I was never much for dares as a child. I’m not highly competitive, only marginally care what most people think, and have a healthy respect for both pain and common sense. So if someone dared me to do something crazy — yeah, not happening.
For those who don’t know, double dog daring someone is raising the stakes. Let’s say someone dared me to do something, and I refused. They could then double dog dare me, which meant that if I would complete the dare, they would as well.
That didn’t work on me either.
In the 1700s, knights challenged another to combat by removing his metal glove, or gauntlet, and throwing it at the feet of his chosen opponent. One’s honor and chivalry were of the utmost importance, and throwing your gauntlet was tantamount to a high insult.
These days, throwing down the gauntlet is more of a challenge, not tremendously different from a dare.
Biblical Dares and Gauntlets
A couple of weeks ago, I posted the lyrics and official video of a song by Everfound called God of the Impossible. I mentioned how much I love the song, and how I use it to strive forward in God’s plan for me.
After listening to the song for about a thousand times, one line got my attention. The first verse talks about David facing off with Goliath. It never mentions God directly, but, for me, it pulls imagery from Revelation 5:5 where John references the Lion of Judah. In my mind, the song’s writer essentially says Jesus dared David to battle Goliath. (Click here to listen to the song and read the lyrics.)
Please note that I do not know anyone that’s part of or associated with Everfound. I do not know the story behind the song or heard anyone speak about it. So, this may be my imaginative, fiction writer’s mind.
And let me be clear and say that Scripture never says, “God dared David to face the giant.” Or, “God threw down His gauntlet before Satan.” It doesn’t say anything close to that.
But if the inference is there in the Bible, if God sometimes does this, what does that mean for me?
A Biblical Dare
Let’s consider the story of David as told in 1 Samuel 17.
Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. … Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah (verses 1-2).
To help place this battle in your mind, this valley is southwest of Jerusalem.
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He … wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels (verses 4-5).
Did you just skim over that height and weight like I did? Let me help. Goliath was over nine feet tall and his armor weighed about 125 pounds. A giant of a man by almost any standard.
And this giant stood before Israel and threw down his gauntlet.
“Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us” (verses 8-9).
Saul and the Israelites left the gauntlet on the ground. Verse 11 records, “Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.”
Forty days later, Jesse sends his son David to the battle lines with food for his other sons. David arrives just as the army is heading out to take its position. As he had every day before that, Goliath comes forth and utters his challenge.
David listens and questions those around him.
“What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (verse 26)
Can’t you just hear God whispering in the background:
Haven’t you faced the lion and the bear?
Haven’t you defeated both and rescued your sheep?
Haven’t you practiced with your sling, learning accuracy and speed?
Come on, David! I made you for this.
Okay. Maybe my fiction writer’s imagination is getting the best of me.
A Biblical Gauntlet Throwing
Consider the story of Job, from Job chapter 1.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. (verse 6)
The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (verse 8).
Did a gauntlet just land at Satan’s feet? Satan certainly accepted the challenge God laid before him.
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (verses 9-11).
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
My Own Dare and Gauntlet
I lay this all out for a practical reason. For several months, something has been on my heart. Yet much like Goliath’s size made the Israelites pause, the enormity of what I was considering kept me from trying.
I finally threw down my own proverbial gauntlet at the Lord’s feet. I told Him that if I was going to do this thing and do it well, I would need help. I needed someone to walk with me, not just in spirit but in actually accomplishing the task.
Three weeks ago, God provided.
As I consider the story of David, I now wonder if God didn’t provide and then whisper at me:
Haven’t you done the work I’ve asked you to do to prepare?
Don’t you know how to find the additional information you’ll need?
Don’t you now have the help standing beside you that you asked for?
Come on, Carrie! I made you for this.
I’m not saying that facing the Goliaths in our lives is easy. But Goliath didn’t enter David’s life until God had prepared David to face him.
I’m walking forward in faith, accepting God’s dare and remembering His promise to never leave me (Hebrews 13:5).
Step out with me. Face that Goliath-sized fear or shame. Reach for that Goliath-sized dream.
Come on! I double dog dare you.