How Giants Fall: Courage to Stand

Courage. It’s something we all desperately want to have, but something we lack greatly when facing our giant.  It’s not that we lack a desire to stand up to our giant, but we feel incapable of standing up to our giant.

That’s about how the army of Israel felt when they saw Goliath: they wanted to save their nation by standing up to Goliath, but they were convinced that they had no ability to kill the 9-foot Philistine.  Yet, we see in 1 Samuel 17 that Israel’s courageous military hero was the most unlikely person—a teenage shepherd boy.

But where did David find the courage to stand up to Goliath?


Too often, people think that the focus of this story is on the stones that went into David’s sling, but that’s not really the focus of the biblical account.  The focus of 1 Samuel 17 is on a shepherd boy who didn’t just hear a giant challenging Israel’s army, but a giant who defied the name of God!

David realized the fight was more about God’s glory than military dominance, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  That’s where courage comes to fight our giants, too.  It comes when you and I realize that life isn’t about us!

You were created to bring God glory, and the presence of sin in your life hinders your ability to bring Him glory.  If the root of all sin is when we make life about us: how then can we overcome sin when our motive for doing so is all about us? There’s more at stake in your battle with your giant than just your marriage, your reputation, or your health.

But unfortunately, not everyone around you will be as excited as you are about conquering the giant within you.


On one hand, I find it strange how Eliab and Saul opposed David’s decision to fight Goliath, but I also find it hard to blame them! Who could blame someone for doubting a teenager’s ability to kill a war hero? But David’s response to his criticism packs so much truth for those who doubt their ability to slay their giant.

Many times, when preachers talk about David’s rehearsal of how he killed the lion and the bear, they focus on the skills that David might have developed with his sling as a shepherd boy.  I find two things to be interesting about David’s words in 1 Samuel 17:34-37:

  1. David didn’t even use a sling to kill those animals.
  2. David’s ability to kill a lion or bear hardly qualified him to face the best warrior in the Philistine army.

What was the point of the story, then? Why would David talk about his experiences with the lion and bear?


The point of David’s sermonette is stated in verse 37, “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion…he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”  David had already experienced that God was able to deliver him from seemingly invincible enemies.  When David was in the pasture, God wasn’t developing his skill to fight as much as He was developing David’s faith in the greatness of God!

Let’s be realistic: like David, you and I have no business fighting our giant in our own power.  We’re helpless.  We’re weak in the flesh, and we have a losing record.  But let me remind you that when you step out into the valley to face your giant, you are not there alone.  Fighting on your behalf is the LORD of Hosts, God Almighty, and the Great I AM.  The God who stands beside you is far more powerful than the giant that stands before you!

How do you gather the courage to fight Goliath? Courage comes when you realize why you’re fighting and when you realize Who fights for you.



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