By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
“You are coming against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the Israelite armies, which you have defied.” — I Samuel 17:45
Pacquiao vs Margarito fight
“David versus Goliath repeated” – This is how some people described the recent boxing bout between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito, wherein the Pinoy champ amazingly garnered his eighth boxing title. Certainly, no one in boxing history has been able to win eight titles in various boxing divisions, except Manny Pacquiao. Not even the legendary Muhammad Ali.
Before the fight, many boxing analysts were entertaining some doubts whether or not Pacquiao would be able to defeat the three-time world boxing champion Mexican boxer, Margarito, who is taller, bigger, and even heavier. Such advantages, however, did not work against Pacquiao’s fast and heavy punches. The Pinoy champ dominated the whole fight and won by unanimous decision. He was not able to knock out Margarito like his previous opponents, but he was able to deliver many solid punches that made the Mexican boxer land in the hospital just after the fight and made him believed and said that Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter after all.
David vs Goliath
Watching the Pacquiao versus Margarito boxing bout, people were reminded of the popular Biblical story of David and Goliath found in I Samuel 17. Let me just give a brief summary of the story.
The Israelites were in the process of building up their independent monarchial government when their independence was threatened by their arch enemies, the Philistines.
From the Philistine camp, there was a man named Goliath who kept on challenging the Israelites for a fight. He was bullying them saying: “Choose one of your men to fight me. If he wins and kills me, we will be your slaves; but if I win and kill him, you will be our slaves!” (vs. 8b-9). When King Saul and his men heard this, they were terrified, because Goliath was a giant. He was over nine feet tall.
From the Israelite camp, there was a young shepherd named David, whose three brothers were in King Saul’s army. He was bringing food for his brothers when he heard Goliath challenging the Israelites. No one among them dared to fight the giant. Realizing this, David volunteered himself to fight Goliath in spite of all the apprehensions of his own brothers, and King Saul himself. To alleviate their fears, David courageously said: “The Lord has saved me from lions and bears; he will save me from this Philistine” (v. 37).
Young David bravely faced the challenge of the giant Goliath. He said to this Philistine bully, “You are coming against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the Israelite armies, which you have defied” (v.45). David used a sling shot, a weapon that he was good at to knock down the Philistine giant, and finally killed him using Goliath’s own sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran away, and the Israelite army shouted and ran after them.
David’s victory over the giant Goliath affirmed the great faith that with God’s abiding presence the Israelites would be able to face and defeat their enemies, even if they are giants like Goliath.
Lesson from Pacquiao’s victory
There are several lessons that we could learn from David’s victory and also that of Pacquiao. First and foremost is the power of faith in God. Great faith in God creates great faith in one’s self. David believed that he could defeat the giant Goliath, because he believed that God will give him the strength and power to do so.
Similarly, Pacquiao is the only boxer I’ve seen who would kneel down and pray to God before and after his fight inside the ring. He is the only boxer I know who would conduct a worship service before and after his boxing fight. These are all indications of great faith in God as well as faith in one’s self and in other people, something that Pacquiao did not hesitate to express in words in his interviews.
Second is love of country and people. Young David loved his own country and people. He would not like the Philistines to look down on them, much more to conquer and enslave them. He could not accept that a giant Philistine named Goliath would despise him and his fellow Israelites. Young as he was, he was willing to offer what he had and what he could do to save his country and people from further shame.
Pacquiao has always been dedicating his fight inside the ring to our country and people. He would face his opponent with our country and people in his heart and mind. Our country and people are his inspiration to do the best that he could and to achieve victory. At the same time, Pacquiao’s achievements, his rags-to-riches story also serve as a challenge and inspiration to a lot of Filipinos all over the world.
While our leaders are putting our country to shame by their graft and corruptions, Pacquiao has been restoring dignity and pride to our country in the eyes of the world by his victories. Truly, Pacquiao is the people’s champion. He epitomizes what is best in the Filipino. # nordis.net