Friday, December 26, 2008

"I will kill you and cut off your head!!!"

This is one of my favorite quotes. For me, it symbolizes strength and determination in the face of great adversity. It was spoken by King David when he was but a youth before he battled Goliath.

The quote can be found in 1 Samuel 17. I think David and Goliath is a misunderstood story. It somehow has become simply a forerunner to Rudy, a "root for the underdog" kind of thing. When you take the story in context, it has a much greater meaning.

Let's set the stage. The Israelites and Philistines are locked in a military clash. At this particular time, there is a standstill. The Philistines have a warrior that is the stuff of legends: Goliath. He makes Chuck Norris look like a little girl (or little boy for the PC among you). He literally stood over 9 ft. tall. Every day of the standstill he would offer to fight any Israelite one-on-one. Whoever won in the duel would claim victory for his entire nation. The Israelites were understandably terrified. Death was almost certain for the man who faced Goliath, so no one took him up on his offer for forty days.

Enter David.

David is a shepard boy at the time. He visits his brothers who are "at war" and hears Goliath's boastful challenge. David's anger is immediately kindled. He is ticked that Goliath is defaming the name of God in his taunts and offers to fight Goliath himself. After the leaders realize that David is serious, they prep him for battle. He is given the sword and shield of King Saul. After a few steps he realizes the new armor makes him clumsy. He sheds them and walks out to meet Goliath with nothing but a pouch full of stones and a sling.

Goliath sees David coming and begins to chide the Israelites for sending out a youth to take him on. When he is done, David says this:

"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

That is intense. What is even more intense is the next line...

"When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground." The story goes on to say that David then took Goliath's own sword from his unconscious body and cut off his head with it.

David RAN toward the battle. This is not some feel-good Disney story where a bunch of misfits get slaughtered in the preseason by the league favorites but "stick it out" to beat them in a thrilling buzzer beater in the closing seconds of the championship game. This is LeBron James dunking on your aging grandfather (or grandmother for the PC out there).

David was not intimidated by the challenge in front of him because he had great assurance in the character of God. David ran to vanquish evil in a selfless manner. That is how I want to live my life. Run with intensity to battle my problems, be they physical, spiritual, occupational, musical, whatever. I hope you will do the same.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Amen bro. I'd like to see that in some epic cinema hit--David charging towards Goliath and straight powning him in the Lord's power. That'd be pretty sick.

Hope you're doing well brother, and enjoying Christ this season.

...did you have a run-in with some super PC person recently?