“Run Toward Your Goliath!”
In the bestselling book, “Outliers: the Story of Success,” Malcom Gladwell, the author, has an interesting perspective on the way David fights Goliath. In a perceptive way, Gladwell observes several things about the way David is successful in his battle with the giant. The most interesting of his observations, for me is that Gladwell points out that David “Runs towards Goliath.” Once David had committed to fighting Goliath, he does not hesitate, but he “runs towards goliath.” You and I could learn from David that when faced with a great task, we too should “Run” towards our objective with confidence, passion, and faith that our God will deliver.
These are some of my thoughts about David and Goliath: first, David refuses to fight Goliath according to the terms and norms that Goliath tries to dictate. Goliath lines up in traditional armor with the protection of an armor bearer. Even though King Saul offers David his armor, David declines because he is not used to the armor and it is too heavy for him to move around with any flexibility. Next, David looks at Goliath not as some super-human, but as a larger than life adversary. In this context, David equates Goliath to the bears and lions that would attempt to snatch his father’s sheep. David tells Saul that if he could protect the sheep from the lions and bears, surely, he could defeat Goliath. Take a look at the passage below.
1 Samuel 17: 33 Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David said, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you!” ni
Then, we get to Malcom Gladwell’s point. David “Runs” towards Goliath. Why does David run towards Goliath?
- David may be young, but he knows what he is doing! He is an expert with a sling shot.
- By running towards Goliath, David probably caused the giant to become bewildered because he was not afraid of him.
- The sling shot becomes a sort of equalizer for David. He may not be an expert with a sword, but as James Brown would say, “You’ve got to use what you got to get what you want! David uses what he knows and what is in his hand to fight the giant.
1 Samuel 17: 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it. 
I am preaching on the subject of “Running toward Goliath” Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at noon at the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit, Michigan. If you are available, I hope you can attend. If you can’t make it in person, check it out on my Facebook Page at 12 noon EST.
Questions for Reflection:
- Can you think of something like David running towards Goliath?
- What is the significance of David running towards Goliath, rather than moving towards Goliath in a cagy, protective manner?
Prayer: Lord, grant that I might be aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Bless me with the courage to develop my skill sets, build upon my skill sets and use my skillsets to the glory of your name. Fill me with passion and energy to approach my challenges and obstacles with faith in you, faith in myself, hope for success and love of life and a dream of the best life not just in the world to come, but in this life right now. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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