David’s “unrational” lack of fear
When it comes to being afraid, I think I would be safe in saying that there are times in which we all have fear. A loud thunderstorm, a venomous snake, a plane that shakes at 35,000 feet may be things that cause us to become afraid. In the Bible there are times when people are afraid and then there are those people who never seem to be afraid. One cannot read the life of David and conclude that he was never afraid but there are not many times recorded. Some passages (Ps 55 and 1 sam 21:12) indicate fear on David’s behalf.
By and large though, he not a fearful person. Many of the psalms written encourage us by sharing that there is no reason to fear. Psalm 23 is probably the most well known.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psa 23:4 ESV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. (Psa 27:1-3 ESV)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, (Psa 46:1-2 ESV)
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psa 118:6 ESV)
David seemed to have a very pragmatic approach to situations that would cause other men to cower in fear. This approach could be summed up in “What’s the worst that can happen?”
This seems to be the attitude that David had as he confronted Goliath. As you read the passage in 1 sam 17, you see David, time and again, express his confidence that God would deliver him.
The armies of Saul heard the challenge of Goliath and were afraid. They had forgotten who was on their side! David came to remind them of that simple fact. The assembly of God’s people did not know how the Lord saves. They soon would!
and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” (1Sa 17:47 ESV)
Fear is often the result of worry about what might be. I agree with Mark Twain: most of the things I have worried about never happened.
What might have been in David’s case is a quick death. However, he would then be with God and that would be good. So if you can accept the worse case scenario, then go slay your Goliath with the help of the Lord. What’s the worst that can happen?