“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone and
struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.”
1 Samuel 17:50 NKJV
What killed Goliath? It wasn’t the sword, it was the slingshot. Amazing as it may seem, that was what finished him off. Why then did David cut off his head? It was for Israel’s sake. They needed to see from their lines that Goliath would never rise again. Conversely, David needed to show the Philistines that their champion was dead. The effect for one side was electrifying. For the other, it was devastating!
But here is the question: Why did the Bible sees it necessary to include this phrase, “But there was no sword in the hand of David” after the giant was dead? Surely a sword was no longer consequential to the outcome. Three reasons come to mind. The first was to highlight that David finished off Goliath with the latter’s own sword – a mark of utter disdain for him. Secondly, it showed David’s matured nous in combat. He never left anything to chance, never stalled to admire his handiwork, but moved swiftly to sever the giant’s head, just to be sure…
But the third reason is the heart of it all. It was to draw a contrast between God’s way and man’s ways. God’s way is a sling and stone. Man’s way is the sword. Slings and stones are useless against armoured giants of war. So we think. That’s why when the giants like corruption, religious extremism and racism stalk a nation, we instinctively reach for political, legal and media means first. We forget the humble sling-n-stone of prayer. David practiced repeatedly with a sling in obscurity before the stone flew. We must prostrate hidden, interceding before God. Injustice and unrighteousness may roar across the land like Goliath’s challenge; each time, our response must be to pray. We need to remember: it was not the sword that slayed the giant. The slingshot did it.
(An excerpt from Ps Philip’s upcoming book, “Slingshots”)
撒母耳记上 17:50 (和合本)
但重点是这个 – 圣经为何要在巨人死后加上这段“大卫手中却没有刀”呢？显然，刀剑已不是这个结局的关键。但却有3个原因浮现在我脑海中。第一点是要强调大卫事后用歌利亚自己的剑了结歌利亚 – 表示他对巨人的极度蔑视。第二，此经文展现大卫在战斗中的成熟；他不率行事，亦不停下来欣赏自己的成就。反之，他捉紧时机，迅速地迈前去斩断巨人的头，以确保事情处理得干净利落…
Philip Lyn 医生牧师