David used something else, in addition to the sling and the stone, to defeat Goliath.
When David told King Saul he would step up to fight Goliath, Saul reminded David of the blaring obvious facts—David was just a boy, and Goliath an experienced fighter whom, from his youth, waged war against men (1 Sam. 17:33).
Any other boy would have came to his senses and returned back to his home. But, David replied back to the king:
“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them…The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear WILL deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:34-37, emphasis mine).
Why did David recount all these past experiences?
David intentionally remembered all God did for him. The simple act of recalling each victory stirred up the faith, courage, and boldness in David to believe the same God who delivered him in those encounters, would also deliver him from Goliath.
Yes, the sling and the stone were useful tools in striking down Goliath. But, remembering his past experiences helped David secure this great win!
As a mere boy, the odds stacked up high against David. But, he chose not to dwell on the facts. Instead, David chose to REMEMBER the faithfulness of God and he believed God could deliver him once again.
Interestingly, the Israelites, so stricken in fear by this giant, did not take a moment to flash back to all the times God delivered them before. I mean, the God they served split the Red Sea, provided food from heaven, made the sun stand still, caused the walls of Jericho to fall…and the list goes on and on. Don’t you think they would have had an advantage over their enemies if they remembered all of that?
If there’s anything I’ve learned to do when faced with a giant, it is to REMEMBER what God has done in the past.
Recalling and putting to mind the many times God has come through for me gives me an incredible advantage during times of battle. With each remembrance, I gain the upper hand.
Like David, I have learned to intentionally remember God’s faithfulness towards me. After going through a miscarriage, experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, and riding an emotional roller coaster—REMEMBERING God’s promises, His Word, and all He’s done for me has helped me attain victory.
I can recall jotting down bible verses anywhere and everywhere. Lyrics to uplifting worship songs often filled my journal pages as well. I also made it a practice to itemize all the things I was grateful for each day. Those journal entries got me through the worst of days.
The nights I woke up in a panic; the times I felt paralyzed by fear; the days when I felt like God was against me and not for me; the moments when I felt utterly crushed—I intentionally read my journal entries to remind myself of what God had done, and what He had spoken to me.
REMEMBERING is a POWERFUL thing.
So, my friend, I encourage you to REMEMBER.
Remember what God has done for you in times past. Remember how He’s provided. Remember how He’s transformed. Remember how He’s healed. Remember how He’s been true and faithful. Remember.
“I will REMEMBER the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will REMEMBER your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:11 & 12).