Posted: 11 Apr 2010 12:56 PM PDT

by David Splane; translated into Zulu by Arthur

Saul was a very big man. A handsome man, standing head and shoulders
taller than all others of his nation. Eliab was another physically
imposing man. Eliab’s appearance and the height of his stature so
impressed Samuel that he concluded this one was God’s choice for the
kingship. Jehovah, though, had rejected Eliab. When Goliath tempted the
nation of Israel then perhaps Saul and Eliab should have gone up against
1 Sam 17:4 describes the size of Goliath (about 3m in
height). 1 Samuel 17:5 describes him as having a helmet of copper and a
coat of mail. (His copper coat of mail weighed 5,000 shekels or 57 kg;
see Insight
volume 1, page 984.) Goliath had an interesting tactic: for 40 days he
went back and forth to Israel’s camp (all could see his strength). 1
Samuel 17:8 shows how Goliath challenged the Israelites: "Then he stood
still and began to call to the battle lines of Israel and say to them:
"Why do YOU come out to draw up in battle formation? Am I not the
Philistine and YOU servants belonging to Saul? Choose a man for
yourselves, and let him come down to me." His goal? Intimidation
(basically: "look we’re strong and you’re weak.")
What about Saul and Eliab, these two strong and
imposing men? They were big cowards despite their size. No one wanted to
take on Goliath. David was shocked that Goliath threatened Jehovah’s
people. 1 Samuel 17:33 Saul told David: "You are but a boy!" No one else
volunteered to take on Goliath, so Saul agreed that David go up against
him. 1 Samuel 17:38 shows that Saul gave David his suit of armor to try
for use against Goliath. Saul put his own copper helmet on David. That
huge helmet must have slipped down passed his nose and ears! David
couldn’t wear Saul’s armor. Did David need the armor? If that was all
that was needed to win against Goliath, then Saul or Eliab could have
used their own armor against Goliath. Clearly, it was not enough. David
decided to try something he was comfortable with. In 1 Samuel 17:40 it
says he chose five smooth stones and a slingshot.

Think: Who tries to go up against a giant with a
slingshot? 1 Samuel 17:42 shows that Goliath despised David for his
attack: "Now when the Philistine looked and saw David, he began
despising him because he proved to be a boy and ruddy, of beautiful
appearance." Goliath didn’t see David’s secret weapon! This weapon was
the ‘name of Jehovah.’ (1 Sam 17:45) Saul and Eliab had also not
realized this. Saul was right (verse 33) in that David could not fight
Goliath alone-Jehovah of armies had to be there to back him.

Why is this discussion of David and Goliath good for us today? We all
have ‘giants’ to face. We will never overcome these giants with the help
of worldly things. Don’t rely on Saul’s armor! We can say that Saul’s
armor is seeking the protection of the world and its means. Are you sure
that worldly wisdom cannot solve our struggle with giants? Let’s look
at three giants that we face and notice how the world’s wisdom does not

Economic giant:
Thousands of our brothers face the giant of economic problems. The
world keeps them working long hours. Parents want the best for their
children. Do we use Saul’s armor or do we follow Jehovah’s way?

The world says the answer is higher education. Some spend four, six, or
even eight years pursuing the world’s higher education. The result: They
are effectively cut off from Jehovah’s organization and congregation
for that time period. Back in 1992 Jehovah’s organization published some
direction. (Watchtower
of November 1, 1992) Interesting article on education. The point was
that we should have a balanced view of education. Interestingly, the
words "higher education" never once appeared in that article; it used a
term "supplementary" education. This means a short course of perhaps a
few months, or even a year, or maybe a little longer, in order to
adequately take care of their needs. Do we see the wisdom of that
counsel? Today, millions of university graduates are without work. In
Paris it’s said that one can’t find a plumber – yes, many have computer
science degrees, but when the pipes burst a computer science degree
doesn’t fix them


