Representative Warfare

So I went to church today, and I am still thinking of what the pastor taught.

It is resonating deep inside of me and I can’t wait until next week.

The passage was 1 Samuel 17–David and Goliath

It was about fighting giants.

It was so uplifting.

I took away some fresh insights that in all the years I have studied this passage seemed brand new. I mean can we really learn anything new about David and Goliath? Well, when the Holy Spirit is involved, there is no end to the layers of meaning and application.

And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. 8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.”      –1 Samuel 17:4-8

Of course this shows us that Goliath was a beast, a monster. There is no getting around that, and yet I don’t think we can even come close to imagine what this man must have looked like.


This also shows us that this was a different type of war than we usually think of. The pastor taught that back in that day, instead of the entire army of both nations fighting each other. They would just send out one man from each nation–to fight to the death and represent the nation in victory or defeat.

He also said that this was based not on the idea that you can have a stronger man than your enemy–but whoever had the strongest “god” would win. That is why Goliath paced back and forth, morning and evening for forty days blaspheming the God of Israel.

Saul was supposed to go. He was the largest man in the land of Israel. He was their leader. It was his responsibility. And the nation had put their trust in him, having begged God to give them a king who can represent them, like the other nations. And yet he was paralyzed.

Embarrassingly so.

So Goliath would fight for Dagon’s glory, would no one fight for the Lord’s?

No one had the faith?

While the men of Israel said to David, “Have you seen this man who has come up?”

David did not look at him with natural eyes. He never once called him a giant.

David called him an “uncircumcised Philistine” –a pagan.

David understood representative warfare.

He knew that the battle was between God and Dagon–not him and a giant.


Do I get that?

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. –Ephesians 6:12

David had perspective.

David had faith.

Not in his ability–in God’s.

He had already seen God deliver him from a lion and a bear.

God delivers.

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. –1 Samuel 17:45

David responded the the intimidation, by a proclamation in faith and an accusation of blasphemy–in the AUTHORITY of God’s Name.

This got me thinking, all day.

I spend a lot of time worrying about spiritual warfare. Sometimes the enemy seems so strong, and he snatches people up all the time. Ripping them out of the church, chaining them to their sins, inhabiting them for death. I am broken. I have wept even this week over the plunder of the enemy.

It is never ending.

It is so big.

And yet, the idea of this representative warfare. I can stand here like a little child on the side of a hill, before a valley, and I can run toward Goliath and cut off his head, because I represent the Lord of Israel. I can come in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The power of the name of God.

The authority of representing the Lord in my prayers, in my counsel, in my ministry.

That we may know the “exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe, according the working of His mighty power.” Ephesians 1:19

I can’t get caught up looking at the size of my giants.

I must be caught up in the size of my God.



About The Last Hiker

Following Him Up the Mountain
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2 Responses to Representative Warfare

  1. Ester Bunnie says:

    I agree with your assessment of how easy it is to focus on our inadequacies instead of God’s greatness and apply this often in terms of ministry. I recently saw a case where a devoted brother in the Lord was offered an opportunity to bring a message to the congregation. His answer was: I can’t do that … I don’t speak well in front of people. And yet this man teaches the neighborhood kids in his home all the time! I thought this was very sad … he missed his ‘Moses moment’ because his eyes were on his littleness instead of God’s bigness.

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