In 1 Samuel 17, Israel was fighting against the Philistines but getting nowhere because of their secret weapon Goliath. Verse 11 says they were “greatly afraid.” When David comes on the scene, however, his response is totally different: “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” He was indignant and fearless. Why was everyone so fearful of such an ungodly man?…Is there not a cause?
With confidence, David explained his credentials to King Saul: he had killed a lion and a bear single-handedly. He was confident he could do it again with God’s help. Though King Saul offered his armor, David rejected it and stayed with what he was familiar with—a sling and a stone.
As he neared Goliath, the giant threw insults at him, indignant that they should send a child. This didn’t faze David. He moved forward with confidence, prophesying his victory before he could see it:
“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (v. 45-47).
David “hurried and ran” fearlessly toward the army. Just as he said, his stone sunk deep into Goliath’s head, killing Goliath. David then drew out Goliath’s sword and took off his head with Goliath’s own weapon. Later, he arrived at the king’s tent with Goliath’s head in hand. As a result of his conquest, Israel won a great victory over the Philistine army and David won his reward—King Saul’s daughter as his wife.
If you will study out other stories such as this one, every main character that feared suffered from the symptoms of fear and would not trust God with their problem. Had some faith-filled person not stepped forward fearlessly, they would have all perished. Remember, fear symptoms on the outside reflect fear on the inside. Let’s look at some of those symptoms:
The Israeli army was frozen with fear in the human instinct of self-preservation. But it didn’t lead to their victory, just to forty days of harassment. A battle must be fought, not stared at, to win. God’s desire is that you shake off the temptation to stand paralyzed in the headlights of your problems and act on His Word.
Fear brings confusion.
It had always baffled me why hundreds of Israeli men would be so terrified of one over-sized man. Couldn’t they rally and do a surprise attack? Send a decoy and rush in for the kill? But when you’re fearful, you don’t think clearly. You can only look at the giant. All you can do is think about defeat.
Fear hinders you from hearing God’s voice.
The Israelite army was not listening to God’s voice—a voice that declared their victory if they would trust Him. Fear will put up a screen that will shut off any other voice but that may bring a message of hope.
Fear causes you to consider the natural over the supernatural.
Goliath was over nine feet tall. In his armor, he was an intimidating site. However, faith looks beyond what the natural looks like and focuses on the supernatural power of God. The key is to consider the armor you wear and what God you serve—much bigger, much stronger.
Fear hinders you from receiving victory and blessing.
A great reward awaited the man who defeated Goliath—no tax payment and the hand of the king’s daughter in marriage. No man of Israel found this tempting enough to take a stand against Goliath. Fear prevailed. Just the same, cowering in fear will keep your from receiving the victory God promised.
To be continued…