1 Sam 17:4 – And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. ESV
Goliath was a true physical giant, his strength was such that the tip of his spear was six hundred shekels, about eighteen pounds twelve ounces. He was probably between nine feet six and eleven feet, depending on how one measures a cubit. Although he lived with the ancient enemy of Israel, the Philistines, he was most likely from the tribe of giants called Anaks. In this scripture (read 1 Sam 17:4-58 for the full story) Goliath came out and taunted the Israelites as he was to do for 40 continuous days. It was common practice for enemies to send their champion into a one-on-one fight with the victor’s side winning the war. This avoided the very dangerous reality that both sides could get wiped out, making them easy targets for a third enemy.
We all know the story, the young boy, David, goes out and kills the giant Goliath under God’s protection, and the Israelites win the war. This story, while it is an actual historical event, is also symbolic for humanity, if they care to listen. It is one person, plus God, defeating something that cannot be overcome any other way.
This is a great figurative story for us in recovery. The giant is something big that we have to fight and that we know we cannot defeat with our own resources and power. If we have anything in our lives that determines how our day goes, where we spend our time or money or how we think, feel and choose, then we have a giant. God could be our giant, but we all know that if He were, we would never have got into recovery in the first place. No, our giants are the compulsions or addictions that we struggle with; they could also be our challenges trusting or being intimate with a spouse after a betrayal. Whatever they are, they can only be defeated with God’s help.