This past week, I heard a sermon by Pastor Lanny Westphal entitled “Mission Impossible”. He started with “do you remember” the old TV show prior to the Mission Impossible movies? The show started with the phrase “should you choose to accept this Mission…..”.
The title and theme are so relevant to today’s verse in 1 Samuel 17. David’s mission did seem impossible! Here he was with the Israelites, looking down into the Valley of Elah, ready to enter the camp of the Philistines on the other side of the valley.
And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six[a] cubits[b] and a span. 5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels[c] of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”
If you read the footnote, it says a cubit is 18 inches. So Goliath of Gath was over 9 feet tall. That’s huge even in today’s world! The description continues to scare us with the helmet and armor and spear and shield. I can hear the booming voice of this giant. Then, within the Israelite camp, David is the one who want to take on the giant.
32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
David showed conviction, courage and purpose. He was going to take on the giant. He knew the Lord would be with him. But Saul doubted him because of his youth, immaturity, inexperience and most likely his size.
3 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”
Saul and David continue to banter until Saul reluctantly allows him to go.
37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
We then read on to hear Saul trying to arm David by cloaking him with all kinds of gear: armor, a helmet, and a sword. However, David did not need all this extra battle gear. He went with his slingshot and 5 flat stones. He felt confident with what he knew. As we continue Goliath “disdained him”. I’m sure he thought who is this “kid” they have sent, almost thinking it was disrespectful of the Israelites.
Then, out of nowhere comes the stone, hits Goliath in the forehead and down he goes.
Mission Possible. Mission Accomplished.
Saul doubted David, but David stood tall. I think about this story in so many different ways. Do we charge forth and take on our giants, whether that be at work, or a sickness or a person who is standing in our way? Do we feel confident as we go? Do we arm our children when they want to take on their giants? Do we boost there confidence or hold them back, doubting their abilities because we don’t want them to get hurt? Are we asking God to stand with us when we go to battle?
Do you choose to take on missions that seem impossible or only those that seem possible? What mission are you going to tackle this week? What is your Goliath? With God behind you, you can be courageous and take on the world.