As you have probably guessed, a "Goliath moment" is named after the towering Philistine from Gath whom we first read about in I Samuel 17. In this chapter, we find the armies of the Israelites and the Philistines gathered to engage in battle. However, instead of both armies charging headlong into battle, the Philistines proposed a representative battle. We read:
"And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, 'Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.' And the Philistine said, 'I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together." When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.'" (I Samuel 17:4-11)
In today's vernacular, we'd say that Goliath was one bad dude. He was large. He was strong. He was intimidating, and he was confident. He no doubt thought he could best any man in hand-to-hand combat. His pride and confidence was such that he showed disdain for David, the ruddy youth who was the only Israelite brave enough to face him. The "Goliath moment" of I Samuel 17, came when David felled the giant with a well slung stone that struck the Philistine in his forehead. In fact, there were several "Goliath moments" . First, Goliath was struck with the truth that there was (and still is!) one mightier than him or any other man--God! Second, the Philistines were struck with the truth that they should not have placed their "trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help" (Psalm 146:3). Third, the Israelites were struck with the truth that "with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).
In the New Testament, we also find examples of "Goliath moments" . In John 20, for instance, the apostle Thomas experienced a "Goliath moment" . When the other disciples told him they had seen the Lord, Thomas replied, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe" (John 20:25). Thomas' "Goliath moment" came eight days later, when Jesus appeared to him and the other disciples. Jesus showed Thomas the "print of the nails" in His hands as well as His spear ravaged side. Thomas' "Goliath moment" culminated with the declaration, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:26-28).
In Acts 2, we find many "Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven" having a "Goliath moment" as they learned from Peter and the other apostles that the Jesus whom they had crucified was the Christ sent by God. "When they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'" About 3,000 obeyed the gospel and were "baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" that day (Acts 2:38,41). Other examples of "Goliath moments" abound in the New Testament.
What is the application for us today? Simply put, we must remember that there is a lost and dying world, plagued by religious error and confusion waiting to have "Goliath moments" by hearing the truth of God's word proclaimed! Some will receive the Gospel readily; others will require time before they experience a "Goliath moment" that leads to obedience to the Gospel. Let us therefore "preach the word...with all longsuffering" (II Tim. 4:2), and let us be bold in our labor for the Lord like young David. Keep in mind that most, if not all, of the "Goliath moments" we read about in the New Testament came about by interaction with others. To that end, we must remember that some plant, some water, but God gives the increase (I Cor. 3:6). Won't you help someone have a "Goliath moment"?