Different Styles of Fighting
And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth….Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.”
— 1 Samuel 17. 32-33; 38-40
Who would you pick to win the battle—if you had not already read ahead? Little teeny David or burly man Goliath? The Las Vegas bookies would highly encourage you to put your money on Goliath. But upon further review, is that the right choice? Let us examine the different styles of fighting.
First, Goliath was a hand-to-hand combat fighter. He pulverizes people with the strength of his hands as well as close range weaponry. The narrator explained that Goliath “had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him” (1 Samuel 17.5-7). Yes, Goliath sounds like one bad dude.
Second, what kind of fighter was David? He was a young shepherd boy, who was a projectile fighter. David told Saul: “And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears…” (1 Samuel 17.34-36). Goliath was huge but David “ain’t scared!”
Why was David not scared? David never planned on fighting Goliath on his terms. David was not going to fight hand-to-hand combat style. Rather, David was going to stand far off and launch bullets at him. David may have been the first person to say, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.”
More importantly, David also knew that he had a secret weapon. David proclaimed: “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head…and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand” (1 Samuel 17.46-47). Be careful how you fight. And—know that the Lord saves, not you.