The first time I watched this video I heard, but I didn’t truly understand. And you can see that Malcolm, too, is blinded a bit by his intellectual bias and misses the larger point, the larger opportunity to inspire.
So please watch it and then read the rest of my post. It’s 15 minutes plus reading, I know, but you’ll manage it.
OK, so the Goliath thing seems shaky. The largest infantryman wore, as he says, a hundred pounds of metal armor. As dozens of movies about medieval knights have accurately depicted: metal armor is severely mobility limiting. It was quite common for soldiers selected for single combat, even the normal-sized ones, to have attendants. Also, as a soldier selected for single combat Goliath spoke, fought, and received on behalf of all Phillistia. So to ask David why he came with “sticks” was not a taunt to David, but to all Israel. It wasn’t necessarily that he saw two; he was saying that Israel only had men with staves to offer up to him. He was large and, possibly, like me, he had an astigmatism so things were blurry. I doubt that mattered much, though, as he carried a javelin. While still a close combat weapon a javelin requires aim, and aim requires sight. I think he wasn’t quite as benign as Malcolm contends. But that’s good. Why? Hold with me here.
At the start of this nation, when the revolt against Britain was planned, it was believed we had no chance of victory; the British army was a conquering force unmatched on land or sea. They had the resources of the world at their beck and call, they grossly outnumbered us, and they were seasoned. They had battleworn soldiers, we had farmers and scholars.
What Washington knew was that if we battled by convention we were toast. He knew that his people were unskilled in battle, but he also knew they were proficient in survival, and moreover he knew that man knows nothing so well as his home stomping ground. He spread the idea of guerilla warfare not as a desperate way to minimize bloodshed, but as a God-lit path to victory. The Brits were unprepared for such uncouth fighting, were unfamiliar with this foreign land, and thus they lost. These United States gained a chance at life. We were not underdogs; we simply weren’t set up for that traditional fight.
In a very real way, Goliath brought a knife to a gunfight. He didn’t worry for David because he couldn’t see him; the understood convention of single combat was that you sent infantrymen. That someone might send artillery was just uncouth. Goliath was not outmatched, he was mismatched. He was a heavyweight boxer squaring against a UFC fighter in a cage match; his skillset was completely wrong. He’d not accounted for it because it wasn’t a thing that was done in “civilized combat.”
There is a great scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where a middle eastern fighter squares off against Indy with some impressive and intimidating fighting moves. Indy promptly shoots him. Same principal with David, same deal with the Revolutionary forces. This man’s posturing, while impressive by men’s standards, meant nothing in the face of God’s plans.
The Bible is filled with these stories that appear to speak to the underdog nature. The Word even says that He chooses the least to be the greatest. We identify with that because we feel like the underdog; we all feel put upon. Men like comic book stories because we crave the praise of feeling and being special. We like hearing that the little boy killed the giant because it tells us we might rise above this intimidating world. But we misunderstand completely.
Every other man on that field of battle would have ceded Israel because no infantryman would dare go against this guy. This guy knew he had victory because he could squash any singular infantryman. Both sides carried familiarity bias; that is: they believed that because infantry went against infantry this scenario was decided. There was no alternate outcome. David, without knowing it, carried God’s difference of opinion into the matter. The Lord sent him to point out that no matter how much we may be sure of a thing we’re looking with human eyes limited by our own biases. His way is not our way.
When Jesus said that this generation would not pass before the Revelation He did not mean those apostles. He meant the generation of people He birthed: the sons and daughters of the Kingdom. Not one person alive today is Christ’s grandkid; we are the direct sons and daughters of God through Christ’s blood. We are that generation. We are holy, righteous, and redeemed. So long as one of us draws breath we have confirmation the battle is already won.
I don’t care how big the giant Satan sends out to that battlefield; how evil, or violent, or cruel: you are the chosen child of the Most High God of Heaven’s Armies. You walk not in your purpose, but in His. You will conquer in a way that neither you, nor Satan, expect because we are each His secret weapon. The “least” Jesus spoke of aren’t the least because they are lesser, they are least because they esteem themselves low before God. He calls us to be meek, not timid. Powerful, not fearful. Powerful because: We. Know. His. Victory.
Forget super heroes. Forget tall tales of mythical underdogs. They do not exist. What exists are princes and princesses of God’s House who obliterate any lie of the little demon with full authority of our Father, and he’ll never see you coming. Stop acting like you’re a no one. Stop admiring the lives of false heroes. Stand tall in the Light of God and storm the gates of Hell in the mighty name of Jesus.