With faith in El Shaddai
that could move mountains,
this rubicund teenager
fresh from the boondocks of Israel
who had spent his youth
tending his father’s flocks
and writing and singing psalms
with his shepherd’s harp
to glorify his God,
stepped forth into the battlefield
unarmed, against the deadliest champion
of the Philistines
who had cowed the bravest of Saul’s warriors.
Was it foolhardiness,
driven by desperation
to send a stripling shepherd boy
unskilled in the weapons of warfare
against a colossus,
or was he intended as an insult
against the prowess of Goliath?
Carrying a slingshot
and a pouch of granite pebbles
hardened by eons of rock-compression,
David stepped into the valley
filled with disdain for this hulking giant
who had taunted his God and nation,
certain that he would despatch him
despite his suit of armour,
spear and sword
as he had lion and bear
that menaced his sheep.
Who could withstand the might
of El Shaddai, the Lord of Hosts?
Goliath gazed upon this stocky youth,
nimble but so vulnerable,
a pathetic opponent
against his great might and warrior skills;
invulnerable in battle.
Nonplussed and fearless,
David approached his foe,
heedless of his strident taunts,
declaring to Goliath
that in the name of El Shaddai
he would fall this day in battle
before his feet.
Arming his slingshot
David began swivelling it
with increasing velocity,
as each gyre
served to nerve the sling
with propulsive power
until the trigger moment
just as Goliath raised his sword
when the missile
sank so penetratively
between Goliath’s brow,
snapping all consciousness from him
that he fell face forward before David
who drawing his sword
as he had prophesied
causing the Philistines to flee in panic and disarray.
For David dwelt in the shadow
of the wings of El Shaddai
in the secret eyries of His grace
secure in his knowledge and trust
in the love and faithfulness
of the Omnipotent.
Dr Oliver Seet –
is a member of Wesley Methodist Church and a Board Director of the Metropolitan YMCA.