The Sword of Goliath
Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath. The round stones are remembered. Oft forgotten is the sword.
12 David went back and forth… to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this… grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp.”
20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions… the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness?… I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?”… What David said was overheard… and Saul sent for him.
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You… are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear… 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” David chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” 45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty… 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.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
Let’s get the picture now. Goliath was a massive brute of a man with a mighty sword, heavy armaments, brass helmet, with a shield carrier in front and a formidable army at his rear. Defeating him seemed impossible and the people of Israel were resigned to defeat and decades of enslavement to very wicked, evil people.
David had no reason to get involved. His father told him to deliver food and come back home. When he started asking questions his brothers said, “Don’t you have sheep that need tending?” To cap it off, the only way Israel thought it could bring forth a hero was to bribe him with tax exemptions. You read this just now. How modern and true to our own corruption!
The king looked David over and saw a fresh-faced kid from the fields with no apparent battle experience or credentials as a warrior. David knew himself better, having an unheralded but very real history of valiantly defending those under his protection. He had no need of the king’s fanciful armor and weaponry. He chose what he could deliver with deadly accuracy.
His weapons were smooth round stones, worn into the hardest of orbs by eons in water constantly eroded by currents. His delivery was by a sling. He knew the weapon was simple, the delivery had to be exactly on target, or he would meet the fate from which he delivered the sheep.
Goliath was contemptuous of David’s unarmed appearance unknowing of the lad’s feats alone in the woods back home. He thought his greatness commanded a more credentialed adversary. Maybe it was all the brass, who knows? Then the boy started running – straight toward Goliath – with purpose, never deviating even a step. Goliath had nothing to fear, his mighty sword was in his grip.
Goliath never knew what hit him.
The sword he never thought would be turned on him cost him his head.
A fearsome lout, a modern Goliath, stalks our land. He cares not for our needs, wants, desires, freedoms or rights, only extending his crushing corruption in domination of us all. Before him go his shield bearers, the politicians, lawyers, administrators and lobbyists. This hideous monster thunders derision at we the people, seemingly with impunity. Defeatists won’t challenge him. They cower behind a forest of excuses.
That Goliath intimidated with his voice for 40 days, it is written. The Goliath of Augusta has had his 40 years. We have heard his words of derision and contempt. We have seen his brassy swagger. We have heard the words, “Why don’t you mind your own business?” The doubters who should be our brothers question our motives. We, like David, say, “Can’t I even speak?” We look for inspiration and get offers of tax exemption bribes.
Goliath was insulted by his opponent’s lack of armaments and credentials. Is the Augusta leviathan making the same mistake? Are truth, justice, and determination the hardened projectiles that will bring it all down?
Augusta and America yearns for a champion. If one comes, he won’t be riding in on a blaze of glory. He or she will probably be like David. He will take a very strange path to destiny, led there by God, or if you believe not in Him, fate. When he took to the field that day never did Goliath dream that he would lose his life on the blade of his own sword, wielded by so unlikely and unknown a defender of the powerless.
Are you Goliath?
The smooth hard stone of truth flung from unexpected hands is about to smite you. The people will have a sword.
It is yours.***
Nehemiah Gazes on Augusta