Telling the story of David and Goliath with God as the main character
I love this idea of telling Bible stories with God as the main character. It has absolutely transformed the way I see and tell the story of David and Goliath. You see, in schools, when there’s a ‘courage’ assembly, that’s the story they wheel out, and the general line goes something like this: you can be brave like David was brave, in other words, screw up all your courage, be brave and go out – you can do this, just ignore your fear and go!
But this isn’t the way God does courage. If you start looking at the story asking the question, what is God doing, you realise that God didn’t sit on the sidelines cheering David on, telling David to be brave, work up his courage – no, he sent David out and went with him, side by side. So when Goliath looked up he just saw an audacious teenage boy because he didn’t see what David saw: massive God right by his side. Courage isn’t something we conjure up by will-power – it’s something that comes from knowing that the Almighty God of the Universe is standing shoulder to shoulder with us as we face our giants.
For a long while, until they broke (the limitations of air-drying clay!), I carried around two figures with me in a little plastic box – a little David and a massive God, with his hand reaching down to David’s upraised arm to remind me that if I am fighting God’s battles, he is there right alongside me, shoulder to shoulder, and so there’s really no need to fear. Who isn’t going to feel courageous in that situation?