Fear is a powerful thing. Many of us are constrained or defined by our fears in one way or another. In the story of David and Goliath, the giant Philistine’s most potent weapon was neither his sword nor his hefty spear, but the intense fear that he stirred up in his enemies. Every day Goliath taunted the Israelites, demanding that they send someone to meet him in single combat. The Israelites were lured into Goliath’s trap. They looked at the 8 foot tall warrior and believed what he wanted them to believe: that he would cut them to pieces before their short sword-arms could get anywhere near him.
Goliath’s fear offensive was winning the war effortlessly, until the teenage shepherd, David, turned up. David had two weapons of his own. The first, an even stronger weapon than fear, was hope. David believed that God had a bright future for himself and the Israelite people, and therefore they would not be defeated. Alongside this hope, David had a highly potent long range weapon with which he was highly skilled - a sling-shot. He knew he could floor Goliath long before he came within the range of the Philistine’s sword or spear.
The sling-shot was a common military weapon at the time. The Israelite army would have had a whole battalion of sling shooters, and any of them could have defeated Goliath if only they hadn’t been paralysed by their fear of the huge warrior.
Fear is a powerful thing. Many of us are constrained or defined by our fears in one way or another. We don’t need a sling-shot to defeat our own personal Goliaths; we need hope. We need to remember that God wants the best for us and for our world. We need to remember that love and forgiveness are much stronger than selfishness and revenge. We need to remember that though fear may afflict us, it will not overcome us - unless we let it.
(This blog will be taking a break for a couple of weeks. Bye for now.)