* The following column was taken from Doug Giles’ best-selling book Rise, Kill and Eat: A Theology of Hunting from Genesis to Revelation…
Pretty much everyone and his dog are familiar with David’s epic downing of the Philistines’ champion, Goliath. Movies have been made about this ruddy teenager taking his simple slingshot against this blathering monster and dropping him like a bad habit.
Not only did David down the blasphemous jackass, he also took Goliath’s own sword and decapitated him. Y’know, just to make certain that he doesn’t pop back up like Jason Voorhees and terrify any further Israel’s feckless “forces.”
The narrative of David smoking Gath’s greatest is the stuff of legends; an inspiring tale of faith and determination against staggering odds and, truth be told, against the disdain and unbelief of his jealous and beleaguered brethren.
I dig this story so much I did an oil painting from Gustave Dore’s famous lithograph to adorn my walls, so that when I wake up in the morning and see little David holding Goliath’s severed, blood-dripping noggin it can inspire me to not be a wuss, but rather have faith and go face the “giants” in my life. Life imi- tates art. And, as far as I’m concerned, it beats the crap out of a “Just Hang in There” cat poster.
As familiar as this story is, what I’ve seldom heard pontificated upon was that David got his godly confidence to kill this foul Philistine via the prior slaying of a lion and a bear. 1Sam.17:34-37.
Check it out: God’s people, initially, tried to discourage David from taking Goliath on. They wanted him to be a scared punk like they were and just sit on the sidelines of life and complain about the problem instead of destroying the beast by facing it head on.
Thankfully, David was not persuaded by their pathetic, pusillanimous, faith-eviscerating words. Yep, the young shepherd was having none of his puny bros fear and unbelief; and the thing that put him over the top with holy confidence was not an Amy Grant song but the fact that God (his words, not mine: v.34, 37) enabled him to kill a lion and a bear; and the same God that empowered him to dispatch two apex predators was going to help him fell this mouthy maggot who’s talking smack about God and his people.
Now, help me here: if killing animals is a sin, then why did the Lord God deliver David from certain death by supernaturally assisting this young lad to slay these four-legged marauders? Aw, did that ruin your “God hates killing animals” fairy tale?
Oh, and by the way, it was not recorded whether or not David ate these two would be sheep stealers after he whacked them — which highlights the fact that not every animal killed in the Scripture became table fare.