Was Goliath The Underdog?

An interesting take on David and Goliath from Josh Daffern

David Was Never the Underdog in David and Goliath

James Pond

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 1 Samuel 17:45-50

And so the legend was born. But what was it that gave David such confidence? Did God give him a specific word promising him that he would kill Goliath? Not that Scripture records. So, what was it that gave David such confidence? David and Goliath is the ultimate underdog story, because here was this huge giant and all David had was a sling, but in the end I would argue that we’ve got the wrong underdog.

Let’s go back and look at the story again.

First, let’s start with David. In ancient warfare, there were three types of warriors: there was heavy infantry, which was what Goliath was. They were highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Then there were cavalry, men on horses or chariots. The third type was artillery, back then known as slingers. We think of the slingshots that we played with as kids in the backyard. These slingers were different. Slingers would put a projectile into a leather pouch with two long chords, they would whirl the projectile around, let one chord go and hurl the projectile at the target.

Ancient slingers could turn their sling around at 6 or 7 revolutions per second, and when they released the projectile was moving incredibly fast, probably 35 meters per second, which is substantially faster than a fastball thrown by a Major League Baseball pitcher.

Add to that the fact that the stones in the Valley of Elah, where this battle was fought, were not normal stones. They were made of Barium Sulfate, which had twice the density. If you do the ballistics of the stopping power of this kind of rock at this kind of speed, it’s the same stopping power as if you fired a 45 caliber handgun.

Ancient slingers were also famously accurate from up to 200 yards away, and in ancient battles they were known to decimate heavy infantry. And guess what David probably did during all that time while he was watching sheep? Practicing his form.

 

If you remember one of the opening scenes of Indiana Jones where Harrison Ford is trying to get away and a large enemy wielding a sword stops him to fight? How does Indiana Jones get out of that? He shoots him. Goliath had the sword, David had the gun. Goliath brought a sword to a gunfight.

 

Now, let’s go over to Goliath. Goliath was 9’9’’ tall, which is huge. A scientific theory for Goliath is that he had a condition called acromegaly, which is a benign tumor on your pituitary gland. It keeps your body growing, even after it’s supposed to stop. Robert Wadlow, the tallest person in the world in the 1800s, grew to 8’11’’ and had acromegaly. If you knew the WWE wrestler Andre the Giant, who was 7’4’’, he had acromegaly. It’s not farfetched to think that Goliath had acromegaly. Why is that important? Because one of the known side effects of this condition is poor eyesight.

We see evidence of this in the story, when Goliath was led onto the battlefield by an attendant, like he was being led by the hand. Secondly, he commands David to come to him. Why? Because his eyesight is probably poor. Third, Goliath says, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” Sticks? David had one staff in his hand, but Goliath saw at least two.

You put all that together, and you have a picture of an undeniably large giant standing on the field with poor eyesight and weighed down by 125 pounds of armor. For him to win, he needed another heavy infantry to come close and engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Instead, he got a slinger, who was quick and nimble, who would never come within striking range and could strike him at 200 yards away. Now all of his armor made him immobile and his incredible height made him that much more of a target. Goliath stood there like a sitting duck, and David knew it.

I would argue that this legendary story is in fact an underdog story, but the underdog was Goliath.

Now, it still took incredible bravery for David to go out there and fight, but when he stepped onto the field of battle, Goliath didn’t stand a chance.

Mario Murillo: They Will Change Everything

Mario Murillo exhorts us to pursue God fervently, regardless of the reactions of other people.

 

THEY WILL

THEY WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING

David Wilkerson predicted this emerging force: “God is revealing to all praying people that a glorious new work of the Spirit is about to break forth. God is going to shake everything that can be shaken. He will tear down the old political, backslidden, ecclesiastical system. He will disown the formal, super-church structure. He will chase out of His presence all those who are engaging in self-promoting ministries.”

These praying people he mentions will be the catalyst to these forceful changes.  They are frustrated, hungry, and their numbers are growing fast.  They are coalescing around certain truths: fasting, repentance, and holy surrender to Christ.

This force is the most underrated undercurrent in the church.  Even though it is largely overlooked, it has the firepower to change the church just as much as a youth awakening.  And look out when these two forces collide!

Many of these people were chased out of churches that were once fiery and Spirit-filled, but then went to a new format to attract outsiders.  A growing number of Christians feel their church is promoting programs that don’t impact them. Even programs that bring in large numbers don’t matter to them.  They believe only a move of God can save America now.

