I’ve changed my mind about the soldiers who were too scared to fight Goliath. I used to think they were cowards. I used to think that David charged into the band of losers with his strength and intelligence and decided he could handle Goliath. No problem.
Like I said, I’ve changed my mind. I now think the soldiers who held back made the rational choice… the choice recommended by the experts. Their choice was based on good logic, much experience. They knew it would be suicide to sword fight with a man who carried more weight in armor than they weighed. They knew they would be food for the birds, just one more reason for the enemy to mock God’s people.
I also changed my mind about David. I now think that he was the irrational one. He was the one who was refusing to look at the facts. By the wisdom of men much older and wiser than he, his decision to fight the giant was utter folly. I’m surprised that Saul even let him go, except there wasn’t much to lose.
Walking across the valley to fight Goliath was the craziest thing David ever did in his life. Yes, he had killed a lion and a bear. But lions and bears don’t have armor bearers to hold up shields when stones come flying and thousands of other lions and bears behind them to back them up and dissect their enemies piece by piece. Lions and bears don’t laugh at you as they’re cutting off your head.
I’ve been thinking about David’s irrational choice all week. David based his decision entirely on his memories of God’s past triumph in his life. He was so confident of God’s power that he found it an outrage that everyone else was being rational and looking at the facts. Yes. They were being rational, logical and sensible.
David was not being logical. He was crazy enough to ask why no one was fighting a man three times their own size: not logical. His thoughts were based on an unseen reality: not logical. He wasn’t even sizing up the giant: not logical. His only logical support was two stories from the past that he could not prove.
I wish I could ask David what was going through his mind as he walked across the valley, as he chatted with Goliath. I bet it wasn’t much. Thinking would have been a huge downfall. Maybe he was just thanking God for saving him from the bear. Maybe he was composing poetry? Yea, though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW OF DEATH, I will fear no evil.
I don’t think this irrational kind of faith can be faked outside of a close relationship with God. I only see that when we feel confident that God’s name will be glorified through us, we will pursue whatever sacrifice he asks of us, without considering logic. We will fix our eyes on what there is to be done, and….
… not think about the size of the giant
…not think about the whistling sword that’s taller than us
…not think of the many heads Goliath has cut off
…not think about the many older, wiser people who have not been able to conquer him
…not think about the conventional wisdom that this is just the way it is, and we shouldn’t try to be someone we’re not
…not think about the masses of people watching us, sure that we will fail and run the other way
…not think about the statistics surrounding people who try to fight with someone three times their size.
I’m tired of the logic of pale Christian views that logically explain why we don’t have to fight our Goliath. Well, it’s natural for you to feel that way….it’s not wrong to be….angry….afraid….etc, etc. Of course, what they are saying is true, just like it was NATURAL for the armies of Israel to flee from Goliath. Maybe they didn’t do anything WRONG. But that’s not the kind of life I want to live.
Because of course we all have our own Goliath, perched in our own valley. And there are hosts of people watching us.
You know the end of the David and Goliath story.
When we stop using our own logic, God finds room to work in us.