Goliath was the underdog, and he never had a chance.
The world always gets that wrong. And it’s a critical mistake.
But let’s back up for a moment:
I recently rewatched “Hoosiers,” one of my all-time favorite movies. (Free via Amazon Prime right now — hooray!)
“Hoosiers” is the ultimate David vs. Goliath story: tiny-town Indiana basketball team miraculously makes it to the state championship and defeats the “undefeatable” big-city school.
The movie even directly references David vs. Goliath:
The story of David vs. Goliath itself comes from the Bible, 1 Samuel Chapter 17. To summarize:
The Philistines and the Israelites were preparing to do battle, when a huge Philistine named Goliath stepped forward and said (paraphrasing), “Instead of us all battling it out, send out your best warrior to fight me. If you win, we’ll yield to the Israelites. If we win, the Israelites will be our servants.”
This happened every morning and evening for 40 days, and every day all the Israelites responded, “Umm, no.”
Then this little guy David ambled on over and said, “Hold my drink.”
OK, that’s just how I picture it in my head.
What he actually said, crucially, is this: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Wearing no armor and carrying just a sling and five stones, he ran up to Goliath. David slung a stone, it sank into Goliath’s forehead and Goliath died. (FUN FACT: Then David cut off Goliath’s head. They often leave off that part in church.)
David vs. Goliath is viewed by virtually everyone as proof that the “little guy”, against all odds, can defeat the “big guy.”
But here’s the thing: Goliath was the underdog. He had no chance. David was always going to win.
Because of his faith: When you’re doing the Lord’s work, you cannot lose. Because God always prevails.
What does this mean for us?
If the work you are doing is right and good, you cannot fail. Through overwhelming challenges, seemingly impassable roadblocks, you cannot fail. If God’s on your side, victory’s the only possible outcome.
God, of course, has his own definition of “victory”. We envision a bottomless bank account and worldwide applause, and he sees our effect on a single, solitary woman (an effect that may remain unknown to us forever).
So the key, I think, is to define victory as God does.
Your business may not be the next Amazon. It may not even reach the level of Main Street mom-and-pop shop.
But on your gloomiest days, when it feels like the “big, bad guys” are winning every battle, remember this: God is in everything, and his enemies have already lost. He’s judged; the deed is done.
If you’re serving with love, acting in kindness, flowing with generosity, the world cannot defeat you. You’ve already won. You’re a champion, today and forever.
Go forth and do good. That’s really the whole thing.