The biblical account of the David and Goliath fight is well-known in the world. A popular Sunday School narrative that inspires not only children but also adults. Saul, the first king miserably failed to lead the Nation of Israel to victory. Goliath intimidated Israel daily twice, for forty days – 80 times. (I Samuel 17:16)
1) Allowed the enemy to set conditions: Saul did not take initiative or act first. Goliath proposed one to one fight: a ‘fight for honor.’ Saul could have refused that and had the army combat the army. Indeed, Goliath was challenging Saul for a one-on-one fight. Saul in one sense was a giant as he was the tallest among all Israelite. (I Samuel 9:2) In Christian life, Satan should not be given options or rooms to tempt. He can easily deceive gullible believers.
2) Afraid: Goliath projected himself as a great warrior. His credentials were impressive with great military training since youth. (I Samuel 17:33) In fact, the armours of Philistine and Israel were at par, yet Saul was afraid. Probably, the skills and experience of Goliath was an intimidating factor for Saul and the army of Israel. Fear paralyzes any person. Saul allowed his emotions of fear and despair to dictate his decisions.
3) Lack of faith: Another missing element was faith. David had immense faith and trusted solely on the Name of the Lord. (I Samuel 17:45) He was not dependent on his weapon, the sling and the pebbles. Saul did not have faith in God, His power and sovereign rule. He approached the war from a human or military perspective, not from divine perspective. Saul could not trust God either for his protection or for the victory of Israel.
4) Spirit of God departed: God anointed Saul and was a successful military leader. However, when the Spirit of God left Saul, he lost his courage and desire to establish the Nation of Israel. (I Samuel 14:52; 16:14) Without the Spirit of God he lost the capacity to discern the Will of God or get his guidance.
Am I afraid like Saul or bold like David?