"Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you."
Often we are pressured to compete with and compare ourselves to others. This pressure may be motivated by our own insecurity or the result of an outside source. In either case, young David is a reminder to be true to the real you!
David was not trained for battle, and for all intents and purposes, was not an experienced warrior. Yet, when ignited by God's power, David, an ish chayil, a man of valor, was eager and more than capable to slay Goliath of Gath, the giant responsible for Israel’s misery! In 1 Samuel 17, King Saul and the Israelite soldiers were terrorized by Goliath (11). Twice a day, for forty days, Goliath paralyzed the Israelites with fear (18). Its safe to say that the worse day in Goliath’s life was the day David heard him taunt the Israelite army (23). Can you imagine the scene when this faithful young shepherd is left standing alone, as the skilled soldiers disappear at the sight of Goliath (24)?
Saul sent for David after hearing about his interest in Israel's situation (31). David assured Saul that he would handle the giant on Israel’s behalf, but Saul, realizing that he was young and inexperienced, cautioned David concerning the Philistine’s champion (32-33). King Saul was not aware of David’s testimony! David had experienced God’s power first hand, when he killed a lion and a bear. He had a bold confidence and a solid certainty that God’s power would once again activate him for warfare, because Goliath had defied the armies of the living God. His faith in God canceled the fear which the natural situation would have provoked.
Saul, having seen many victories, dressed David in his armor (38). David walked around in an effort to become comfortable, because “he was not use to them” (39). Have you ever wondered what made David accept Saul's armor? Didn't he know that it wouldn't fit, since armor was customarily tailor made for an assigned soldier? Perhaps momentarily, he gave in to the pressure to wear the king’s armor or to look like the other soldiers. How special it would have been to fight in the King's armor! However, the truth is that Saul’s armor was a source of discomfort, and could have led to David’s and Israel’s demise! It was not what he was accustomed to, neither had it been required for his previous, miraculous victories. This current situation would certainly require supernatural intervention, for the armor alone could neither provide David with credentials nor training. David wasn't trying to imitate Saul or his soldiers, for he had already demonstrated a different posture by his response to the giant's defiance. David’s encounter with God’s presence resulted in the cultivation of faith and fearlessness for this very moment when he would stand before Goliath!
David’s uniqueness caused him to utter five of the most liberating words in this narrative (39), "I can't go in these!" David's activation flowed from his intimacy with God, the times when God's presence manifested when no one else was around. He knew that using his sling and stones would work, and furthermore, that God would fight through Him, just as He had in the past, without Saul's armor!
May we free ourselves from the pressure to compete and the tendency to compare or to allow ourselves to be compared to others! May we cultivate through intimacy with God our own uniqueness, in keeping with His divine purpose, resulting in victorious living and the activation of the powerful light which cancels darkness!