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Seven Actions to Defeat Your Giant -- Part 2

In this second action, Mark Flattery explores that statement: To prepare for the battle, you must remember the victories from your past.

The second of a series of seven weekly articles. See end for links to previous posts.

SECOND ACTION -- To prepare for the battle, you must remember the victories from your past (1 Samuel 17:33-37).

Welcome back to, "Seven Actions to Defeat Your Giant." As we study the historical account of David battling the giant named Goliath, we see that there are seven actions he took in effort to gain victory. The first three actions deal with preparing for the battle. The second three actions deal with how you act in the battle. The final action is how you respond as you bask in victory. Today, we will consider the second of three actions to prepare for the battle: you must remember the victories from your past.


David's verbal declaration was overheard and then reported to King Saul. How defeated the army must have been that when a youth brings hope, his words are reported immediately to the king! Normally, the boasts of a youth would be ignored. This is an indicator of how desperate the army of Israel was to find someone … anyone … to defend its honor.

David finds himself standing before the king. Now, this is actually not without precedent for David was used to being in King Saul's presence. We know from 1 Samuel 16 that after David was anointed by the prophet Samuel he was brought before the king to play his lyre. The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and he was being tormented by an evil spirit. Saul discovered that listening to music soothed his spirit and so he needed a musician to play for him.

Interestingly, David was described to Saul as, "a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him." What wonderful words! Apparently, though David was not very old, already his reputation proceeded him.

Maybe the servant who introduced David knew about David's encounters with a lion and a bear. Obviously, he knew that David was a skilled musician and well-spoken. As a result, David was enlisted into service for the king. Apparently, he went home on occasion to help tend his father's sheep because after killing Goliath, we read that Saul prohibited David from returning to his family (1 Samuel 18:2).

We can only speculate as to how well Saul and David were acquainted. It is very possible that David was seen by Saul as just another servant. It would seem very unlikely that they would talk or have a friendship on any level for David was in Saul's presence just to play music and serve. Yet, what is possible is that when David stood before Saul in I Samuel 17 that the king recognized him as his musician and servant.

David began by telling the king that he would kill the giant. Saul replied by stating the obvious. David was a youth, the giant was a warrior, and implied that David would die. But, this provides us with the second action: to prepare for your battle, you must remember the victories of the past (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

David remember the victories in the past that God has given him. He told the king that he has rescued his sheep from a lion and from a bear. He stated again his perspective of the giant being an uncircumcised Philistine who defied the armies of the living God. Then, he informed King Saul that it was the Lord who brought him his victories and that the Lord would rescue him from Goliath.

Apparently, David's speech impressed the king enough so that Saul replied, "Go, and the Lord be with you" (v. 37). David's life and words had enough credibility with the king that he was granted the assignment to kill the giant.


Let's consider this conversation from David's viewpoint. David was anointed by Samuel to be the next king (1 Samuel 16:1-13). The Lord was with David (1 Samuel 16:18). The Lord had given David victories as he battled alone a lion and a bear (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

David also completely understood that his role was a servant and that he served the living God. So, he moved forward in complete and unashamed confidence that the Lord would bring victory. Just as the Lord empowered David as he encountered a lion and a bear, the giant who stood before him was simply just another obstacle that the Lord would overcome.

As you consider the giant before you, do not accept the temptation that you are alone or that your situation is hopeless. Remember the victories that God has brought you in your past. Thank God for those victories and use this as a force to press forward in your encounter. God was faithful in your past, God will be faithful in your present, and God will be faithful in your future!

Just as the Israelites in the Old Testament built monuments to remind their children of their past, God wants you to remember what He has done for you. Use those moments to strengthen your heart and spirit that God is on your side and that He will stand with you.

Now, you may think that the victories of the past will not help you face your present giant because you have never encountered such an undefeatable foe. But, the constant in your life story is that the Lord is on your side! "If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). God has enabled you with His Word, empowered you by His Holy Spirit, and given you friends and family who will join you in your journey.

Just as David found his confidence in the Lord because the Lord had been faithful to bring him victory in the past, when you recall the personal victories God has given you, it will also give you the confidence in the Lord to face your current giant.

To read the previous posts of this series, click one of the following: Preamble or Seven Actions No. 1.

Mark Flattery

Dr. Mark Flattery is an AGWM missionary serving as President of Network211.