Ann Farabee column: Insurmountable odds?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2022

By Ann Farabee

Insurmountable odds? Improbable victory? Giant problems?

In 1 Samuel 17, the Philistines — better known as the giants — stood on a mountain on one side. Israel stood on a mountain on the other side. There was a valley between them. As was the custom, the strongest from each camp would fight for the victory!

Enter the two main characters: Goliath and David.

Goliath was overconfident and was overtaken!

Goliath was almost 10 feet tall and the strongest of the Philistines. He was called the champion. He wore a brass helmet, brass coat and brass shoulder and leg protection. His staff had a strong spearhead. A shield bearer always went before him into battle. He marched out dressed in full armor for 40 days to intimidate and put fear in the hearts of the Israelites. Guess we could say Goliath thought he was a 40-point favorite! Mr. Goliath thought he was completely covered, but he didn’t have anywhere near the protection David had, because David went in the name of the Lord!

David was overlooked but overtook!

David was not the obvious choice to fight Goliath, because Saul was the tallest of the Israelites. Saul’s response to facing Goliath? Dismay and great fear! So, along comes David. A lowly shepherd. He got up early — not to slay a giant — but to go to the camp to take food to his brothers. He saw Goliath — not as a champion and a giant — but as someone defying God. He knew there was a cause, there was a need to do the right thing, and that the battle was the Lord’s.

He put his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones, put them in his shepherd’s bag and picked up his sling. He said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

Then, David didn’t march — he ran toward Goliath — with a sling and a stone. As he ran, he got bolder and the stone became like a boulder! He threw it with such force that it sank right into the uncovered part of Goliath — his forehead! Battle won.

David didn’t need to know Goliath’s strength, because he knew God’s strength. Goliath came with a sword, but David came in the name of the Lord.

Goliath thought he was too big to lose, Saul thought Goliath was too big to fight, but David thought Goliath was too big to miss!

It only took one stone. So, why did he carry five? Goliath had four brothers.

Did David do it or did God do it? Yes!

Insurmountable odds? Yes, we have them. Improbable victory? Go in the name of the Lord.

Giant problems? It only takes one stone.

Wake. Pray. Slay.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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