Book Review: David and Goliath

If you grew up going to Sunday School, you probably know the story of David and Goliath. If you don’t, here it is: the Israelites and Philistines were engaged in a battle. At one point, a giant by the name of Goliath comes forward as the Philistine champion. He challenges Israel, demanding they send out a champion for him to fight. If Goliath wins, the people of Israel will serve the Philistines. If Israel’s champion wins, the Philistines will serve the Israelites. The Israelites tremble in fear at this declaration – who could defeat a giant?! When a young shepherd boy by the name of David volunteers to fight, the people are baffled. How could a small boy defeat a mighty giant? But with a smooth stone and a sling, David does just that. When the time comes for their duel, David wields the sling and lands the stone right smack in the middle of Goliath’s head. The giant comes tumbling down, dead and defeated. David cuts Goliath’s head off and presents it to King Saul as proof of his accomplishment. davidandgoliath

This is a story that is told to show us that God is bigger than giants and he is always faithful to his people. God used a young shepherd boy named David to defeat a mighty giant named Goliath. It is an incredible (and true!) story from Scripture that points our hearts towards God. It is an underdog story for the ages.

In his book, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell uses this biblical account (and psychology) as his basis to argue that it is not the mighty who always have the advantage. More often than not, it is the underdog who has the advantage. David and Goliath shares the story of misfits and underdogs throughout history, and how they had the upper hand. This book provides insight on how to achieve goals and succeed, even when we seem to be smallest contender. As a lover of psychology and a theology nerd, I greatly appreciated Gladwell’s insight on the topic of underdogs. His findings are utterly fascinating, and encouraging!

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell gets 4/5 stars.


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