David's Sling: A Story of Preparedness
Back in the 11th century BC the Israelites were facing off with the mighty Philistine army. The story goes that each morning for forty days a Philistine giant by the name of Goliath walked to the center of the valley and challenged the Israelites to offer one soldier to fight the giant in a single battle. The deal was, if the Israelite could beat the giant, the Philistines would then submit to the Israelites.
The Israelites were terrified. The story describes Goliath as being six cubits and a span, which is approximately eleven feet tall. He was said to have worn a bronze helmet and a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing one-thousands pounds. On his legs he wore bronze greaves and a bronze javelin was strapped to his back. He was a most formidable warrior.
Meanwhile, back in Judah there was a young boy aged 15 who was tending to his family's flock. David was a shepherd. He was the youngest of eight children and his three oldest brothers were serving the army of Israel and were with the Israeli army facing the Philistines.
None of the Israelites wanted anything to do with accepting the challenge by Goliath. The Israeli leader, King Saul, decried that any man who faced the giant would be greatly rewarded and allowed to marry the King's daughter. And yet, still no one volunteered.
Young David was sent by his father to deliver food and goods to his older brothers on the front lines. He left his flock and traveled to the site of the stand off. On his arrival he witnessed Goliath approach the Israeli army's line. The Israelis fled in fear. David was outraged that this Giant had the nerve to challenge the Israeli army. Soon King Saul heard about what this boy was saying and called for him to appear in front of the King. David told the King that he would go and slay this giant Philistine for Israel. King Saul scoffed at such an idea. "You are but a child! He has been a mighty warrior his whole life."
But David was no ordinary 15 year old boy. He was a shepherd. In the 11th century shepherds lived a very rough life, often in the wilderness. "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from it's mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by it's hair, struck it, and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear."
David was a stone cold killer and declared to the King that Goliath would be next.
The King finally agreed. He attempted to fit David with the King's own armor, helmet and sword. David placed it all on but soon removed it for he was not accustomed to such heavy protection. He took his staff in one hand and chose five smooth stones from the stream. He put the stones in his shepherd's bag and with a sling in the other hand, he marched off to confront the giant Philistine warrior.
After a fair amount of trash talking between the two, the Philistine advanced on David. David responded by charging at the Philistine as he reached into his bag, removed a stone and placed it into the sling. He struck the giant in the forehead with a mighty blow that "sank into his forehead" and toppled the Philistine onto his face.
David was credited with the victory due to his strong faith and trust in God. But. he also won the fight because he was PREPARED.
To defeat a threat such as the giant Philistine, it required someone with the courage and the training to wield the stone. He didn't need a fancy sword or a shiny javelin. He used what he had used countless times. The sling and stone was David's 'every day carry' (EDC).
Training is an integral part of preparedness. Are we to believe that UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic just walked into the octagon one day and instantly became champion? Do we think Jerry Miculek became the fastest handgun shooter the first time he picked up a gun? The idea is ridiculous! So then why do people feel they will be prepared to defend their lives with just two hours of basic gun handling training offered in most Concealed Handgun License "CCW" classes?
Archilochus is credited with saying, " We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.
Fast forward to 2019 and another unsuspecting shepherd would be called to act in defense of his flock. Jack Wilson was a volunteer member of his church's safety team. When a gunman presented a shotgun and gunned down two of Jack's friends while in service, Jack leaped into action. With a sanctuary full of parishioners and only seconds to respond, Jack drew his concealed Sig Sauer P229 semi automatic pistol. At approximately 15 yards, on an angle and with congregation members crouching in the pews, this fearless "shepherd" wasted little time and placed one round into the head of the gunman, putting him down for good.
A video of the incident can be seen here. https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article238823983.html Caution: video may be disturbing to some.
But Jack Wilson was not an ordinary Christian attending church. He was a retired auxiliary sheriff deputy. He was an experienced firearms instructor who trained others in firearms. And, he was the leader of the church's volunteer armed safety team. I would suspect he had trained his entire adult life in preparation for this one fateful day.
If you want to be successful in taking on the animals, the giants, or the monsters of this world, then you need to be prepared.
"If you're going to fight, fight like you are the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark. And baby, it's starting to rain."