Note that David enters the valley of the giant equipped with a shepherd’s stick, bag, and sling. While we often make a pretty big deal about this because it plays into the “david vs goliath” scenario that has become a cliche, the reality is that David enters the valley of the giant with “what brung him there.” Of course, this “what brung me here” phrase gets into our mouths when we seek to excuse our lack of improvement or being closed off from using new things: “I’m just a little sheep herder from Ephratah.”
None of these devotionalizations and sermonizations really fits the reality very well. David enters the valley of the giant with shepherd’s equipment because that is who David is at that time, not that David is going to remain the David of that moment forever.
Beware the tendency to assume that the ‘God made you ready for the giant’ is a definition of who are you. If you do, you will simply remain a giant-killer and never become the person you were created and anointed to be. Beware the photo op of a great victory becoming the definition of your destiny.
In other words, David realizes that God has prepared him for the valley, and God’s preparation process is perfect. He removes and rejects the armor of Saul because it is foreign to his preparation process. He became an expert in the weapon he already possessed. He will find that the sword of Goliath fits hits his hand like the shepherd’s stick. He will discover that the muscle groups he developed to become expert with a sling are the same muscle groups he needs to wield the giant’s sword. He will discover that the passion for principle and purpose that motivated him to face the roar of lion and bear are the same motivations that will carry him into the valley to face the roar of the giant.
David the sheep herder walks into the valley of the giant with shepherd’s equipment. It is this display that offends the giant: “You gonna beat me to death with that stick little shepherd boy?” In truth, the giant is offended that Israel hasn’t sent a warrior out to face him so he can show off his training. Instead, a sheep herder with a stick and a lambskin bag stand before him on little-boy legs. “Am I a dog?” the giant roars. (David thinks, Well, you are the one who said it, not me.)
God is going to show off David’s preparation, not the giant’s!