We never got the confrontation we should have: King Saul vs. Goliath. Both were physical power-house champions in the ring. Saul was exceptionally tall and strong… a head above every other Israelite. His impressive, rugged structure is largely responsible for his election as King. His armor was unmatched in all of Israel: a royal tunic, a heavy coat of armor and a bronze helmet. Saul's sword was the strongest and sharpest in the army. And he came with his own sword-and-shield bearer.
Goliath, though, was even more impressive. A head above Saul in height. Perhaps it was giantism, but Goliath was enormous. He is described as a champion… which means he had probably slain his share of Israelites in past battles. It is clear that the armies of Israel were afraid of the guy… unwilling to engage him in a fight. Goliath's coat of armor was superior to Sauls… a woven chain-mail-type coat with hundreds of scales of metal. Goliath wore bronze shin-pads to deflect any blow attempting to take out his legs. He, like Saul, wore a bronze helmut. Strapped to his back was a huge bronze javelin… and in his mighty arm was a heavy but intricately crafted iron spear.
Goliath challenged Saul and all Israel to a fight. And we never got the confrontation. Saul was too afraid.
We wear what we think we are supposed to wear… trying to be impressive… trying to have the latest and greatest. Only we find that whatever armor we coat ourselves in… there is always a chink. No matter how strong we dress ourselves on the outside… there is always a weakness somewhere – which reveals our brokenness inside. We dress to impress… to instill confidence or to create intimidation… But our dress can never truly compensate… never truly hide… never truly protect our hearts.
Little David, a shepherd, wearing probably nothing more than a shepherds tunic, dirty and stinky… he saw Goliath and saw a little dog. Little David, a teenager, a head smaller than Saul, saw the king's armor and laughed at it's false protection. Little David saw the weapons of war and rejected them. David instead picked up a stone and slung it at Goliath… hitting him in the forehead just below his massive bronze helmut. David then picked up Goliath's own sword and let the weight of it fall on the giant's neck. Goliath the champion was struck. Saul the king was dumfounded. And an unexpected might rose from within Israel.
David credits the power and presence of God… and not himself. No armor is needed on the outside when the Lord is at work. No hiding is necessary. No dress is worthy or able to impress.