Goliath (Our Ego)
Over the years there have been those of the opinion stating there is too much fantasy or imaginary stories in God’s word, the bible, for it to be true. Many men and women just take what they feel makes sense on some level and throw the rest away. One such case is the story of the giant Goliath. The entire nation of Israel was fearful of Goliath except for a young man named David who, with God’s help, killed him.
At the time of this event, the nation of Israel was terrified of Goliath. Neither Saul nor any of the men of Saul’s army were up to the challenge or defeating him. But why do we have such a story and if it is true, of what use is it to us?
If God is sovereign and if this world and everything in it is His creation, why would a good and loving God give us a story of a giant named Goliath? Why would God even create a giant called Goliath? We can find out from biblical history of the murmurings and the lack of faith of the people. We can even find reference that King Saul as well as David existed proving this story of the Israelites true. If there is a real purpose for Goliath, then what is it? We can read of Goliath’s threats against the armies of Israel.
1 Samuel 17:8 and he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them. “Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? Am not I a philistine, and ye servants to Saul? Choose ye a man and let him come down to me. 9, if he is able to fight with me, and kill me, then we will be your servants: but if I prevail against him and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 1 Samuel 17:11, when Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
The groundwork for this challenge by Goliath begins before
Saul was made king over Israel. Because the people were sold into bondage by God to other nations for disobedience, they asked God for a human king to reign over them as other nations ruled their people. They didn’t want to be led by God anymore. God honored their request and choose a man named Saul to reign over them. Israel accepted Saul as their new king because he seemed very capable. But Samuel warned Israel of trusting in a man rather than God.
1 Samuel 10:19, “and you have this day rejected your God, who Himself saved you out of all your adversities, and your tribulations; and ye have said unto Him ‘nay but set a king over us’.
The only stipulation God had required of Saul was to rule with the best of his ability on his throne as God would rule. Samuel, a prophet of God, would be the instrument by which Saul would be blessed and anointed King over God’s people.
1 Samuel 9:27, and as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul. “Bid the servant pass on before us”. But stand thou still a while, that I may show thee the Word of God. 10:1, Then Samuel took a vile of oil, and poured it upon his head, and said. “Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over His inheritance?
God had allowed Samuel to appoint a human King over the people but reminded the people that it was God who always delivered His people from the bondage of other nations when they had a change of heart. (1Samuel 12:6-12) Little did the nation and Saul know that God would need to deliver His people again, only this time through a young man named David. God had to teach the people a lesson. Because Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, God knew he would fail as king. Because of prophesy, only the tribe of Judah had authority to rule as a king. We can read in Genesis 49:10 that the Scepter shall not depart from Judah.
1 Samuel 12:12 “and when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said unto me, “Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king. 14, if ye will fear the Lord and serve Him, and obey His voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both ye and your king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God. 15:, “ but if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord your God, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers.
Notice the word if in these verses. No human could do what God had required, at least, not by his own strength. Israel wanted to be like the other nations and be led by a human king.
King Saul started out ok but eventually started to execute judgments his own way.
1 Samuel 13:11, And Samuel said,” What hast thou done?” And Saul said, “ because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Mishmash; 12, Therefore said I, the Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I had not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore and offered a burnt offering.
We read of God’s rejection of Saul.
1 Samuel 15:28, And Samuel said unto him, “ The Lord hath rent the Kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine, which is better than thee.
Saul was like many of us today who don’t seek God for answers and protection. When things go wrong in our lives, we seek an advisor or some counselor who doesn’t realizes that there are laws that govern our universe. We, like King Saul take matters into our own hands and try to solve problems through our own wisdom or the wisdom of this world. That neighbor of Saul whom God would anoint was a young man named David who eventually became king over the entire nation of Israel.
Samuel would be sent to a man named Jesse who had eight sons. The eighth and youngest son of Jesse would be David. God gives Samuel the reason why He would choose David.
1 Samuel 7, But the Lord said to Samuel, “Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him (Saul): for the Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looked on the outward appearance but the Lord looked on the heart.
It was asked earlier in this article why, if God is sovereign, would He raise up a giant named Goliath. We could ask the same question of the Philistines. If Goliath is used as a useful tool for our learning, then what are we to learn about the Philistines? We need to consider that we would do exactly as the Israelites did. We evaluate people on the outward appearance. We can’t look on the heart as God does. The nation of Israel could only see their future King Saul in his outward appearance. He was tall, looked strong, and sounded good etc: They could only see the outward flesh of King Saul. It was the same way with the giant Goliath. He looked to the people as though he could never be defeated. Goliath was a Philistine and the Philistines represent the flesh. Scripture tells us that Goliath had four other brothers (2 Samuel 21:16-22). Goliath and his brothers represent the five senses that make up the flesh and the human spirit. We can see from scripture that David picked up five smooth stones from the brook (1st Samuel 17:40) but only needed one to do the job intended to destroy Goliath. There isn’t anything wrong with the five senses if used for the intended use as designed by God. The five senses are the total sum of our human nature. They comprise of what we see, what we hear, what we say what we feel, and how we smell. These make up men’s giant ego along with all the deeds of the flesh we read about in the writings of the Apostle Paul. (Galatians
Isaiah 40: 6. The voice said, “Cry”, And he said, “What shall I cry”? All flesh is grass, and the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7, the grass withered, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people are grass.
The flesh, represented by Goliath and his brothers are the deeds of the flesh that need to be eliminated from our character. These flaws are giants in our character and impossible to overcome without the help of the spirit of God. We need to be humble and receptive to the leadership of God, not like the Israelites wanting a human king to rule over them.
David was too young to experience the perils of war against the flesh but what he did have was faith in God. David picked up five stones from the brook but only needed one to destroy the giant Goliath.
God uses different ways to speak to us. In the story of Goliath, God uses a giant to represent men’s ego, the Philistines to represent the flesh and five stones to represent the five senses, and a smooth stone to represent Christ. We can’t fight these flaws within our character by ourselves.
David had a different spirit within him. God took His spirit away from King Saul and gave it to David. David wasn’t impressed with the stature of men so Goliath didn’t terrify him. He took five stones from a brook and used one stone to strike Goliath in the forehead and he died. The forehead is where our brain is, along with our intellect and ego. Now Israel would eventually serve a new man of God and it is through David, as an instrument of God that Israel would be set free from the bondage of the flesh. David didn’t accomplish his courageous deed all by himself, for we can read in,
Acts 13:22, and when He had removed him (Saul) He raised up unto them David to be their King; to whom He also gave testimony, and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
And what is the will of God?
2nd Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
We need a change of heart and as the Apostle Paul says, allow the operation of God to fulfill its purpose.
Colossians 2:12, “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein ye are also raised with Him through the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him from the dead”.