In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:11, NIV)
In the Bible, God called David “My servant David.” Acts 3:22 recorded that the Lord removed King Saul, who forsook God’s word, and made David the king. God regarded David as “A man after His own heart.” The Lord believed David would do everything He wanted him to do. David was a chosen man for God’s will. The reason the Lord called David My servant was that his strong faith would glorify the name of God, and his obedience would do what God wanted. The choice of the Lord was correct. David always obeyed God during his life and had raised God’s name with his faith. Finally, God’s will was accomplished as Jesus came to the earth as David’s descendant for the salvation of humankind. God’s great plan cannot be fulfilled through those who do not trust and obey Him.
David’s faith was outstanding in Israel, even from his childhood. When King Saul did not obey God and was spiritually devastated, the armies of the Philistines, who were always hostile to Israel, camped against Israel to attack. Israel was also in battle array on the other side to encounter the Philistines. At the time, one champion, whose name was Goliath, emerged from the Philistines’ armies and boosted their morale. His height was about three meters, fifty centimeters; his leg length was the same height as a normal man; and the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, so the average person could barely lift it. He put a bronze helmet on his head and was in scale armor, which weighed almost sixty kilograms. Goliath’s voice was also overwhelming, as well as his appearance. When Goliath mocked the Israelites with a loud voice, King Saul, the Israelite armies, and all the people could hear it in their camps. They were all overwhelmed by his threat. The Philistine soldiers were cheerful, while all the Israelites were dismayed and very afraid of Goliath.
While these arrays were going on for forty days, David’s father sent David to deliver food to his brothers conscripted as soldiers. David got up early in the morning and reached the camp of the armies of Israel. He met his brothers and greeted them and asked their regards. At the time, Goliath came out of the Philistines’ camp and taunted Israel again. David also heard him. The people of Israel became very frightened and fled from him like before. However, young David was different. He was not overwhelmed by Goliath. Instead, righteous anger arose from his heart. In David’s eyes, Goliath was just one of the uncircumcised Philistines and a Gentile out of the covenant of the Lord. He thought that Goliath’s mocking of Israel was the same as insulting God. At that very moment, David thought that God had prepared him for this moment. David decided to kill Goliath. He immediately asked the people around him what would be given to the man who killed Goliath. Watching this sight, Eliab, David’s older brother, scolded David for leaving the sheep in the fields and coming to see the battle. Eliab said in anger that David was insolent and wicked, but David did not get agitated. He gently pacified his brother and began to ask again what to do to fight Goliath. In the meantime, some people heard what David had asked, so they led him to King Saul.
When Saul heard someone had offered to fight the giant, he was looking forward to meeting the person, because the gloom of Israel was deepening. However, the man who appeared before King Saul was a juvenile shepherd. He did not look like a brave and well-trained warrior at all. He was just a little shepherd holding a stick used to look after the sheep. No matter how much Saul looked at David, Saul could not find enough appearance in him to fight Goliath. Though Saul was disappointed at David, David encouraged King Saul not to be discouraged by Goliath, and he said that he would go and fight him. Saul kept David from doing it because he thought Goliath was a warrior and David could not fight such a giant. To persuade Saul, however, David told the story of how he had kept his lambs when lions or bears came and took them from the flock. David was convinced that Goliath would become one of the beasts he had struck and killed. He added that the Lord, who delivered him from the paw of the lion or the bear, would deliver him from the hand of Goliath. The Israelites, who were overwhelmed by the fear of Goliath, were gradually overwhelmed by David’s courage.
King Saul was eventually persuaded and allowed David to fight. He clothed David with his garments and armor and put a bronze helmet on his head. But they did not fit David, so he took them off. The Lord alone was enough for David. Instead, he chose five smooth stones at a brook and put them in his shepherd’s bag and pouch. Then he approached Goliath with his stick and sling in his hands. Goliath was very embarrassed at the sight of David. The man who came to fight him was not a warrior comparable to himself, but a young boy with a stick, not a long sword. Goliath disdained David and said, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” He laughed at David and cursed with the name of his gods. He said that he would give David’s flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field. However, those words were not a threat to David at all. Goliath seemed weaker than the bear or the lion he had killed. David exclaimed in a more convincing voice than Goliath. “You come to me with a sword and a spear, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the Israel armies, whom you have taunted.”
