An Unusual Bully
Dr. Ralph Colas
Broadcast on the ACCC Living Faith radio program, March 1971
As I continue today with this series of messages on the subject of “The Unusual,” [previous: An Unusual Birth] I want to ask you to think with me about “An Unusual Bully.” I use the word “unusual” as that which is rare and uncommon. We are introduced to the bully in the book of I Samuel.
Time does not permit me to read the 58 verses of 1 Samuel 17 on this broadcast, but I would urge you to read it at your first opportunity.
For 40 days it had continued—the 2 armies lines up against each other. The Philistines had Goliath, the bully, signed up with them. Goliath had a big mouth, in more ways than one. When he issued a challenge, 1 Samuel 17:11 tells us that “Saul and all Israel were dismayed and greatly afraid.” I mean they shook in their boots, shivered in their livers, their flesh crawled every time the bully crowed. The army of Saul was brave, but their cowardly legs ran away with them.
This chapter records the account of Jesse sending David, his son, with provisions for his brethren who were serving in the Israelite army.
The armies were gathered near the valley of Elah, about 14 miles Southwest of Jerusalem.
David comes on this scene and asks what is going on. He could not understand why no one accepted the challenge, since the bully defied the army of the living God (v. 26). David asked, “Is there not a cause?” (v. 29). The shepherd lad is brought before Saul where Saul questioned him. David related how he had defended his sheep against a lion and a bear.
David finally goes forth to meet the bully, Goliath. As we look in on that scene, we can see some contrasts.
First, note with me the measure of the men. Goliath was about 9’ 3” tall. I can imagine he was built proportionately. David was described by Saul in verse 56 as “a stripling.”
Goliath, the bully, was a man of years. He was fully developed and a well-seasoned soldier. David was but a youth and when the bully saw him he disdained him. He asked, “Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?” (v. 43). It was an insult, he thought, to send such a youth against him,
Goliath was a warrior since boyhood. No doubt he loved to see the blood flow as he cut down men with his sword and spear. David was a shepherd lad who was not accustomed to the use of a sword and spear. However, he knew how to use his sling shot.
In the second place, I consider the morale of the men. Here is the real test. It is not the size of the body but what is inside that really counts,
Goliath would have made an excellent professional wrestler or had his place in some circus. The bully was dependent upon his brute strength and he would have torn David from limb to limb if he had been able to get hold of him.
David was conscious of God’s power. The Lord had been with him when he had faced the lion and the bear and he knew He would be with him now. David had resources that Goliath knew nothing about.
This brings me then to the method of the men. The bully had armor that protected his body. The coat he wore probably weighed about 13 pounds. (Try that on for size!) He carried a sword and a spear which the head weighed about 16½ pounds.
What about David? “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied,” (v. 45).
When the stone found it’s mark, the bully laughed no more.
I thought of other giants, some we face today. For example, there is the giant of unbelief. Another is ridicule, and many have run from that one. Still a third one is fear and I could suggest passion and lust also.
David carried 5 smooth stones (v. 40) and we can carry 5 smooth stones. Let me list them for you;
Our greater than David, the Lord Jesus Christ, will lead us on to victory. Paul told the people at Corinth, “But thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57). John adds in 1 John 5:4 , “…and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Do you know this lovely person, Jesus Christ? He wants today to enter your life to give you victory over sin and Satan. When you know Him, then you can join in the words of the little chorus:
“Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.
He sought and bought me with His redeeming blood,
He loved me ere I know Him, and all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.”
Remember, please, the center of the word “life” is “if.” If you will but trust Jesus Christ, He will save you now.