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David and Goliath Metaphysically Interpreted

Biblical Favorites by Jim Lewis

I Samuel 17


The story of David and Goliath is told in the 17th Chapter of I Samuel. It is one of two stories that presents David to King Saul. The first story you are no doubt very familiar with also. It tells of David playing the harp to soothe the weary mind of Saul.

The second story about David the giant killer begins with the Israelites and Philistines confronting each other ready for a big battle. They were situated on two hills. One day David came to the Israelite camp with food from home for his brothers in the army. When he arrived he heard Goliath challenging any Israelite to come out and fight him. All the soldiers were reluctant to take up the challenge. Goliath was a giant of a man. According to the story he was nine and one half feet tall and loaded with heavy armor. His appearance and challenge struck terror in the Israelite soldiers. When David saw their fear he was amazed and horrified. David had a simple faith and trust in God. He believed that with the Lord on his side he could not be defeated in any challenge. He believed that Israel could not be defeated since the Lord was on the side of Israel and he was therefore quite surprised to see the negative reaction of the soldiers in the Lord’s army. David was quick to take up the challenge of fighting the giant. The other soldiers thought it was ridiculous that a scrawny kid would even think of fighting a giant. But they took him to Saul to get his permission. Saul too was reluctant, but David convinced him. David told Saul of his experiences as a shepherd when he would have to fight off bears and other wild animals.

Saul finally consented to let David try his hand with the giant. He even wanted to help David by letting David use his armor. But to David the armor of Saul was a burden. Instead David went to meet the giant with his sling. On the way he picked up five smooth stones from a river bed. When Goliath saw David coming to meet him he was flabbergasted. The giant said, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” He cursed David and laughed at him. He thought he would have a ridiculously easy fight in taking care of David. He further said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.”

Goliath’s sarcasm and threats did not scare David. David said to the giant, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” David even went further and said to the giant, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head.” Goliath probably laughed at this outburst of confidence. He did not think David had a chance with him. As they came together for the battle David took a stone and put it in his sling. He slung the stone at the giant, hitting him on the forehead. We are told that the stone sank into the giant’s forehead, he fell to the ground, and David ran to him, took the giant’s sword and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw what happened to Goliath, they panicked and fled. The Israelites chased them and defeated them.

There are a number of interpretations that can be derived from this story, depending upon the level of consciousness and interest of the individual. A military commander would see that no compromise or advantage can be given to the enemy if he is to win the battle. Also he will see the necessity of courage and confidence in his troops if he is to attack the enemy and be successful.

On a higher level of interpretation we might say that a basic meaning of the story is this. When we believe our cause is right and believe that God is with us, we can succeed in meeting any challenge no matter how big or difficult it may seem to us. All challenges that seem to defeat us begin in our minds. Our perceptions cause us to be afraid. The giant is some big misconception in our minds that is really false. And we are loaded with misconceptions about life, about God, and about ourselves. We think many of these misconceptions are actually true. We have a great misconception about our potential ability and powers and what we can accomplish in life. Many of us have accepted the negative opinions of others about us. Or we have judged ourselves and our potential by appearances instead of judging by truth. Many think they are limited in talent, intelligence, and ability, simply because their parents may seem to be limited. We often get too concerned about what others may think about us, what we think, say, or do. We may even be overly concerned about what they may think about the way we dress, how we comb our hair, how we walk, or how we talk. This negative analysis inhibits our true thoughts and our actions. Many times we would like to do something but we are afraid of the giant, what we think someone might say or do.

We also have many religious misconceptions that keep us shaking in fear and bondage. Many are afraid to challenge traditional religious concepts. They think that God will strike them dead or send them to hell to suffer for eternity. The truth is there is no hell in the first place to be afraid of, and God would not strike anyone dead simply for asking some questions in his pursuit of truth. We should never be afraid to question and even reject beliefs that we come to know are false. The church has used the threat of eternal punishment to control us. It has no right to do that. No minister, priest, rabbi, or any other religious leader has the right to dominate anyone. There is no eternal punishment but believing there is will inhibit our thought and actions. We will keep performing the same old rituals. We will keep listening to the same old fear preaching. And we will be kept in line by those who are claiming to be God’s representatives on earth.

