What do you do when Goliath falls? Defeats and victories are a constant part of life. All of us definitely like the victories more than the defeats. But there’s a question I’ve thought much about over the years.
Can a victory turn into a defeat?
Meaning, is it possible to take a victory in our lives and accidentally suffer defeat because of it? This is what I would like to address in this post that I’ve called When Goliath Falls.
Have you heard the phrase snatching victory from the jaws of defeat? The reverse can be true as well. You can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!
In the book of 1 Samuel, there is a story of a giant, named Goliath, who represented the Philistine army. The Philistines were causing the Israelites all sorts of problems. There was a tradition of bringing out the best warrior that each country had to offer in order to decide the winner.
The Philistines offered up Goliath. The Israelites had no one to offer. Into this void stepped David, a young man who didn’t compare in size or strength to Goliath. The odds were stacked completely against David and the Israelites.
David, after hearing Goliath’s words against him, declared in 1 Samuel 17:45-47,
45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lordwill conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
David had one advantage that Goliath did not…the presence of a great God who would do battle on his behalf. Now, I’m sure many of you know the end of the story. Both of those men go up against each other and David slings a stone, knocking Goliath down. Afterwards, David killed Goliath.
What an incredible victory! David had just defeated the enemy in convincing fashion. If I were David, I would have been extremely satisfied with this incredible feat. I would have celebrated it profusely.
This is similar to what many of us do when we experience an incredible victory. We tend to be satisfied and we celebrate. Now, there is nothing wrong with the feelings of satisfaction that come with a victory; nor is there anything wrong with celebrating our wins!
But, as I mentioned before, victories can easily turn into defeats.
When we allow the satisfaction of our victory to lead us to comfortability, we lose momentum, forfeiting the benefits of our victory.
So many of us, when our Goliath falls, choose to stop and simply admire the view.
Now, we know that David and the Israelites enjoyed their victory immediately after he killed Goliath. But they did something else as well. The text continues,
“When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah gave a great shout of triumph and rushed after the Philistines, chasing them as far as Gath[g] and the gates of Ekron. The bodies of the dead and wounded Philistines were strewn all along the road from Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron.53 Then the Israelite army returned and plundered the deserted Philistine camp.”
The Israelite army decided that the best way to celebrate a past vicotry is to look for the next opportunity for victory. This meant chasing down the Philistine army as well as plundering their camp.
One of the easiest ways to lose the benefits of a victory is to simply relax in that success. The best way to experience the benefits of a victory is to leverage them for the next victory out ahead of you.
What do you do when your Goliath falls?
Which story are you going to write?