Not a VeggieTales Gospel.
Mention David and Goliath to me and I immediately picture Junior Asparagus fighting a Giant Pickle. Yes, I admit it. I own nearly all of the VeggieTales videos. So don’t imagine this is a rant against the videos themselves. This is a rant against an evil far more sinister than vegetables pretending to be Bible characters. This is a rant against Sunday School teachers, curriculum, and how our children are taught in our Churches. It is precisley this evil that has given rise to what some have called the VeggieTales Gospel.
Surprisingly, the VeggieTales Gospel is much older than the VeggieTales videos are. I was taught a VeggieTales Gospel on many different occasions as I was growing up in conservative, Bible-believing and preaching Churches in the Bible Belt. What is this VeggieTales Gospel? It is a Gospel that takes Old Testament stories of heroes and their faith in God to deliver and twists them into morality lessons.
Take David and Goliath, for example. Over the years I heard about how that I should be like David and stand up against bullies, cut the head off of sin in my life (of which the applications can be endless as I remember one lesson where little Goliaths with various sins written on them were cut into pieces), help my friends when they are in trouble, and become self-confident.
All of those lessons are true, for the most part. Sometimes you gotta stand up against bullies, you gotta help your friends, a little self-confidence never hurt anyone (as long as we remember that the Gospel requires that we have no confidence in the flesh), and, to paraphrase John Owen, ‘Ya gotta kill sin or sin’ll kill you.’
But what if I were to say that none of those applications are in the story of David and Goliath? They’re not. The story of David and Goliath is a story about God who takes down His enemies, God who delivers His friends, God who David trusts in, and God who takes care of our sin problem. The application of the story is not, ‘Be like David’, but instead, ‘You are Israel on the sidelines waiting for a Deliverer.’
Do you get the picture? Israel out there on the battlefront, playing like they’re ready to whip up on some Philistines, when in reality they are scared stiff. They’re scared stiff for forty days as morning and evening a nine and a half foot monster walks out onto the battlefield to challenge them. “If you came to fight, then lets fight. If not, then let’s not waste our time here. Just go ahead and surrender and we’ll go home and you can be our slaves. Or you can send someone out to fight me and the winner gets to take the other side as slaves.”
But Israel has a problem. The man who had delivered them before, their King (Saul), no longer has the Spirit of God or the Word of God. The Spirit of God left Saul when he disobeyed God’s Word spoken by His prophet. (1 Samuel 15) Israel has not been left without a deliverer, however. A young boy by the name of David has been anointed by Samuel with oil, but by God with the Spirit. (1 Samuel 16)
So here comes Spirit-filled David to the battle on the fortieth day. He hears the giant defy the armies of Israel and recognizes that it is not only flesh and blood that is being defied, but that God’s name is being blasphemed. And one thing David knows is this, God’s name is not to be blasphemed. David then decides God has put him on earth in Israel at this moment for a reason. He has placed David in a position where he may deliver God’s people from God’s enemies, and that he might magnify God’s name in all the earth. (1 Samuel 17:45-47)
Long story short, David, by the supernatural aid of God defeats Goliath. The Anointed King of God’s people kills God’s enemy. Sound familiar? It should. That’s what Jesus has done for us. When we were in a helpless situation, God became man and defeated His enemy for us. Not just because we are soooo special, but because our enemy is God’s enemy, and because by defeating this enemy, God’s name should be magnified in all the earth.
The battle is over. We didn’t win it. Jesus won it. Let the nations rejoice and exult in the Name of the Lord our God! That is the purpose of life, isn’t it?