4 Financial Lessons from David and Goliath

David of David and Goliath

It is one of the most well-known and loved accounts in the entire Bible. David’s (very quick) fight with Goliath has transcended cultures, becoming the ultimate story of overcoming seemingly impossible odds. Small children are taught the story, and we carry it with us throughout our lives.

But are there some parallels from this account in 1 Samuel 17 for our finances? Yes, in fact, there are many. While this Old Testament account is obviously not a passage about finances, there are some comparisons. Here are just a few.

1. The “crowd” is scared.

We live in a scared society. That seems to be especially true financially. When David came to check on his brothers and bring them some food from home, the entire army was paralyzed by fear. While Goliath was a big and trained warrior, he was still just one man. Yet, he intimidated the entire army. The financial world is huge. We will never understand all of it, and at times, we may even say that we are intimidated.

We cannot, however, let fear paralyze us. If we do, we will never invest. We won’t save. We won’t go after that promotion or new job, and we will find ourselves where we started out . . . at best.

2. Use what works for you.

King Saul was convinced of David’s determination and blessed him to go fight the champion. Before going, though, he told David to try on the king’s armor. The picture that we have in our mind is fairly comical, as David could not wear the fighting outfit of the king. He was not able to move in them as he knew he would need to on the battlefield.

In our financial lives, we are offered seemingly countless products and offers. There is no way to utilize them all, but we can take advantage of the ones we understand. If you do not understand an investment, you do not need to put your money there. It may mean that you miss out on some “hot” stock or “can’t miss” investment, but that’s okay, because you also won’t be there when it “can” miss!

3. Repetition is powerful.

For 40 days, Goliath came up and called out to the army to send even just one person to fight. Twice each day, the army heard what was basically the same message from the champion: “No one can beat me.” I sometimes wonder if a few thought they could defeat this man, at least at first. But as the days rolled on and they continually saw not only Goliath’s size but also heard the same message over and over, they all believed it.

We hear so much of that today! “You can’t get ahead.” “There aren’t any more opportunities.” “It’s impossible to get a job.”┬áSometimes, we will face defeat, but if we let these messages flood our minds, we will start to believe them . . . when they just are not true! Turn off the television and be around some positive people. Which message will we let dominate our thinking?

4. When you win, people will follow.

I have often wondered just how long this “battle” took. The way it reads, it seems like the whole thing was over in seconds. After 40 days of being fearful of this warrior, he is now lying on the ground. What does the army do? They realize they can fight, and they get up and go into the battlefield.

If you are willing to fight through all the negativity and win, people will follow. They will want to learn from you, and they will have more “fight” in them. Be there to help them win their battles, too.

Of course, this famous story is really about the power of God, but it is amazing how many of the details in this wonderful account are helpful in nearly every arena of life. Hopefully, these reminders will help you fight the seemingly unbeatable warrior of personal finance, and realize it can be won. All you have to do is get started!

What other financial parallels do you see from David and Goliath? Leave a comment!

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  1. Eva

    The part that means the most to me is that God uses young people – you don’t have to be an adult to have a positive impact on the world. I guess that isn’t necessarily a financial parallel, but it can be when we remember that teenagers can be wise and responsible with their money.

  2. Fred Mok

    Love this article. I would add under 3) that repetition is not only negatively powerful, it is positively powerful. David had the confidence that came from positive repetitions of God’s working in his life (17:34-37) as a shepherd and being rescued from the lion and the bear. Faithful in little things, faithful in big.

    • Adam Faughn

      Good point, and something many people need to hear!

  3. Jose

    One thing to note as it regards investing. When teh crowd is scared the market is usually getting beat up (down?). That is the right time to be looking at getting into or increasing your positions!

  4. Hope

    We have had the privilege of having our kids be raised at home. Financially, it’s been very tough. It does feel as if Goliath stands in our way on a monthly basis. Somehow, by the grace of God, we make it through every month. Our prayers to God get answered every month.