You know the story.
David, future king but current sheep herder and runt of the family, takes food to his brothers on the front lines of war with the Philistines and ends up bringing down their nearly-10-foot-tall champion, Goliath, with a slingshot and winning the battle for Israel.
Everybody knows the story, and they think they know the point of it. So what is the main point of this story?
- “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
- “There is always hope for the underdog, so never stop believing in yourself.”
- “If you trust God, he will give you victory over all the ‘giants’ in your life.”
- Or maybe, “God has appointed you to conquer the giant of mediocrity and dominate in your workplace.”
I’ve heard all these applications. But are they the main point?
The story of David is not David –> You.
The main point is David –> Jesus –> You.
Don’t cut out the middle man. The Bible, first and foremost, is about Jesus, not you. It was written to make you adore Jesus.
It’s not about heroes whose examples you are to emulate; it’s about a Savior you are to worship.
Jesus was the small, unassuming shepherd boy who fought the real giant—our sin and the curse of death—as our representative, while we stood on the sidelines like cowards, doing nothing to help him.
As our representative, he lived the life we were supposed to live and died the death we were condemned to die.
Just like David, he was opposed by all his brothers and abandoned by everyone at the moment of battle. He walked out onto that field all alone and conquered the giant by himself.
And now we, his brothers, get to share in his victory, even though we didn’t lift a finger to help him.
The real giant in our lives—our real Goliath—was our alienation from God and the penalty we owed for our sin. And that’s something Jesus knocked out for us all on his own.
Now, because Jesus has taken out the real giant in our lives, you and I can bravely face all the lesser giants.
In Christ, I don’t have to be afraid of death. If cancer comes, ultimately I don’t have to be afraid of it, because even if it kills me, Jesus has taken the sting out of death. I can say, like Paul, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
In Christ, I don’t have to be afraid of the future flying out of control. If I lose my job, I’ve got something more secure than money to hang onto—God’s promise to care for me. If I lose my job, it’s not the end of the world. Because you know what really is “the end of the world”? Losing my relationship with God. And since Jesus took care of that, I can be confident he’ll take care of this, too.
In Christ, I don’t have to fear the disapproval of others. For most of my life, I’ve been captive to what other people thought of me. In Christ, I know that even if people reject me, I have the absolute approval of the only One whose opinion really matters.
I can be honest about my faults and admit I don’t always have it all together. I can appear weak before you because your admiration is no longer my life. God is my life.
Real courage is not the assurance that everything is going to go smoothly or when everyone likes you or when you discover your inward awesomeness or when you have no difficulties.
Real courage is knowing you have a God better than life and larger than death and saying, like David in Psalm 23,
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (ESV).
This blog originally appeared on J.D. Greear's Blog)