“But here’s the real reason my heart is so free,
I don’t fight for God. My God fights for me.”
I have the Dr. Seuss gene. I’m not sure which oddball aunt or uncle bequeathed it to me, but it’s definitely there. So when a church asked me to retell the Bible story about the ancient Hebrews living off a strange substance called manna (literally, “what is it?”), I came up with a version entitled Wharton Finds a Whatzit. That story, with Seussical pictures by my illustrator wife Trudy, has since been used as a teaching tool by hundreds of churches.
Then I decided to re-tell the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). The essence was this: David, a zealous young musician in love with his creator, reversed the all-too-human formula of fighting for God. When a giant Philistine snarked, “I’m called Goliath and I would just love for someone who’s anxious to die to come up here and face me and fight me today!” David fearlessly offered to go.
“Shut up, shepherd boy!” they all said. “It’s too late!
There’s no one that big. We’re all doomed! Terminate!”
But David just grinned and said, “Gee, now, that’s odd,
‘cuz there’s someone way bigger than him, and that’s God.”
Confident this was God’s battle, David refused sword, spear and armor, marching up the hill with nothing but a few stones and a sling.
“I fight for my gods!” roared Goliath, “but Jews have only one God!” David answered, “That’s true. But here’s the real reason my heart is so free, I don’t fight for God. My God fights for me.”
You probably know the end of the story. But here’s how David sums it up:
And he said when they asked, “How’d you keep us all safe?” “I speak softly and carry a really big faith.”
Now that beats fighting for God any day!