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Facing the Giant Named Fear

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The story of David and Goliath’s battle at the Valley of Elah is one of the most famous stories in all of Scripture. The entire story is encapsulated in a single chapter of 1 Samuel, but the ramifications of that battle were felt for generations.

In fact, the victory over Goliath propelled David to the throne, allowing him to fulfill his God-given purpose. It also put him in a position to be an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Fear has been a human emotion since the very beginning of time. When you read about the first sin in the Garden of Eden, Adam told God that they hid from Him because they were afraid (Genesis 3:10).

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Fear is not new, and neither is God’s promise to give us victory over the things that we’re afraid of.

The story of David conquering Goliath is a powerful story of how we can experience victory over the things that are simply too big for us. Our fears do not have authority over us.

We can apply the principles of 1 Samuel 17 to gain a better understanding of how we can experience God’s victory over the things that we’re afraid of today.

You’re Meant to Be Here


1 Samuel 17:22-24 (NIV)


David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

David wasn’t a soldier. While he had been anointed by Samuel to be Saul’s eventual replacement as the King of Israel in 1 Samuel 16, he had no training in military activity. David didn’t know how to use a sword, he had never worn armor, and he had never killed another person.

If there was anybody who didn’t belong on the front line of the battle, it was David.

But David wasn’t there to fight. Jesse was concerned about the safety of his three older sons, so he sent David to the battle with some food. His entire mission involved taking his brothers some food, finding out how they were doing, and reporting back to Jesse.

At least, that’s how things looked on the surface. David was exactly where he was supposed to be.

God was orchestrating everything about David’s life, including his interaction with Goliath. Had David not been on a lunch delivery, he wouldn’t have heard Goliath’s blasphemies. He also wouldn’t have seen the level of fear that all of Israel’s soldiers were experiencing.

Was David afraid? He must have been.

Goliath was a giant who stood approximately 10 feet tall. David was a young, teenage boy who was likely around half that height. Anyone in David’s position would have felt a moment of fear. However, David refused to give in to it.

When we face things that leave us afraid, we often wonder what we did wrong. Is the thing that we’re afraid of some sort of punishment?

Not necessarily. In the same way that David was in the right place at the right time, you are, too. If you are following the guidance of God and are living your life in submission to the Holy Spirit, your encounter with fear isn’t meant to destroy you. Instead, it is putting you in the position that you need to be in to experience the victory that God has for you.

Looking Back and Looking Forward


1 Samuel 17:34-37 (NIV)


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, 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. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of the Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

There are several misconceptions about how Christians are supposed to view our pasts. We all have some things that we would like to forget.

Shame, guilt, and self-condemnation are often the earmarks of our stories, at least before we came to know Christ. In Philippians 3:12-14, Paul said that he forgot the things that were behind him so he could pursue the things that God had for him in his future.

That verse isn’t about forgetting the good things that God has done. Countless times throughout the Book of Psalms, David and the other psalmists wrote about remembering the goodness of God.

In Joshua 3, God told Joshua to set up memorial stones in the riverbed of the Jordan River so they could look back to the miraculous work of God when He allowed them to walk through it on dry ground.

God wants us to look back at the times where He has given us victory. This is especially true when we’re facing something that we’re afraid of.

Was Goliath scary? Of course, he was. However, David had experience in dealing with things that he feared.

By the time he made it to the Valley of Elah, he had killed a lion and a bear for trying to take sheep from his flock. If God was able to give him victory over those wild beasts, God could give him victory over Goliath.

When you’re afraid, reflect on the good things God has done before. When you meditate on past victories over fear, you can set yourself up for victory today.

Use What You’ve Got


1 Samuel 17:48-50 (NIV)


As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 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. 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.

David had likely spent hours sitting in the field playing with his slingshot. He probably used it to scare away smaller predators that tried to kill his sheep, but for the most part, it was there for entertainment.

However, God was using David’s “downtime” in the pasture with his slingshot to make him comfortable with what he had.

No one would have thought that David’s slingshot was enough to kill Goliath, but God doesn’t require us to have superhuman capabilities to be victorious over our fears.

In Luke 17:5-6, the disciples asked for more faith. Jesus told them that if they had faith as small as the grain of a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, they could do anything.

When we’re faced with things that we’re afraid of, we often assume that we can’t do anything about it until we have more to fight with. We go into survival mode and try to “tread water” until we’re more ready for the battle before us. With God, we can use what we’ve got to experience His victory.

A Closing Prayer:


Heavenly Father, I’m tired of living in fear of the thing that’s standing in front of me. In the same way that You gave David victory, allow me to experience victory over this giant. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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