Fighting Goliaths

From the Christian Science Sentinel, October 21, 1922, by

In I Samuel, chapter seventeen, we find a very full description of David’s battle with Goliath, from which we may gain much help and encouragement in our own battles with our daily “Goliaths.” Goliath is symbolic of error in its seemingly most powerful forms; and we often feel, like Saul and the men of Isreal, that our particular “Goliath” is larger than that of any other, and has come up to defy us personally. Until David came up to the battle there is no mention of the name of God in the account given; but the thought was, “Surely to defy Israel is he come up,” and Saul and the men of Isreal “were sore afraid.” Fear is always the first sign of our yielding to evil, and so giving it power in our own thinking. Then came David, a mere stripling shepherd boy, who was looked upon contemptuously by his brethren; but one of David’s first remarks corrected this, for he said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” He realized at once that error has to compete with the armies of God, and so cannot prevail. When David went in to see Saul, his first words were full of confidence, and tended to destroy the fear, which is always the first thing to be overcome. Saul, however, was not satisfied that this youth, uninitiated in the ways of war, could go out against this Philistine warrior. David, on the other hand, who had already overcome the lion and the bear in combat, realized that it is no harder for God to prevail over one adversary than another, although to material sense the one may seem more powerful.

We are often apt to think that there are certain forms of error that are more difficult to overcome than others, or are even too large to be tackled by Christian Science; but we should know, with David, that God is on our side, and therefore no Goliath can prevail against us. When David finally persuaded Saul to let him undertake the battle, the latter still clung to his belief in material protection, and tried to persuade David to go forth in his armor; but David could not consent to this, for, we are told, he had not proved it. None of us can make use of weapons other than those we have proved to be right ones in Christian Science. We can never go forth better armored than in the strength of the Lord our God.

In the forty-fifth verse we find the key to David’s victory over Goliath in the word “whom.” Note that he did not say, as might have been expected, “whose chosen people” or “whose servant” thou hast defied, but “whom thou hast defied.” From this we should learn that however great may seem our trouble, or however personal, we should never try to fight it by ourselves. Instead, we should realize that it is not defying us, personally, but God Himself and all His order of perfect creation; and all we have to do is to have confidence, as David had, and realize that “the battle is the Lord’s.” If God be for us, no evil can prevail. What Goliath, however large, can fight with God Himself? We have God always with us, so that no Goliath can dismay us as it did the men of Israel. Like David, our confidence should never waver for a moment, in spite of all the Sauls who may try to shake it.

It is only in Christian Science that we can find and feel this absolute confidence in God, because we are taught to know, as Mrs. Eddy says in “Pulpit and Press” (p. 4), “Each of Christ’s little ones reflects the infinite One, and therefore is the seer’s declaration true, that ‘one on God’s side is a majority.'” We see that as soon as David had slain Goliath, all the children of Israel regained their confidence, fear being destroyed, and they arose and pursued and did much slaughter among the Philistines, proving also to us, as Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 206 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Whatever blesses one blesses all.” Thus, with every Goliath we overcome we not only are strengthening ourselves, but are also able to restore confidence in others, enabling them to slay their Philistines,—in other words, to overcome some of their false beliefs.

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