I sat behind a group of kids as the VBS teacher retold the story of David and Goliath. It’s a story I’ve heard and read MANY times. I remember singing about the shepherd boy and the giant during Wednesday chapel lessons in my own childhood. I’ve even read a book based entirely on the story. And yet, that evening it was like I heard a piece of the story for the first time.
Two kids were acting out the story as the teacher paraphrased the main events. She told about Saul putting his own armor on David before he left to fight the giant, but the armor only weighed David down, so he took it off.
He took off the armor.
He dropped the bronze helmet and the coat of mail to the ground. Despite its logical protection, the armor was more burdensome than helpful. David wasn’t “used to them,” he hadn’t “tested them” other translations read.
Do you know what David was used to? God’s power and protection. He had tested them. As a shepherd, God had given him the power to fight lions and bears (1 Samuel 17:34-35) in order to protect his sheep. And as David prepared to face the giant Goliath, he trusted that God would again protect him, equip him to save the sheep—this time the sheep being God’s chosen Israelites. David explained, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37).
He took off the armor.
Oh, how I cling to my armor. I cling to logical protection. I cling to the things I’ve designed to protect my heart from pain. I cling to the things of this world I’ve determined will keep me safe from harm and problems.
I cling to my armor.
And I forget that it’s fallible.
Though the story was familiar, the details imprinted in my memory, I heard those words for the first time, “so he took them off.” David dropped the armor of man and clung to the faithfulness of God.
And I know that’s what I need to do, too. I need to take off the armor I’m so desperately clinging to and trust my God whose power and protection are perfect, my God who has been tested and proven to be faithful. And cling to him instead.
Thank you for the way your word is alive. Thank you for teaching me new lessons through old stories I’ve heard countless times. God, please reveal the armor I’m clinging to. Show me the things I’m hanging on to and trusting for power and protection that aren’t from you. Forgive me for putting my confidence in them. Remind me of your faithfulness. Help me take off my armor so that your power can be fully seen. Lord, may this bring you glory and honor.
In your will, through your power, and for your glory,