David & Goliath

I read the story of David and Goliath again. The account in the scriptures. It is interesting how in modern usage, it is about an underdog winning a contest against a stronger opponent that by all measure should be the winner. Perhaps an additional element would be that he wins in an unusual or surprising way that challenges the concept of the contest in the first place.

Now David did win that battle and killed Goliath. But he did not change the way battles are fought. The armies of Israel did not shed their armours and fight only with slings and pebbles. His vision of a war did not change whilst entering the fight with Goliath; it did not change after the fight. There were tactics and strategies but they were preceded by something else altogether.

And that something else is faith. I use the term faith here not just because of the biblical context but the fact that David’s confidence was simply not in himself. There was something greater than himself that he was fighting for, and something greater that he stands for when he fought. He wasn’t believing in his tactics and strategy; he believed in the purpose he was fighting for. And there was a certain order transcending self-interest or the sense of self that was going to take hold.

We kind of missed all that in our modern “fights” – we are too much about strategy, tactics, resources, that we often forget what we are fighting for. And when we miss our purpose, when that wasn’t well thought out to begin with, we’re running a hell-bound race.