Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
— Psalm 20:7
Goliath was indeed an intimidating figure. If his nine-and-a-half-foot frame didn’t cause a man to tremble at the idea of a face-off with such an opponent, the bulging muscles and thunderous voice would. Although conflicts were sometimes decided in such manner, the prospect of a one-on-one contest with this Incredible Hulk-like man caused the king, a huge man himself (see 1 Samuel 9:2), and the entire army of Israel to cower in fear at Goliath’s daily taunt:
“Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.”
— 1 Samuel 17:8–10
According to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, contests such as these were based on the belief that battles were decided by God or the gods, so the warrior who had the more powerful deity in his corner would triumph.
Every battle a believer will ever face has already been decided, and the superior deity, God, has won. The only question to ask yourself each day as you wake is this: In whom will you trust? Upon whose word will you stake your claim? Like Israel, who spent 38 years adrift in the wilderness because they believed their obstacle to be greater than the size of their God, the armies of Israel were paralyzed with fear of Goliath for the same reason. Where might you be at the moment? Has God brought you to a place of decision? Do you feel paralysis setting in as you survey the size of the obstacle or a calm assurance in the Lord who has promised?
Well deep within you there’s a spiritual battle
There’s a voice of the darkness and a voice of the light
And just by listening you’ve made a decision
‘Cause the voice you hear is gonna win the fight
— Amy Grant, Old Man’s Rubble (1977)