Remember, David chose five smooth stones. What is the point? Read
Matthew 6:33: "Keep on seeking first the Kingdom." Notice, the word
"first" is used. This is our priority in life. If we don’t put the
Kingdom first Jehovah won’t make us do it. That’s our choice. But, if we
put the Kingdom first then we’ll have Jehovah’s blessing. A balanced,
simple life is what we strive for. 1 Tim 6:8 says to ALL of us, not just
pioneers and Bethelites, that we should be content with sustenance and
covering. Being content with such will help us cut down that economic
giant to size.  Jehovah will sustain us at the right ‘level’-it’s not
our decision as to the level he will sustain us.

Parents may be ‘intimidated’ by what other kids have.
But, what do we mean by ‘adequate provision’? Deuteronomy 2:7 describes
what happened to Israel as they went through the wilderness. Jehovah
blessed them and "you have not lacked a thing." Jehovah supported them.
What did they eat? Manna, morning noon and night and even for a midnight
snack. (Just think of your favorite food. Sometimes we say we love it
so much we could live on it for a month. What about 40 years like the
Israelites?) Yet, the Bible account says they lacked not a thing!
This is Jehovah’s view of material things. We’ve all
eaten this morning and we all have clothes on today. How much education
was needed for you to have these things? The secret is to learn to live
within your means. But, you may reason: "What if I have a family now to
raise?" Will Jehovah look after you? What if we think he won’t? Just
imagine what we’re really saying: We tell Jehovah that if we serve him
(eg pioneering, Bethel) for five or ten years, then he can’t care for us
if need to find work! But pioneers have a secret weapon: in the name of
Jehovah of armies. Experience: A couple had been at Bethel for 18
years. The wife fell pregnant and the husband only had his high school
education behind him. What does he do now? He now works for a company
that only hires people with university degrees. And our brother is the
one who decides who of them is hired and fired!

Are such things impossible? Jehovah just loves things that are
‘impossible.’ It gives him an opportunity to show how he can help.
Worldly companies do nothing for you. Perhaps you work many nights
overtime or over weekends. When the company scales down, don’t expect
that loyalty back from them. Jehovah, however, will always remain loyal
to us and will never abandon us.

[2] Peer pressure giant:
It’s not always easy for young ones to stand up for Jehovah. The
temptation to blend in as best as possible is great. 1 Samuel 17:9 gives
that taunt of Goliath. What is the lesson? Read it again. What does it
say? If you don’t fight the giant you become a slave of the giant (the
world). We need the complete suit of armor from God. Ephesians 6:11 says
to put on the complete suit of armor. and to stand firm against
machinations of the Devil. Need to make a firm stand against the world
and we can do this with the help of the suit of armor. Don’t be afraid
to represent Jehovah’s name at school.

Experience: Jason (17) was a typical teenager. He loved Jehovah, but he
was shy. One day he encountered Monica from his school (most popular
girl in the school and very talkative) in the magazine work on Saturday
morning He knew that on Monday the school would know that he was there
at her house with the Watchtower
and Awake!
He considered his options  — be sick for a week; grow a mustache and
move to Mexico —  but Jason decided to confront the ‘giant’ and
prepared himself for the big teasing on Monday morning. Sure enough, one
of the boys come up to him to ask him about it. What did Jason say?
"Yes, I was there, and I don’t appreciate your tone; I’m going to get
your address and come to your house next week!" He overcame his ‘giant’
of peer pressure.

Experience: Lesley (12) was tired of waiting for the kids at the
beginning of the year to find out that she was a Jehovah’s Witness, so
she decided that on the first day she’d sort it out. She asked the
teacher if anyone had told her she was a Witness. The teacher said ‘no’
and Lesley asked if she had any questions about the Witnesses. The
teacher had none, but later asked Lesley to come to her house to answer
some questions she had – condition: No adults. Lesley studied with her
teacher for a year. Later she came to the hall, and asked for an adult
to complete her study with her. The final result: three teachers and two
secretaries are all now Witnesses because of Lesley’s preaching  – She
overcame the ‘giant’ of peer pressure.

