There Be Dragons

As seen in the Village Voice and the HEARTBeat

There Be Dragons!


            What is it about folklore that fascinates us?  Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!  There has always been a monster of some sorts that terrorizes humankind derived from sightings, lore, or just plain fantasy.  And most often we build them up so much in our mind, they become insurmountable and force us to flee in fear from their presence (or perceived presence).

            In medieval times, it was dragons who spit out fire to incinerate those frozen in fear before them.  During the days of early maritime exploration, it was the sea serpent who wrapped itself around ships and dragged them to Davy Jones’ locker!  Movies are no different.  It is the irradiated lizard turned monster who stomps on city buildings as if they were a child’s toy – Godzilla.  And of course, the freak of nature found in the jungles of Africa where no man had dare trod before, but after capture escaped and scaled the Empire State Building to swat biplanes from the sky, all the while holding a platinum blonde carefully in his giant hand!  We can certainly build up in our minds that which we fear, often times to legendary or folklore status.

            This was the case with Goliath, literally and figuratively.  Here was a man of great stature.  Some Bible translations have his height at “6 cubits and a span.”  This would put him about nine feet nine inches tall!  However, according to the Greek translation of the Hebrew text, Goliath was only four cubits and a span.  This would have made him 6’9” tall.  Not so big by today’s standard.  But considering the average man’s height during this time in history was only 5’6” tall, Goliath was literally a head and shoulders above any other man.

            His size was comparatively immense.  Then put a helmet, a huge sword in his hand, and a goliath-sized shield on his arm, he must have cast a fairly long shadow.  The Israelites saw this giant of a man standing on the mountain opposite of them, and when they moved into the valley for battle, he looked even more opposing.  Fear caused them to freeze in their tracks (glad he didn’t breathe fire too!).  In conventional military wisdom, this mountain of a man was undefeatable.

            Then came David.  His heart burned for God.  Instead of fear, David felt insulted at the words coming from Goliath’s mouth so he volunteered to fight the giant.  Saul put his full armor on David, to include a helmet, shield, chainmail, and a long sword.  David couldn’t move.  He shed this conventional military equipment and opted rather for only a sling.

            We know the rest of the story.  David followed the burning in his heart, a burning God had placed there.  He didn’t use conventional wisdom to accomplish God’s plan.  And he didn’t listen to his brothers or other Israelites.

            When God has a plan for us, don’t use the wisdom of this world to accomplish it.  Rely on God’s wisdom.  After all, it is His plan.  We need to do things God’s way every day, and we will be victorious in the small battles, and even those the world would say are unwinnable!   

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Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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