Facing Down Giolath
David’s major life victory came with his defeat of the philistine giant Giolath.
Giolath is fear personified.
The Name Giolth cmes from the word Gilath which means exile.
Its that which exiles you from moving forward. Thats what fear does, it stops you, it paralizes you.
Giolath paralised Saul and all of Israel with fear.
11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and very fearful.
Fear stops men from being men.
The definition of men is courage.
13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Tht one greek word “act like men” literally mens to be courageous.
Probibly the most paralizing of all fears, for men, is the fear of failure.
Fear than we do not provide for our families.
Fear than we do not live up to other, or even worse our own expectations.
But for a man to be a man he has to face down and cut the head off Giolath.
And like David, he has to do this on his own.
Saul offered David help:
38 Then Saul clothed David with his military attire and put a bronze helmet on his head, and outfitted him with armor. 39 And David strapped on his sword over his military attire and struggled at walking, for he had not trained with the armor. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, because I have not trained with them.” And David took them off.
Even Davids own family was of no help to him:
28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard him when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why is it that you have come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I myself know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” 29 But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a question?”
So what did David have on his side then?
But what does that mean?
It means that David was armed with the truth about the situation he faced.
14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be in dread,
Thats one of the big problms of fear - it stops you from seeing clearly.
And the best thing you can do with fear is confront it.
Psychologits have made a remarkibl breakthrough in th study of fear on the human mind.
In the 50’s it was believed that people became afraid of things through truma and being affected.
So a person is afraid of snakes because they got bitten.
Or a person is afraid of commitment because they got betrayed.
But now we know that this is not true.
We are born afraid of EVERYTHING.
We do not learn fear, we learn courage. The things we do not fear are those things which we confronted and overcame.
They discovred this by putting chldren of various ages in a room with a glass floor.
Every child feared they would fall, even hough none of them ever fell before.
Only when called by their mothers occross the glass floor did they learn noot to be afraid and so walked around freely.
Jordan eterson made a very intresting observation of an event during Israel’s wilderness wondering:
God punished his people for their constant complainig.
The snakes posted a real terror to the people, many people died.
They asked Moses to interceed for them and od made a strange deal:
He told Moses to fasion a huge snake out of bronze and hold it up. Whenever a person bitten a snake they had to look at the bronze snake and they would live.
Jordan notied that thinis was a divine method of looking at that which scares us, facing that wich terrifies us and by confronting that fear (snakes in this case) we can overcome it.
David fsces his current challanged based on his past experience with God on previous lesser challanges.
33 But Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him; for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior since his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a sheep from the flock, 35 I went out after it and attacked it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I grabbed it by its mane and struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.”
Before Giolath was lion. Before the lion was the bear.
We can read further into this
Before the bear was the leopard before the leoprd was the wolf, before the wolf was the fox and so on.
That how we learn courage - by facing increasing tougher challages and learning how not to be afraid.
This is why leaqrning new things and new hobbies is so important.
Whenever you start something new - you are terrible at it. You dont have the skills, you dont have the knowledge, you dont have the right tequnices.
But you learn. And what so good is that in the case of a ne hobby you are volentality putting youself in a position where you will fail. You know you will fail, but you confront that fear and get better as you learn.
Thats why people who suffer with fear and anxiety often live reclusivly and dont try new things, even harmless things. The fear of failure prevents them.
In fcat David tells us that he has trained for this.
39 And David strapped on his sword over his military attire and struggled at walking, for he had not trained with the armor. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, because I have not trained with them.” And David took them off.
Something that had baffeled bible comentators in David selection of 5 smooth stones.
40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, that is, in his shepherd’s pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.
People try to assign meaning to the stones. But we dont know, but what we do know is that David did not pick p 5 random stones he chose them.
That word means specifically selected from amoung others.
So David knew, from experience, what stones to look for.
So yes, maybe these stones are a representation of what you take into your battle with fear.
The truth of God word.