David began to sprint toward the oncoming Goliath; he took out a stone from his bag and slung it, striking Goliath on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead accurately, and Goliath fell on his face to the ground. David stood on him and cut off his head with Goliath’s sword. The Philistines saw their champion dead, and all ran away. The head of Goliath was cut off with the sword he relied on, but David was victorious because of God he trusted. His victory ultimately raised God’s name. Almighty God escorted David during his fight, and David’s victory was God’s victory.
David believed in the Lord so firmly that he could stand firm. In his faith, he was brave, and in his victory, he glorified God’s name.
In Isaiah 7:9, God said, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” When we firmly believe in God, we can be established and be bold in all things. Faith gives not only salvation of our souls but also victory in our battles. From the perspective of King Saul, David did not have any qualification to fight at a battle by the standard of that age. His background, education, knowledge, training, and height were never satisfying. However, he had a firm faith in God and courage in his heart, which could not be judged from man’s appearance. God was with David, and Israel’s gloomy atmosphere was eventually reversed by David’s victory.
David trusted God for his life. He knocked Goliath down and married Michal, the daughter of King Saul, and Saul became his father-in-law. Then, the people of Israel judged David more highly than Saul, and Saul’s jealousy against David grew worse. Finally, it reached a morbid level. Saul tried to kill David, and David began to run away from him. He was chased and looked for a place to hide. Then, he came to Gath, one of the cities of the Philistines, which was Goliath’s hometown. The servants of Achish, king of Gath, recognized David, and said to King Achish, “David is before us, who killed Goliath.” They began to conspire against David. David was quite afraid of King Achish and was terrified of being killed. At the very moment, an idea came across his mind: to show himself like a crazy man. So, he pretended to be insane in their presence. He made his eyes bleary and began to scratch the door, letting saliva run down his beard. King Achish looked at him and asked his servants why they brought a madman. The king finally ordered them to drive David out, and David was able to save his life.
Psalm 56 is the beautiful prayer David wrote down with a sad heart in the enemy’s land. He wrote that he was greatly pressed by his enemies and nearly died. He burst into a rage of tears because he had left his wife at home and was being chased by Saul, his father-in-law. His situation was too lamentable and heavy for the young David. However, he never complained to the Lord about his situation. He firmly believed that the Lord would remember his tears and finally help him, so that David could leave himself in God’s hands. Even in such despair, David made a great confession in Psalm 56:11: “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” David eventually survived. You may wonder if it is God’s way to survive by pretending to be mad and letting saliva run down. However, David’s judgment was prompt in the emergent situation, and his behavior was very natural. Miracles are God’s way, but natural progression is also His way. David survived. This experience had become a precious asset to him. Later, when he became king, the memories of pretending to be crazy with saliva on his beard made him humble and sympathetic to the weak. David did not become another Saul. His faith is the precious asset that we must learn.
Proverbs 16:3 says that if you commit to the Lord whatever you do, your plans will succeed. “Commit to the Lord what you do” means that you do not worry about it and do not become obsessed with its result. God will lead us in His will, His providence, and His ways. The result is certainly beneficial to us, although it could be quite different from what we expect. David would not have thought he would flee to the hometown of Goliath. Also, he would never have dreamed that he would act like a crazy person by drooling. However, the ultimate survival deepened his faith toward the Lord, and those experiences became precious assets by making King David humble. God’s way is exceptional. It is entirely different from the way the world teaches. However, the results are very effective and the best ones, which the world cannot do. God is our Almighty Lord whom we must believe and follow.