Book review · Uncategorized

A review of “Goliath Must Fall”

The story of David and Goliath is revisited in Louie Giglio’s book, “Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants.” His book is based on a series of messages he gave at Passion City Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Our women’s Bible study finished this series and book at our last meeting this month. We did also view the DVD series. Having read to the end, I now know why it seemed like he was reading his book to us: his friend, author Marcus Brotherton, used the transcripts and conversations they had to “orchestrate the initial framework for the book” (244). Ah-ha! So, if any of the ladies from my group reads this — I cracked the case!

Giglio is an excellent storyteller who mixes memoir with Biblical exposition. He breathed new life into what had been a familiar story for me of a teenage shepherd taking on a Philistine giant in the valley of Elah. I hadn’t considered some of the scriptural parallels Giglio revealed between David and Jesus. Before reading this book, I would have raised my hand if someone asked, “How many people think we are David in the story?” David’s conversation with the giant reveals whose victory this is:

“… ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” — 1 Samuel 17:45-47

Some of the giants Giglio covers are general I am sure because he could probably write volumes otherwise: “Fear,” “Rejection,” “Comfort,” “Anger,” and “Addiction.” We become too comfortable with our “pet giants” to the point where they take up residence in our minds.

One story that still remains with me is from the chapter on “Rejection.” Giglio played tennis and was on the “number-one-ranked doubles team” his senior year in high school. He had wanted to become a professional tennis player and spent many hours practicing. His dad’s nickname for him back then was “Ace.” He and his teammate, Ray Dukes, were playing in the regionals and would go to state if they won. His dad didn’t have a flexible work schedule so imagine Giglio’s delight to see his dad at regionals! He went into the matches pumped up; however, each serve went awry leading to a double fault. The team did end up winning the match, but instead of a “Way to go,” his dad said, “Well, I don’t think we can call you Ace anymore. From now on we’re going to call you Double Fault.” (83-84)
While no doubt meant as a joke, Giglio said, the words still left an impression. He would later learn that his dad had been shuffled around to various relatives when he was a child after his parents separated. I cried when I read this story. Giglio said, “My dad wasn’t trying to reject me, yet the aftershocks of his own rejection were uncontrollably reverberating from the real rejection he had endured” (93).

Why such a focus on giants if they are dead? The giants are dead, Giglio said — Jesus defeated them on the cross – but the giants are still deadly. After David killed Goliath, he cuts off Goliath’s head. The battle was over. In our lives, the giants of fear, rejection, comfort, anger, or addiction still come into our lives. The Bible says that Satan is like a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Our mind and spirit still hear the taunts of the enemy, these “giants.”

Giglio reminded me of the scene from the 1981 version of “The Clash of the Titans.” Perseus cuts off Medusa’s head but can’t look directly at her because he will turn to stone. He has to use his shield to grasp her snake-covered head. She is dead, but those snakes still wriggled. Jesus defeated death and sin, but like Eve in the Garden of Eden, we listen to that lying serpent. But Giglio reminded us that “Jesus is the ultimate snake-crusher.” (35)

So how do we take down our giants? Giglio said, “We pick up the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and we read Scripture out loud and we memorize truths so the light of Jesus constantly shines in our minds and hearts. We don’t need to rationalize with our giants. We aren’t called to argue with them. Jesus invites us into the truth of the situation. That huge, ferocious giant might be coming at us with a sword, spear, and javelin, but Jesus is bigger than our giant.

“Guess what? When we do that, we’re not battling our giant in our own strength and ability anymore. We’re not battling our giant with our own armor on. We’re battling the giant in the name of the Lord God Almighty, in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.” (47)

I have highlighted and written all over this book, but then I did pay for it so I guess I can highlight to my heart’s content. Some that I revisit here:

1) “You are worth Jesus to God.”

Everyone needs to know that one, and there’s another I am still meditating on — Giglio’s visit to Psalm 23. Psalm 23 is written by a shepherd and king, David, about our Shepherd and King, Jesus Christ. Giglio said verse 5 shows that while we’d like God to prepare a table in His presence, He prepares a feast before us in our enemy’s presence. It’s a table for two that needs to stay a table for two between you and God. And this is what Giglio says:
2) “Don’t give the enemy a seat at your table” (205).

It’s an intimate setting when you consider you are invited to a feast that Jesus has prepared just for you. Giglio wants to leave us with this I believe as well:

3) Jesus wants us free from the enemy’s lies, to live a life He wants for us, and to exalt His name so others will see and come to know Him.

“There’s an extra motivation in our hearts when we say, ‘This Goliath, it must go down, God, because you must be lifted high.’” (230)
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