Synthesis Warm Up 2: “Goliath, of the In-Between”

Posted: November 20, 2008 by Matt Horan in ReEmergent Church

david-goliath-pictureBy Matt Horan

            “I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told.” (Habakkuk 1:5)

Even the most infrequent Bible reader has probably, in some way, encountered the story of David and Goliath.  Most translations of the Old Testament describe the Philistine Goliath as “a champion.”  However… this word that is often translated as “champion” is tricky.  A word in the paragraph before the David and Goliath story translated as “between” is very similar to the word translated “champion.”  Many think that the distinguishing description of Goliath that the author intended was not that he was a champion, but rather, that this was a “A man of the in-betweens named Goliath…” 

Sure, if you read the description, you can easily discern that he might have been a mighty champion of some kind.  But the problem they list first, before any of his attributes, is that he is what is in-between.  The Philistines were the enemies of the Israelites.  They were to go and have victory over them.  But there was this guy in-between.  Because of that which is in between, the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. 

Have you been there?  What is between you and doing the will of God?  What is between me and the will of God?  What am I afraid of?  What are you afraid of? Knowledge of the ending is the cure for fear.  Sometimes I wonder if uncertainty isn’t the worst thing on earth.  We so badly want to know the ending.  We so badly want to minimize our risk.  We so badly want to know, “What’s going to happen?”  Or perhaps, “What might be lost?”  “What will this experience cost me?”

But then I read Habakkuk 1:5, “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed.  For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  God says, what I’m going to do is so good that, if I told you, you wouldn’t even believe me, so just trust me.  Just have faith.  Trust me.

So there we are in the valley.  We can see what’s in-between.  No problem seeing what is preventing us from doing what God calls us to do.  What makes it tougher is that we can’t see the destination.  We just have to trust that it’s worth whatever it will cost me to get past that which is in-between.  The in-between can be expensive, but getting past it is worth the cost every time.



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