After watching Hacksaw Ridge with some friends yesterday, I started to think about story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. In this chapter, the Israelites were dismayed by and terrified of the giant Goliath, a heavyset warrior champion with deadly armor who would taunt and defiantly shout at them. But in the middle of this, we see David, a young shepherd boy. David goes to the camp and starts to question Goliath, a man who would dare come against God’s people.
When David goes to fight, he forgoes the armor Saul gives him and fights with his own weapons and with God at his side and on his mind. David rejects the weapons of this world, just like Desmond did in Hacksaw Ridge. This is not to say that this armor was bad – but both David and Desmond chose to live out their beliefs and to choose the armor that they had been given – a sling and a rock, and a desire to help the injured.
Reflecting on this led me to a few thoughts to meditate on:
1. The Lord fights and conquers our giants and our battles (even when it doesn’t look like we can win): When we go with the armor and the resources and the convictions God gives us (and refuse to compromise these) God is our secret weapon.
2. God uses these battles to reveal Himself to people: In Hacksaw Ridge, Desmond is mocked and scorned to start. He stays courageous and keeps praying, and in the end, his story is nothing short of a miracle – it is a story that brings glory to God and saves so many other people.
3. God calls each of us to use different weapons and strengths and strategies in our daily “battles.” Then it is up to us to be obedient. David and Desmond could have easily taken the armor someone else thought would help them win – but instead they had to lean on what they knew, even when they didn’t know what would happen. One person’s convictions and weapons are not necessarily everyone’s.
God is calling us to stand firm in different ways. My instructions may not be the same as someone else’s. But whatever these instructions and convictions are, it is our duty to fight our giants and our battles according to the way God is pointing us. We can choose to fight the battles ourselves with the weapons other people give us – or we can fight the battle on God’s side. I always forget that God works in unexpected (and to the world,seemingly foolish) ways. To those around Desmond, going into battle with no weapon was a sure way to die and endanger others around him – but because it is what God called him to do, it was the only way to save those 75 men. What God asks of us often tests our faith and stretches our minds, but what He asks is always intended for our good and for the good of a broken world and its hurting people.