by Dorette Saunders
When I was a child I was always fascinated by Bible stories and the songs that we sung in Sunday School to help us remember the lesson. One of my favorites was the story of David defeating Goliath. In my young mind, Goliath was really very big and I was quite afraid, while the story was being told, that the little boy, David, with only a slingshot, would be crushed by this huge monster. But singing the song put all my worries to rest.
Here’s an abbreviated version:
Only a boy named David, only a rippling brook,
Only a boy named David, and five little stones he took.
And one little stone went in the sling
And the sling went round and round,
One little stone went through the air
And the giant fell to the ground!
Growing older, I found out that David was most likely a teenager, and not a young boy as I had imagined. Nevertheless, the account, found in 1 Samuel 17:1-53, shows God at work in the heart of a young man who was willing to stand up to the enemy to avenge God’s name.
As we read about the life of David in the Scriptures, we find that he was subject to many of the same failings that plague us today—covetousness, adultery, poor parenting habits, and even murder. Yet, despite his character flaws, the Bible says that David was a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13,14; Acts 13:22).
How could that be? David desired to live a holy life. He confessed his sins and sought God consistently. Despite the many trials he experienced, David worshiped God passionately. Read through the Psalms, most of which were written by David, and notice how the boy who hurled the stone became the man who clung to the Rock.
God was David’s rock, his strong defense, his hiding place. When jealous King Saul threatened David’s life, David found shelter in the promises of God and encouraged himself that God was indeed working things out for his good. Listen to his song to God:
Every day, you are kind,
and at night
you give me a song
as my prayer to you,
the God of my life.
You are my mighty rock.
(Psalm 42:8,9, CEV)
Indeed, God is our Rock. We sing about God being a shelter in a time of storm. Yet, we need to know and trust God long before that storm comes along.
Jesus himself told a parable about building our lives on the Rock that is immovable.
“Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it was built on solid rock, and so it did not fall” (Matthew 7:24, 25, CEV).
David understood this and so he says:
You alone are God!
Only you are a mighty rock.
You are my strong fortress,
and you set me free.
(2 Samuel 22:32, 33, CEV)
For all the giants in our lives…illness, depression, shaky faith, poor finances, bullies, dysfunctional leaders…we don’t have to come against them with a stone in our hand. Instead, we can depend upon God, the mighty Rock, to fight our battles. God, our refuge and our Rock, is always present, always faithful.
PRAYER: God, you are the Rock of all ages. When I think of your wonderful goodness, it makes my heart rejoice. Thank you for making me know that I can trust you, the Rock, to deliver me from all my troubles. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.