What is your favorite Rocky movie? The original Rocky is a classic, winning an Academy Award for Best Picture; but that first movie spawned multiple sequels that I lost count of years ago. I do know that the original movie was released in 1976 and the latest sequel was “Creed II”, which came out in 2018. That means the Rocky brand has been alive and well for 40 years! Why have the Rocky movies been so successful for so long? Simple… we love underdog stories. We love to pull for the underdog!
One of the greatest underdog stories of all time is David vs. Goliath! It is an Old Testament classic captured for us in 1 Samuel 17. This epic story teaches us so much about courage… especially the courage to step up! Goliath is a giant Philistine solider - nearly 10 feet tall and equipped to the max! With battle lines drawn against the Israelites, Goliath challenged any Israelite willing to fight him to step up. David is a part-time armor bearer and full-time shepherd, the youngest of eight brothers. How could he be any match against this giant, trained warrior? But when nobody else was willing to step up, amazingly, David was.
Goliath taunted the Israelites each morning and evening daily for 40 days and they were dismayed and terrified! The truth is that we will all face giants in our lives and they are terrifying and relentless. You may be facing a giant today that is challenging you daily and you are scared and unsure. What can you do? No doubt, the Israelites were feeling the same way you do now. They didn’t know what to do. In fact, they were losing heart. Maybe you are too. When you have a giant in front of you, you may heart.
David knew that something had to be done… 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 1 Samuel 17:32. David was willing to step up and go toe to toe with this giant foe. How could he do that? David was a shepherd, and a really good one! When a bear or lion attacked his sheep, he rescued his sheep and killed the predator when they turned on him. He believed that just as God had rescued and protected him from those wild beasts, he would protect him in a fight against Goliath.
And he was right! When he charged toward Goliath with only a sling and five smooth stones, he was never really threatened. Goliath didn’t have a chance to strike a blow because David used his sling to sink one of his stones into Goliath’s forehead, killing him. Goliath had been defeated!
How was that possible? How did David defeat this giant? Where did he get the courage to step up? David knew that this battle was not his, it was the Lord’s and He would protect His people. Before he killed him, David had warned Goliath: 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47
What can we learn from this epic story?
We will face giants in this world.
We will not face our giants alone.
The battle is the Lord’s!
By His hand, we can be victorious!
God gives us the courage to step up!
We all need courage to step up! For much more, listen to Courage: Part 5 - David: Courage to Step Up.