Parents: Help your children to defend themselves. Make sure that your
children do personal study and attend all the meetings. Don’t let them
miss meetings for school homework, etc. Meeting attendance and field
service are not an option. Some parents are reluctant to insist that
their children go; they say that they prefer that it comes from the
child’s heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is more treacherous
than anything else. Can you allow your child’s heart to move them? No,
they need your direction.

Make sure you take them to the meetings and that you go, no matter how
tired you may be. Eg. Governing Body meetings on a Wednesday and many
letters might need to be sent to branches afterward. They also have
their (David and Linda Splane) School and Service Meeting on a
Wednesday. Many times would rather stay at home, but after the meeting
they are refreshed and even want to go out for coffee afterwards. Is it
reasonable to allow children to allow children to decide on such matters
as important as their spiritual welfare? Consider if your child started
a temporary job at McDonald’s. On the first morning you wake him up and
he says he’s too tired to go to work or he has other things to do.
Would you call the manager and say that in your household you prefer to
have the children’s own heart move them to do something and that you’re
sure that after working on him for a while he’d be ready to go to work
out of his own? What would the manager do? He’d get someone else! So,
what would you rather do? You’d tell him to get up, get dressed, and get
to work! So, why don’t you do that with spiritual things?

Ourselves: Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. We become our own
giant. True, many did not grow up in an ideal family situation. Some may
be tormented by their past. (It’s like a little voice in your ear
saying: You’re no good!) But who really wants to destroy our
self-respect? Satan wants this. Satan wants everything of Jehovah’s to
be destroyed. We are Jehovah’s creation; he wants us to die. Jehovah
made the earth-Satan teaches that it will be burnt up. Jehovah
instituted marriage  –  Satan says you don’t have to get married; you
can just live together. If you accuse yourself then you’re doing the
Devil’s work.

Ahaz was 11 when he had his first son. He had absolutely no experience
as a parent. Hezekiah (Ahaz’s son) got passed that terrible childhood
and served Jehovah. (His father had sacrificed some of Hezekiah’s
brothers.) He didn’t use it as an excuse. He didn’t turn out like his
father  –  You’re not condemned to repeat the mistakes of your parents

The world turns to psychiatrists to help them cope with problems. But
you have a secret weapon (unknown to the world’s psychiatrists) – the
name of Jehovah. We have something in addition to what the world offers –
Jehovah’s support. Remember, we’re not saying that if you’re suffering
mentally you cannot seek medical assistance. But, remember, that we
control what we allow our minds to dwell on. Philippians 4:6-8 shows
that the peace of God will excel all thought. if we allow it to. Learn
to allow that peace to excel your thoughts. Philippians 4:6 says we’re
not to be anxious over anything. No problem is unsolvable; some will be
solved now and other problems will only be solved in the new world. Paul
said that if we’re anxious we should pray. Remember, though, when
praying to include thanksgiving and to count your blessings. Pray too
for wisdom so that you can make good decisions. Philippians 4:8
continues to list the things we need to consider: ".whatever things are
true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are
righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable,
whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and
whatever praiseworthy thing there is." Allow your thoughts to dwell on
these things and remain positive.

We all face many problems. We even face an enemy greater than Goliath –
Satan’s world. We need to put on, not Saul’s armor, but the complete
suit of armor. Don’t allow the enemy to intimidate us. Remember, you
have a secret weapon (the name of Jehovah) with which to ward off the
attacks and intimidations of Satan. Stand firm at school and at work.
Never allow Satan a way in. Never think you must adopt the world’s
standards and methods. Put on the complete suit of armor and keep it on.
Don’t wear Saul’s armor. May Jehovah bless your efforts as you serve
him faithfully.


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