Relying on God’s Creative Spirit Gives You the Upper Hand
During David’s time, warfare was conducted with three divisions of arms:
- Cavalry, consisting of soldiers on horses or chariots
- Infantry, men with swords and armor
- Artillery, primarily archers
Goliath was an infantryman. He expected his challenge to be answered by an infantryman from the army of Israel. He knew that his foe wouldn’t be on horseback—that would not be a valid response to the challenge. And if Israel decided to send an archer, Goliath had a shield-bearer in front of him to block the arrows.
Saul had been persuaded by David’s confidence, and the king wanted to prepare the teen for hand-to-hand combat. So Saul dressed David as an infantryman: a tunic with a sword fastened over it, a coat of armor, and a bronze helmet.
David took off the heavy clothing items, complaining that he was “not used to them.” But there was a more important reason why David didn’t want to dress as an infantryman: he wasn’t going to fight as one. He wasn’t going to engage in hand-to-hand combat.
David needed to take an innovative approach to the battle, one that matched—to borrow a line from a Liam Neeson film—his “particular set of skills”. So David turned to God, and God’s creative Spirit told David what to do: use your sling.
David faced Goliath dressed not as a soldier but as a shepherd: with a staff and a shepherd’s bag. Goliath could see no weapon other than the staff, which really wasn’t a weapon at all. “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” growled the giant.
As the Philistine lumbered toward him, the quick and agile David moved into a position away from the shield-bearer. Grabbing a stone from his bag, David put it into his sling and slung it at Goliath. It sank into the giant’s forehead, just below his helmet, and the force of the blow knocked him out. David grabbed the Philistine’s sword and finished the job.
As you get ready to face your Goliath, don’t just pray about it. Trust in God. Get direction from Him, remembering how He has helped you and others in the past. And let His Spirit lead you to a creative solution that might not be apparent at first glance.
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