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Gigantic Faith


I was not raised in a Christian home. For the first 20 years of my life, I read very little of the Bible. But even as a child I knew the story of David and Goliath. The Scripture’s account of David’s defeat of the Philistine champion who towered over the Israelites at nine feet has become the archetypal underdog story.

Make no mistake. This is not an account of pluck or even courage. It is a story about faith. David’s conviction that God could use him to defeat Goliath was not an exercise in positive thinking. David’s faith had been proven in a variety of smaller encounters while he served as a shepherd watching over his father’s flocks (vv. 34–37). Because of this, David was shocked to arrive at the battlefield and find the armies of Israel cowering in fear (v. 24). Eliab’s reaction when he overheard David questioning the men about the situation confirmed the Lord’s wisdom in choosing David over Eliab.

David also exercised common sense when he refused the honor of wearing Saul’s armor and chose to meet Goliath carrying only his familiar staff, shepherd’s bag, and sling (v. 40). These were the weapons God had used when David faced the lion and the bear. He saw no reason why God could not use them to defeat Goliath as well. You know how the story ends.

It is not a story about how the small can defeat the large. It is a story that reminds us that the victory belongs to God who is greater than all. Faith is not a feeling of confidence, so much as it is an attitude of dependence on Him!

>> We may be tempted to think that effective faith is a matter of volume. But a mere grain of faith is all that is needed! Your faith may not be as great as your present need, but you serve a God who is greater than both.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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