A Rock and a Mountain
David is known as the pop star of ancient Israel. He is a talented musician and singer. He pens nearly half of the biblical songs in the Book of Psalms. He is also a warrior shepherd who treasures Adonai’s instructions to Moses. Adonai tells Moses in the wilderness to speak to the rock. Thus, David speaks to the mountain.
Goliath looms before him as an iron-plated mountain. This scornful and mocking adversary is a big guy of mountainous stature. David turns to the nearby Israeli soldiers. Who is this uncircumcised mountain of a man? Would he dare cha’reif markot Elohiym chayim — defy the armies of the living Elohim?
“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin,” David proclaims to the mountain. “But I come to you in the Name of Adonai Tzava’ot, the Elohim of the armies of Israel whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands… that all the earth may know there is a God in Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45-46). Adonai Tzava’ot indicates both tender mercy and awesome power. This Hebrew Name signifies Mercy Who Goes to War.
The boy refuses to retreat. He does not fall back for a time of tearful prayer and fasting. In fact, David does not speak to the Almighty about the mountain. He speaks to the mountain about the Almighty. Then, he runs toward his destiny with five smooth stones, reminiscent of the words of Moses in the five books of Torah.
Goliath stumbles and falls because David declares truth to a threatening mountain. His emunah, his reliance and trust, partners with the Divine Will. David affirms with words, while the Holy One uproots and casts down.
If we confront mountains, this is our moment to trumpet the truth. Words of truth never elevate the problem. Biblical truth elevates the Holy One who solves it.