When reading through the bible, I often place myself in the story. In my mind’s eye I play the hero or set-up a scenario where I wouldn’t do the stupid thing that person did. We all do it. It’s a natural interaction with the story.
One of my favorite stories is David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17. The ultimate upset story. an outcome no one saw coming. Here is this giant, the champion of the Philistine army, calling out a contender from the Israelites. He is insulting them, threatening them, intimidating them, and no one answers. At this point the Israelites are powerless and oppressed by the Philistines. They are stuck and there is no way out unless someone kills Goliath.
Then along comes David. A shepherd boy who only comes to the battle grounds to bring supplies for his older brothers. He sees what is going on and says “Let no one lose heart on account for this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” David declares that God is with him, goes out and kills Goliath, and rescues Israel.
How awesome it would be to have the courage and assurance David had! I visualize myself in this epic scene running at Goliath with my sling in hand. Me, being the hero! Having the courage to step up and save the day. We take this story and apply it to our lives by trusting God is on our side, stepping up, and with God’s help defeating the giants in our lives.
It’s a good application, but that isn’t the case.
You see, there is a big problem with us playing the hero in the bible… the bible isn’t about us. It’s about Jesus.
If we are honest, we aren’t even close to being David in this story. In this story, we are the Israelites… hiding in our tents… soiling our armor… oppressed… stuck… defeated… by our sin. Then along comes God. Jesus is David. Goliath is our sin. Jesus stepped in the gap between us and our sin when he willingly got on the cross and died our death.
Jesus is the hero. He is the only one who can save us. We need to face our giants, but we must remember who has already defeated them.