David, Goliath, and Evangelism


Every believer knows the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). The Philistinian giant stood before the army of Israel boldly defying the people of God.  He was a menacing figure who stood more than 9 feet tall and was built like an NFL Defensive Lineman.  His impressive armor was made of beautiful material and weighted as much as 700 pounds.  There is no doubt that he was an impressive sight to behold.  It is true that he lived up to the Hebrew meaning of his name, Splendor.  At his appearance the Bible teaches that the soldiers of Israel were “dismayed and greatly afraid” (17:11)

Enter David. A nobody.  A nothing.  A small boy who had no business on the battlefield.  He was not trained in the art of soldiering.  He was not equipped for battle.  Yet he had incredible faith in God.  He knew that he was of God and that because of that he would prevail.  While soldiers cowered and lost bladder control, a young boy stepped forward to kill the giant.

When David boldly stepped forward in faith one might expect others to do the same. Isn’t that how it works in the movies?  The faith and boldness in one brings out the best in others. That is not what happened, though.  He stepped forward alone, while trained soldiers ran in the opposite direction and cowered in corners (17:24).  David would have been justified for having second thoughts when no others joined him, but he continued forward.

Moving into battle alone was no big deal because his faith in God was strong. He was not alone but had the infinite God of the universe with him.

Is this not the same battle that we find ourselves fighting in regards to evangelism? The Israelites knew that they had been commanded to fight the Philistines and that the Lord was with them, assuring victory in battle (Exodus 23:31) and yet they feared the army of the Philistines.  They had been commanded by God, and yet they delayed obedience out of fear.  We too have been commanded to go into battle with the promise that God is with us assuring victory.  In Matthew 28:19-20 we have a very similar command and promise given.  We are to go into all the world and make disciples and God will be with us even to the end of the age.

Like the Israelites we know what we have been commanded. Like the Israelites few would question that we must obey, but like the Israelites many have delayed obedience out of fear in one way or another.  We are at war, and God has promised us victory, and yet we cower because of the giant that stands before us.

Satan paces before us calling out for us to battle him, and he holds in his hand all that we fear. His weapons are fear, and embarrassment, and lack of knowledge, our time and any other thing that runs through our minds that keeps us from faithfully following God’s command.  He is a giant, and we are nothing.  We don’t stand a chance against him.  He mocks our God, and we let him.

David is our example.

In the face of an unbeatable giant David stood knowing that God promised him victory. He stood and boldly proclaimed, “Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

Friends, the battle for the souls of men is the LORD’s battle and we have been called into it. We are the soldiers that he has commanded to go into the land and accomplish His will.  We are to be obedient.  Like David, we must boldly step forward and know that God is with us even to the end of the age.

Even if we, like David, step forward and find ourselves alone, we move forward into battle. If no other soul joins in the battle for men’s souls know that God has commanded you to proceed alone.

Goliath was not killed by a stone and a sling. He was dead long before that.  He was killed by one boy’s faith in God and His promises.  The command has been given, and the orders are clear.  Whether alone, or with an army we are to “Go therefore…”

J.W. Willard


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