David is a character that is not afraid to accept the challenge of the giant. He knows the giant cannot defeat him. He has a simple faith and trust in the Lord of hosts, the Presence and Power of God within him. If we are to grow in this type of faith and confidence we too must begin with an absolute trust in our inner Lord. It is not the easiest thing to develop. The ego is used to trusting in itself. It is not eager or willing to put aside its misconceptions. It likes to believe in what it can see, touch, smell, or manipulate. To believe in and trust something as abstract and seemingly non-existent as the Lord seems ridiculous. But the ego functioning on the human level has not discovered the great Reality of the Lord. David has had this discovery and it has filled him with an indomitable courage. According to appearances he did not have a chance to win in the battle with the giant. The giant had all the modern equipment, the size, and the big mouth.

There are many times in life when it seems we do not have a chance in dealing with some concept or some problem. Some give up in despair at these times. But the David type stands firm and then goes forward to meet the challenge. When we go forward in trust we then get the right idea, the smooth stone, that will enable us to be victorious. This idea is not something that we put in our minds. It is not something that we dream up with our intellect or try to figure out through human effort. It is a spiritual idea that is revealed to us when we become still and trust in our inner Lord. It only took one stone to do the seemingly impossible job on the giant. The stone sank into the forehead of the giant. The forehead is a symbol of the imagination. That is where the many human giants are located, the many misconceptions that we hold in our mind. He is our human vision of life. He is our negative thinking. He is not the person in our lives that we think is making our lives miserable. He is not the job or the lack of one. He is not anything outside of us. He is in our own imagination. He is our big negative thought about the outer things in our lives. Knowing this we do not have to struggle and battle with people and things. We do not have to eliminate people from our lives. What we have to do is defeat the imaginary giant that we think is so real.

The cause of all manifestation in our lives is in 01 consciousness. Nothing happens by fate or chance. We may not know what is in our consciousness that ties us in with the situations and people in our lives but we can be sure there is something that must be worked out. It makes no difference whether we know or understand or accept this or not. The ego likes to elude any personal responsibility by blaming people or things. The human ego justifies itself through rationalization. Take for example the one who thinks someone else is making his life miserable. He says to himself, “If it was not for so and so, I would be happy.” What he should be saying is this, “If it was not for the attitude I have about this person I would be happy.” We should remember it is a lot easier to change our attitude than it is to change some person.

Some would say, “If the rich people would give up their wealth we could solve the poverty problem.” But that would not work either. If there is lack in our lives we must get rid of the giant in us that believes that we have to be in lack. We have to have the simple faith of a David that believes that God does provide for every need.

The truth is, no one can make you unhappy and no one can keep your good from you. Only the misconception, the big giant of lack and limitation, can do that. The truth accepted in consciousness can change any outer situation. It may not happen overnight but we can defeat all the Goliaths that come on the scene of our minds. Like David we may have many battles with fears and other wild human thoughts. These battles strengthen us. They strengthen our trust in the Presence and Power of God within us.

I would just like to offer one word of absolute caution. There must be no ego deception. We must have an absolute honesty in working in principle. There must a complete willingness to surrender and trust in the inner Lord. When the ego can let go and do this, then the individual will experience a surge of faith and confidence he has never known before. It will not be an egotistical self assurance. It will be a calm inner poise. The mind will be at peace while meeting the biggest of giants. When the seemingly impossible vision is changed or killed, the outer will change. We must cut off the giant’s head. We must eliminate the negative belief at the source, in the head, in the imagination.

It does not take a lot of equipment in the outer to change our lives. It does not take a lot of metaphysical formulas. All it takes is a simple trust in the Lord.

© 1985, Jim Lewis
All rights reserved by the author.
Reprinted with permission.