Skip to content

Police Devotion 5-1-2017

“And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:48)

The Bible is filled with wonderful gems of truth. Although you may not see them the first or even the second time you read a certain passage, later after reading the same passage, you may see something you’ve never noticed before. When you find hidden truths in the Bible, you learn to appreciate how God inspired it, and you’re encouraged to read through and ponder on it, not just once but many times.

Take the story of David and Goliath. Many people know the story: David was a worshipper of the true God. Goliath, a Philistine, worshipped false gods. Goliath was much larger and more experienced in combat, but David killed him with a sling. Yet under God’s inspiration, the author of the story, the prophet Samuel, includes interesting details, one of which is found in our opening passage.

Think about this statement: “David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” When it was time for battle, Goliath “arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David.” It doesn’t say that he hurried. But David “HASTED [capitals added], and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” So Goliath didn’t seem in a hurry to start the battle, but David was. Interesting detail, but why is it there?

Here’s some food for thought: did you ever hear the term, “OODA loop?” OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Air Force Colonel John Boyd developed the concept. Here’s a way to describe how it works. Say a suspect decides to shoot an innocent victim. He OBSERVES a victim, ORIENTS himself to shoot him, DECIDES to do so, then ACTS. But what if the victim-to-be throws some object at the shooter? If the shooter flinches, which he probably will, he’s lost his orientation. He must re-orient. The victim has bought maybe a half-second by goofing up the shooter’s OODA loop. (info taken from “Understanding the OODA Loop” by Derek Stephens, POLICE magazine online)

Back to David and Goliath. Goliath is about 9’9”. Goliath sees David, who is no doubt much smaller than he. Goliath may not see the need to hurry because he has all the time in the world to crush David like a bug—or so he thinks. Suddenly David is SPRINTING toward him! With a SLING! David may have even let out a yell as he charged.

Goliath may have seen David running and thought, “What is this kid, crazy?” That would have goofed up Goliath’s OODA loop, causing him to hesitate, which gave David a quick advantage to load, aim, fire the stone, and drop Goliath dead. So David “hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” Nice tactical tip, isn’t it? And it’s in the Bible, of all places. You may be in a situation one day where you defeat a suspect by goofing up his OODA loop. Aren’t you glad God had that little detail put in?

You won’t find the term “OODA loop” in the Bible, but obviously the idea has been around long before the term was used. This fascinating detail is further proof that the Bible is God’s Word. Who else but God would have thought to put a detail like that into the Bible? God also put something far more important into His Word: how to have forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven when we die. As a cop, you work a dangerous job. Are you sure that your sins are forgiven and heaven is your eternal home? If not, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 5/1/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822