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The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Have you ever heard of the Bible story, David and Goliath? David was the typical underdog; a young man with no warfare experience. Goliath, a warrior champion of gigantic status who challenged God’s and David’s people (Israel) to a one on one duel (I Samuel 17).

David, despite all odds, stood up to Goliath and became one of the most well-known heroes in history.

According to author Malcolm Gladwell in his book “David and Goliath”, ancient military divisions were established much like the game of rock, paper, scissors. In the game, rock trumps scissors scissors trumps paper, and paper trumps rock. Ancient military infrastructure was organized in much the same way in order to bring balance to war. The major components that made up the military were the infantry, cavalry and archers or slingers. 

The infantry specialized in hand to hand combat. They wore armor; carried shields, weapons and other protective apparatus.  Although formidable in close combat, it was the slowest moving of all the divisions. The fastest was the cavalry because they were on horseback. They moved with tremendous speed and agility, and could get to a target quickly. The third were the archers or slingers. They were trained experts who could hit their targets hundreds of yards away. They traveled light without much protection, expect for their bow & arrow or sling & stones. Back to rock, paper, scissors; the infantry trumped the cavalry (skilled and protected), the cavalry trumped the archers/slingers (speed and agility), and the archers/slingers trumped the slow moving infantry. 

Goliath was the best Philistine infantry soldier. He was of extraordinary height, a skilled killer and covered in heavy bronze armor from neck to toes. He had a servant, who carried his heavy bronze shield. Although he expected to fight another infantry soldier from Israel, who he got, to say the least, was an unpleasant surprise. David, being a shepherd boy, was inadvertently trained in the art of handling a sling and stone. How else could he have fought a bear and a lion, and lived to tell the stories? He was a young slinger, a shepherd-boy, not an infantry soldier. He knew he’d never win against Goliath in close combat so he rejected King Saul’s armor and sword, and opted for the sling.

In the hands of an expert slinger, a rock becomes a dangerous weapon, like a gun. Goliath was so sure he’d win that in his arrogance, he did not wear his helmet against David. Could you imagine the dread that must have gripped the giant when he realized that the boy running towards him was none other than a slinger? And slingers trump infantry all day, every day.

So, what are the giants in your life that seem formidable?

What is the gift that you possess that seems ordinary but is the tool God would use to bring victory?

Where are your sling and stone? 

Trust God! His underdogs always win!

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