They believe we have no time to play games.  They are frustrated that their church is catering to the lukewarm members.  Most of all, they feel that they are being punished for wanting a move of God.

I want to direct my words to those leaders who are guilty of correcting members who yearn for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  You’ve got it totally backwards.  Those who are hungry for a move of God are the best thing that ever happened to your church.

If you have wounded the heart of even a single saint, it was a spectacular mistake.  They, and not the lukewarm, should be setting the tone for your church.

Somewhere, we got the idea—I believe it came from the pit of hell—that exuberant worship, preaching with the anointing and with conviction, fiery prayer meetings, and deliberate soul winning are the “old ways.”

For millions of disenfranchised Christians, these things are not ‘old ways’, but timeless ways. And, their hunger for them is intensifying even as the church grows colder.  Something will have to give!

Change has to come!

Again, David Wilkerson said, “I see it all over the nation today—disillusioned Christians searching for reality. The people in the pew are beginning to fast and pray. They are the ones who now weep between the porch and the altar. And, they are crying out for more depth and more of eternal values from the pulpit. If the minister of their church goes on in some egocentric way, pursuing expensive dreams, they will go out looking for a place where their deepest spiritual needs will be met.”

However, many mega-church pastors didn’t leave it there, they went even further.  They began to punish members who pursued holiness.  They call it a ‘religious spirit.’  These dear saints wonder, “Why would anyone punish a heart for wanting purity?  How can vessels chosen to uplift the righteous and equip the saints, instead, create a system that rewards carnality and shames holiness?”

Let’s be honest.   It’s not as if the modern church is exhausting itself on devotion and sacrifice.  But you’d sure think so by the way some ministers keep telling us to relax, and quit trying so hard, because, ‘Daddy is so pleased with us.’

Even when a congregation is a listless, flabby, biblically illiterate club of moody consumers, preachers will heap on them yet one more message of pampered entitlement.  It’s kind of like handing a diabetic a case of Snickers bars.

It has gotten so bad that Sundays have become a celebration of how much God lets you get away with.

These believers, who know there is more, are equally disappointed in the other extreme. Perhaps in reaction to the deadness, formality, and carnality, some have created churches that are highly emotional and have run completely off the map of scripture.

Satan seduced some into separating the Holy Spirit and the Bible—pitting them against each other.  The Bible not only predicted this deception—it exposed the motive behind it.

2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers…”  What they can’t endure is the Bible.  They drop the God-card to fulfill their lusts, and then blame the Holy Spirit!

It began in small doses.  One preacher said, “Why do we trust a book? Did they have more of the Spirit than we have?”  Another preacher said, “We’re not supposed to worship a book.”

They will tell you they are trusting in the voice of the Spirit more than The Book.  What they are really hearing is their own voice…or worse.  They don’t deny the inerrancy of scripture: they simply claim direct revelation from God that is equal to the Bible.

If you have all Spirit, you blow up. If you have all Truth, you dry up. You need both!

Studying the Bible has become passé.  Many seek constant prophetic words, and trust these words without comparing them against scripture.

The Holy Spirit becomes “on demand.”  You’ve all seen internet ads where “prophets” will give you a daily word from the Lord.  Some even charge money to give you a prophetic word.

 

People blame all kinds of things on “leadings of the Holy Spirit.” “The Spirit told me I can leave my husband and children because He wants me to be happy.”  Scantily clad women in church claim, “You may not like the way I dress, but the Holy Spirit does.”  One preacher even compared the Spirit to smoking marijuana, and said, “I am toking the Ghost.”

The book of Daniel seems to divide those who live in the last days into two categories: Those who are corrupted by flattery and those who know their God.  The entire verse reads: “those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” -Daniel 11:32

The people who know their God are repulsed by both extremes of compromise and emotionalism. They want exuberant worship, even intense worship directed at Christ. They don’t want an emotional binge that feels New Age, and that seems to be trying to reach an altered state.  They want to reach lost souls, but they want no part of an open-ended attraction program that never seems to lead souls into discipleship.  John Wimber called them ‘The Radical Middle.’

As I said before, their numbers are growing every day.  They are not rebellious, they are hungry. They are reaching out to God with great passion.  They are preachers who suddenly realize they have built a monstrosity for God, but they have neither worked with God, nor do they have a relationship with Him.

