“‘I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.’ So David took them off.”– 1 Samuel 17:39
Whenever He shared a story, Jesus made it clear when it was a parable. In the story of David and Goliath, no such preface is given by the Lord. If God said it, it is true. Unfortunately, this story of David and Goliath is often used only as a metaphor to face life’s challenges. We must learn the lesson and never attempt to change God’s truth with human wisdom and reasoning. It is that thinking which turns this event into a child’s fable.
David was a shepherd who cared for his sheep profoundly. He boldly protected them by skillfully killing lion and bear. When attending to other business, David left them with a keeper. “David was a man of strong passions, good and bad,” writes Whyte, “but no passion in David’s heart was stronger than the noble passion to do with all his might whatsoever his hand found to do. Harp, or sling, or sword, or scepter, or psalmist’s pen – it was all the same.” Whatever opportunities life presented him with, David certainly did them with all his might by using the gifts given to him.
Before going to battle against Goliath, Saul thought it wise to place his armor and sword upon the young man. Saul was “head and shoulders” above every other man in Israel, his uniform did not fit the teenager. David was wise to realize he could not fight this battle in the traditional fashion or with another’s devices. He had to use the gifts and tools that God had given to him personally.
Today we may find ourselves searching every source available for a recipe for success. We are often lured into the thought that, “If others did it that way and achieved victory, I can certainly do the same!” We are left then only attempting what others have done and trying to use the skills they employed to get there. May we learn, like David, to “take off” that which has not been tested in our own lives. We must only fight battles we are called to and utilize the tools that He has given to each of us individually. Otherwise, we are only walking by sight and following man and his wisdom.
“When we walk by sight, we calculate everything from the human perspective, and this always leads to discouragement; but when we walk by faith, God comes into the equation, and that changes the results.”– Warren Wiersbe