“When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are.
When you wish upon a star
Your dream comes true.”
But what if a complete stranger hands you an impossible dream, like becoming a king?
All I’d ever wanted was farming; and being free to think my own thoughts and set them to music whenever I chose!
My friends often shared their dreams. I only shared my music. Better to have them sing – even off-key – than have them crowing: “Hmph! ‘Crazy Dave’ for a king? Not likely!”
God’s prophet Samuel had anointed me in front of my whole family, but they kept quiet. Oh, I knew God was with me, but how could I become king? How many farms include ‘kings produced” columns in their annual audits?
And how to tell King Saul?
He’d found my songs and harp-playing helped him to relax, but would he be relaxed or reassured to hear lyrics like: “Saul, I’m your real heir; Jonathan’s a fraud!” or: “Leave now, Saul, or tomorrow I send in my sheep - and they’re trained to kill!” or if I just cut to the chase: “Saul, God has chosen me over you!”
We’d heard nothing from my three eldest brothers in six weeks. They’d enlisted to fight the Philistines about fifteen miles away, so Dad asked me to take them some food and a gift for their sergeant - maybe in case promotions were on offer.
It was late afternoon when I found thousands of soldiers dug into the Elah valley: Israelites to the north; Philistines to the south; locked into a brooding stalemate.
Eliab, Aminadab and Shammah were near the riverbank, where everybody was depressed.
Suddenly I saw why.
The Philistine ranks parted, as an enormous soldier strode to the front with a yell: “Let me fight your champion! If he wins, we’ll be your slaves! Ha!”
The Israelites all raced back out of his range.
I’d delivered the food and the gift. Killing giants? Not on Dad’s list; so I ran back with them!
Stopping at a safe distance, I realised how this giant had demoralised them with his threats - mornings and evenings - for six-weeks. But then I heard another voice…
“How about the king’s reward for Goliath’s killer: stacks of money; marrying the princess; and no more taxes to pay!”
(If I marry the princess I’m in the family. And line for the throne! Did Samuel see this coming?)
“Hey soldier; did you say ‘princess?’ Hmph! How long can this filthy Philistine defy our God?"
Eliab heard him explaining, but snarled at me: “Hmph! Who’s looking after your stupid sheep, you pip-squeak thrill-seeker? Take your big ideas back home!”
“Hey, Eliab, I was only asking!” But more soldiers gathered around, telling me for a third time…
When Saul heard these ripples he called for me, but he wasn’t impressed: “Hmph! You’re just a kid; he’s far too experienced for you!”
But God’s Spirit calmed me: “No disrespect sire, but he’s defying God! God helps me kill lions and bears, and He can take Goliath out too! I can sling two stones while he’s still lifting his spear or unsheathing his sword!”
Saul offered me his armour, but after I took two steps without it moving I stayed with my sling. I accepted his blessing, though I had to wonder why Israel’s tallest man wasn’t tackling Goliath himself...
As I hurried back to the river for suitable stones Goliath saw me.
His face flushed with fury: “Hmph! You send out a boy as if I’m a dog?” Then, scowling down at me: “Come here kid, you’re for the birds!”
Beyond his reach I yelled back: “Goliath, you’ve got a spear and a sword, but I’m here in God’s name! This God you defy will hand you over to me today, with your head on a platter! Let everyone know that Israel’s God is great!”
Declining any further discussion, Goliath ran at me, with his eyes blazing and his spear poised. But before he could let fly, my sling stone hit the side of his head with a crack that stunned the Philistine forces.
Seeing their champion go down; probably dead before he hit the ground; they turned tail and fled…
Goliath had lost his challenge – and soon afterwards he’d lost his head!
For when God powers a promise – and provides a princess - Goliaths cease being too big to hit; they become too big to miss!
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