Adegoke Oyeniyi: Why did David kill Goliath?

We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential – BARACK OBAMA

One of the most interesting and unforgettable battles from mankind’s oldest book is the battle between David and Goliath. The historic account tells how a 17-year old boy, untrained and inexperienced in the art of warfare, beheads a 9 meter tall gigantic war veteran in a man-to-man battle. Have you ever wondered why the boy made a suicidal decision to battle the Philistine? God did not instruct David to kill the Goliath, neither was the 17-year old shepherd a soldier of the Israeli army Goliath was challenging and intimidating. Basically, the battle was totally non of his business. So why did David confront Goliath?

When the lad saw a terrified Israeli army cringe at the presence of Goliath, his immediate reaction was a question: “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine?” Repeatedly, he asked and along came the answers.
“The King will greatly enrich the man who kills the Philistine, will give him his daughter and make his family free from tax.”

Great riches; royal connection; tax exemption; these are the reasons David killed Goliath!

Ambition is the desire and determination to be successful. Ambition is the ladder into purpose and destiny. Ambition is a desire for advancement and superiority. It is something you very much want to do or achieve. David so wanted to be a successful soldier he staked his life on it. 1Sam 17: 12-15 reveals little David (who was the youngest of seven sons) frequented the battle ground while his four immediate elder brothers were nowhere to be found. And when the whole army of Israel fled before Goliath, David made a suicidal decision to challenge him.

A desire that does not propel one into action is no ambition but a mere wish. Ambition manifests in daily action, which precipitates into productive habits. Ambition is the fire of self-actualization burning in the embers of the soul. Ambition is the fuel on the journey to relevance. Ambition is the propellant to heights of greatness. Ambition is what made David defy Goliath. Ambition is what makes Google go against Microsoft, Facebook and Apple combined. Without ambition, you cannot achieve greatness or any meaningful progress. Talent is overrated! Ambition makes the difference.

You may be immensely talented, highly connected, etc, but without ambition, you cannot enter into greatness. Young David too was richly talented – one of the finest harp players of his time. He was handsome and even anointed with the Spirit of the Lord but what made him an overnight celebrity that day at the valley of Elah, was ambition (had he not decided to fight Goliath, he would still be a skillful harp player, anointed with the Holy Spirit but would not have averted national disgrace and broken into national consciousness that day!).

Habbakuk 2:2 says: “Write the VISION and make it plain upon tables, THAT he may RUN that reads it.”

The import of this spiritual wisdom is that the absence of a concrete vision or life-aspiration makes it impossible to ‘run’. That means, one will feel no urgency or seriousness and would inevitably not cover much distance in life.

You must have a dream, a vision, a desire, an aspiration that drives you everyday. While many were fast asleep, the world’s richest professional golfer – Tiger Woods, would start golf practice at 4.30am, everyday. The mother of the renowned founder of Methodist Church -John Wesley, spent thirty minutes praying for each of her six children, everyday! The late fiery legal activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, earlier in his legal career, studied from afternoon till 9pm, every weekday. Do not just read and swift to another page. Sit down and search yourself. Do you have an ambition?


Adegoke Oyeniyi is a business journalist, media entrepreneur and founder of enterprise54.com. Follow him @wellsbaba

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