(1st Samuel 17)
I could not believe my eyes.
There in front of me was a scene
I never imagined I would see in
In that moment, my mind raced back
to my early years…
I remembered when I was a freshman
in high school. I was a privileged
student—I never got bullied.
Not because there were no bullies
in school, but because I had an older
brother who always had my back.
I was 12 years old; he was 16—and 7 feet tall!
My brother was huge.
Nobody dared bully me because they
knew what would happen if they did.
I walked around school with a swagger.
When I was finished with school,
I enlisted in the army just as my
brother had done a few years earlier.
When I joined, he had already earned
a reputation for gallantry and bravery.
He was sent on the most difficult
assignments and he was always successful.
When my brother was 25, he had grown
to 10 feet. He was one big, bad guy!
Everybody feared him.
I used to wonder if the military chiefs
sent him on those dangerous missions
because they thought he was the
best man for the job or because they
feared him too and hoped he would
be killed on one of the missions?
We will never know…
As the years rolled by, my brother’s
reputation grew. He took me under his
wing and appointed me as his armour
That way, I would always be with him
and would not need to engage in much
I did not really have much battle
experience—my brother had enough experience
for 10 people.
My job was to simply carry his shield and
go in front of him.
He would walk behind, all 12 feet of him,
a giant of a man. His physical presence
sent shivers down the spines of the most
valiant of men. Well, until today…
We had a battle to fight with our
They had a formidable army, but we knew
we could take them out. My brother came
up with a novel idea: there would be no
need to go into battle and lose lives on
both sides. To make it simple, either
army was to bring out a man from their
ranks to fight the other. Whoever lost
would become subservient to the winner.
The military spokesman passed the message
to the enemy camp.
They accepted the proposition.
How I laughed when I heard that they
Apparently, they had never heard about or
seen my brother.
When he showed up, I could sense fear in
their camp. How I enjoyed the moment!
I walked out towards them,
carrying my brother’s shield.
He walked behind me, his spear in his hand,
his footsteps shaking the ground.
His voice was loud and intimidating.
He needed no microphone or public
address system: “Choose a man to come
and fight me! If he kills me, we will
become your servants. If I kill him,
you will serve us!”
As we moved towards the battle line,
they would retreat. I sensed fear in
their midst. I was sure they would
have still been afraid even if I
were the only one taunting them!
We continued like this every day for
a while. By the fortieth day, I was
bored and tired. We can’t continue
like this! These lily-livered guys
should just surrender, please!
Do they have any idea how much this
shield weighs? Carrying it every day
for 40 days is not a joke.
As I was about to turn back to our camp
like I had done the last 39 days, I froze:
out of the enemy camp walked a boy.
He was dressed in a t-shirt, a pair of jeans
and sandals, holding a stick and a catapult.
I could not believe what I was seeing.
Does this idiot think he’s coming to
hunt birds? A CATAPULT!
Somebody obviously has a death wish.
I turned to look at my brother.
Apparently he had not seen the boy.
He was still taunting the enemy army.
The boy was that small—his presence
escaped my brother’s line of sight.
When he eventually realized the boy
had actually come out to fight him,
he got angry!
“Boy, are you insane?
Am I a dog that you come to fight me
My brother was too angry to notice
The boy simply smiled,
“You come to fight me with all
these military hardware.
I come to you in the Name of the
Lord God Almighty…”
My brother looked at me in shock.
I was sure I could take out this
scrawny boy myself.
My brother fighting him would be an
As these thoughts were passing
through my mind, I saw the boy
bring out the catapult and put a
stone in it. My brother and I stood
there, watching and amused by the
scene before us.
Just as I was about to explode with
laughter, the boy ran towards us and
fired the stone from his catapult.
My brother was well kitted for war;
he wore full body armour.
As I was wondering what the boy
thought a stone would do to him,
I saw my brother’s legs buckle.
Then he fell.
The boy walked over with a swagger,
drew out my brother’s sword and cut
off his head.
As he held up my brother’s severed head,
I heard a shout. No, two shouts: a
shout of victory from the enemy camp
and a shout of defeat from my army.
I turned around and saw my army
running away from the battlefield,
filled with terror.
How quickly can the mood change in
a military camp!
Just five minutes earlier, these
soldiers were brimming with confidence.
I dropped my brother’s shield and fled too…
- Haruna Daniels