All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves;
for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:47)
In 1 Samuel 17, we find Goliath ready to fight the Israelites. He is seeking revenge for the last battle during which Jonathan and his armor bearer essentially took on the whole Philistine army by themselves—and won. Chapter 17 describes Goliath’s armor and his weapons, stating he was armed in brass. Throughout the Bible, brass is used as a symbol of judgment. Basically, then, Goliath has clothed or armed himself in judgment.
David, on the contrary, is given Saul’s helmet to fight, a helmet made of brass. David tries it on but ultimately realizes he does not need it. Instead, he takes his sling and five stones into the fight. According to Hebrew tradition, the number five is the number of grace. So, in the same way Goliath clothed himself in judgment of other people, David clothed himself in God’s grace.
The Bible says that Goliath spoke against God and David, which spurred David into action. But how exactly does David fight the battle? Does he fight in judgment of Goliath’s attitude and lifestyle?
No, he fights with grace.
How many times do we fight “for God” with judgment? How many times do we judge people for not believing what we believe? Maybe we are trying to witness to someone, and they just won’t listen or transformation has not happened so we judge them. Maybe what really impacts lives is grace. Maybe God’s battles are only won in grace.
Historically, traditional Philistine armor covered most of a warrior’s body … all but the forehead. David’s stone hit Goliath in that one place where he was vulnerable. God’s grace is that one thing that can work past all the armor, all the judgment a person has. Grace and grace alone. Maybe it is time we shrugged off our brass armor … after all, judgment does not fit us. Maybe it is time we fight for God with grace.
Lord, thank you for loving me unconditionally. I pray that you would guide me to love others as you love me. That I would not be so quick to judge and instead hold grace in my heart always. Amen.