They are young people who came to church, only to find they didn’t fit any model. After years of increasing emptiness, one day they just collapsed before the Lord and begged for Biblical reality.

Others are finished with egocentric pastors with grandiose, expensive dreams, and carnal visions.  These members of the Radical Middle recognize that their pastors have been distracted—even derailed from their first love.   Those who are interested in becoming true disciples are abandoning ‘attraction- churches’—something revolutionary is happening inside them.

Deep, deep in my soul where the real knowing happens—I know God is doing something new.  God is finished with hirelings.  He is drawing a remnant out of corruption and into a special, supernatural nearness to Him.  They will empty themselves of everything. Every ambition will be burned out—except for one—to love and please the Lord Jesus Christ. They will change everything they are doing now, and begin to walk in the power of and for the glory of God Almighty!

And they will change everything!

Stephen McAlpine: Faith-Based Schools To Fall Off The Precipice

Steven McAlpine warns us of the fruits of Same Sex “Marriage.” The political Left are out to destroy all opposition to its agenda of suppressing freedom of thought and conscience

Faith-Based Schools To Fall Off the Precipice

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I made a comment to a non-Christian friend who sends their child to a faith-based school that employs practicing Christian teachers, that their decision to vote YES in the same sex plebiscite might mean they would soon be looking somewhere else to school their child.

They seemed surprised. I didn’t say it with any particular emotion.  I just made the point that, as I said at the time of the SSM legislation, the decision was not a slippery slope, but a precipice point.

It will change a lot more than marriage, and it will do so quickly.  The YES vote would prove to be an anchor with a whole raft of other issues tied to it that will get pulled over the edge with the weight it carries.  That was not how it was presented of course.  It was presented as a discrete issue that was all about how we live our private lives.

But here’s the fact: Many a parent voted YES for same sex marriage, never realising they were voting NO for the education model they so value for their children.

Same sex marriage in Australia, despite all the assurances from many of  those advocating it, was always going to be a tipping point moment for a whole bunch of other stuff, including the move to force faith-based schools to sign up to anti-discrimination legislation on the pain of funding losses.

And, more pointedly, a precipitous issue for those many non-Christian parents who have scraped together the money to send their children to a faith-based school in suburbs that are a wasteland of decent high schools.  In other words be careful what you vote for.  Or at least know what it will lead to.

My friend’s surprise dissipated and we didn’t talk of it again.  Life, as it does, took over.  The vote happened.  Love won.  What’s not to like?

Meanwhile school board members such as me, and executive teams of schools and lobby groups for faith-based organisations began paddling like mad, working overtime in Canberra and beyond, to try and plug the sinking boat of viable alternate ethical communities such as schools.

And, as was reported back to me, the hostility from many a parliamentarian towards faith-based education was palpable.  Eye-rolls, snorts, and watching iPhones during the hearings whenever a Christian schools representative got up to speak.  And these people are the leaders of our nation?

 

Read the full story here

Crocodile Tears Over Burning Building

This morning the news was all about the fire at Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral. Journalists and the various “experts” they talked to were in shock over this great cultural loss.

I say to them:

Woe to you hypocrites who mourn the loss of a place of faith but you spent the last decades defaming and hating the people of faith. You care about a Catholic cathedral, but loathe the Church the building represents.

Woe to you hypocrites who weep over a burning church that was empty but ignore the daily burning of christians inside their places of worship.

Woe to you hypocrites who marvel at the faith and vision of christians half a millennium ago to build a place of worship, but condemn those of faith and vision today who speak words you do not want to hear.

Woe to you hypocrites who wail at the loss of material objects which you can see but ignore your own souls which you cannot see.

Woe to you who live only for your own pleasure.

Your salvation is in Jesus Christ alone who forgives our sins and rescues sinners from the fires of hell.

Privileged Group Revealed

They say that you can tell who the most powerful group is in a society by noticing who cannot be criticised.

This Instagram post by Israel Folau has been widely condemned as “homophobic”. Nobody from the “Drunk Community”, Adultering Community, the Liars Community, the Thieves Community or the Atheist and Idolatry Communities have made any complaints that we have heard about.

Just one noisy group whose directive has led to yet another public smack down.

So which so-called “victim group” wields more power than any other identity group in Australia?