Metaphysical meaning of Goliath (mbd)
Goliath, go-h'-ath (Heb.)--revealing; conspicuous; taken off; an exile; a soothsayer.
Meta. Ideas are not all of the same importance. Some are large and strong, and some are weak and small. There are aggressive, domineering ideas, like Goliath, that parade themselves prominently, brag about their power, and with fearful threats of disaster keep us frightened into submission to their unrighteous reign.
These domineering ideas of error have one argument that they impress upon us at all times: fear of results should we dare to meet them openly and oppose their reign in consciousness. The fear of opposing prevailing ideas, although we know them to be erroneous, is woven into our whole mental fabric. This fear is portrayed by the spear of Goliath, and the narrative most aptly states, "And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam. "
The "strong man fully armed," referred to by Jesus, is in the subconscious mind. In the natural man he manifests as physical strength, but in the regeneration he is overcome and his possessions are divided or given to the other faculties as a nucleus around which the higher forces gather. The "stronger than he," who takes away the "whole armor" in which the strong man trusted, is spiritual strength. The overcoming of Goliath by David illustrates this mastery of the spiritual over the material. Goliath trusted in his armor, which represents the protective power of matter and material conditions. David (spiritual strength) had no armor or material protection. His power was gained by trust in divine intelligence, through which David saw the weak place in the Goliath armor. Direct to this weak place, with the sling of his concentrated will, he sent a thought that shattered the forehead of the giant. This shows how easy it is to overcome any seemingly strong personal and material conditions, when the mind of Spirit is brought into action
David was sure of himself, because he had slain the lion that killed his sheep. This lion symbolizes the beast in man; when overcome or, rather, transmuted to finer energy, it becomes a mighty soul strength.
The power of Goliath seems to have existed principally in his ability to frighten the Israelites. Their fear of him was induced by his great size and his pomp of outer display. Physical strength is prone to brag, and in the vanity that leads to boasting lies its utter weakness. Knowing this, David approached Goliath in a simple and inoffensive manner, which aroused the contempt of the giant and made him easy to defeat. Goliath stood for his own strength; David went forth with but one idea: to prove that there was a God in Israel. When one goes forth to prove his own strength he sooner or later comes to grief, but he who goes forth to prove the power of God is guided in every way and is the inevitable victor.
The story of David and Goliath is one of the most familiar of all Bible stories, and it is also one from which many practical lessons can be drawn. One lesson that may be considered is the individual's desire for both spiritual and worldly advancement. Side by side these desires are striving for supremacy, each in turn occupying a relative degree of importance in the mind. Even Jesus Christ had presented to His consideration the possibility of ruling over all the kingdoms of this world.
It does not take much of spiritual understanding to know the futility of so-called material advancement and power, but it does require very definite and well directed activity really to correct one's tendencies in this direction The lure of pomp and power is great to the one who does not fully realize the spiritual Truth that exists under all material manifestation.
The giant of outer splendor often looms up before the spiritual aspirant, but is not conquered by negative measures. The best means are always the simple, direct ones. To meet adversity with its own tactics but arouses it; to meet it with a direct declaration of Truth renders it an easy victim.
We are often scared, even terrified, at the gigantic proportions of some leading thought on the error side, represented by Goliath. Our Goliath may be different from that of our neighbor, but it boasts and brags daily of its strength and it intimidates us with its show of power. People who depend upon the resources of materiality, as Saul had come to do, often give up in despair when these thoughts of sense continue their bullying methods day and night. There is but one way to meet and subdue them, and that is through the power of love, represented by David, the ruddy-faced shepherd boy. Sympathetic love will not bring these results. Love must have the assurance of Truth and must be sent forth with confidence, courage, and power, in both thought and word.