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David & Goliath

Susan Murphy Aug. 7, 2015

The battle between David and Goliath started as a war between two armies, the Philistines and the Israelites in the valley of Elah in Palestine. The two sides faced off across a deep ravine, each afraid to descend the steep slope between them only to have to face a steep climb up the other side and what would surely be certain defeat. Neither side moved until the giant Goliath stepped forward, 6’9” and awesome in heavy armor that covered him from head to toe, weighing over a hundred pounds and glistening in the sun.

Goliath, demanding a type of one-on-one fight known as “single combat”, where the strongest man from each side fought each other so the armies could avoid mass bloodshed. The Israelites had no warrior that was a match for Goliath and nobody volunteered until David bounded forward. We also bound forward, briefcase in hand instead of a sling and stones. Like David we don’t listen when others warn us we can’t win.

Our battles with the big lenders are a lot like the battle with Goliath was for David and I find strength in thinking of it this way. David was a young shepherd boy, that stepped forward fearlessly, some said arrogantly given that Shepherds were misfits that slept with the animals and were not well-born. Maybe David was fearless because he was confident of his abilities as a “slinger,” and maybe Goliath looked to him like nothing more than a giant patsy. Maybe David didn’t buy into the whole social order concept that Goliath was a powerful giant and he was nothing but a weak lowly shepherd boy with some stones and cloth.

Giants hide their weaknesses behind their power and size, but strength is born of a challenge overcome and giants come at that from the wrong side of the equation. The scrappy little guy is often stronger, especially when he has had to use his wits to fight the law, the court, and the odds stacked against him. Regardless of how strong, how big, and how well-financed our opponents are, we can take power away from our modern-day Giants.

I often use the analogy of David and his sling to explain the concept of leverage to our clients. Yes, they may be bigger and stronger, but we practice our aim and when the time is right we go for a weak spot until the giant falls hard and we cut off his head (metaphorically of course). At Advocate Legal we do that every day, in court, one case at a time, in “single combat” just like the warriors back then.