Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
1 Samuel 17:32-51 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” David said, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you!”
Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. David strapped Saul’s sword over the armor, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.” So David removed them. Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.
The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.” But David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.”
When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it.
When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, they began a campaign known as “Shock and Awe”. It was believed that by showing their mighty power, it would demoralize the will of the Iraqi army. We see in our scripture that the Philistine army believed in the same concept. They had Goliath who we believe to be about 9 feet 9 inches tall. He was big, he was agile, and he was a warrior. He was the total package, and it is no wonder that he scared opposing soldiers.
David wasn’t shocked or awed by Goliath because he knew he wasn’t going into the battle alone. He had the living God with him. David didn’t need all the modern warfare technology. All he needed was a crude sling, a stone, and his faith in God.
What really surprises me is that in the story of David and Goliath, more time is spent on David overcoming the objection of others than on the fight with Goliath. Isn’t that so true for us? As we are going through tough times, we have people pronouncing defeat instead of victory through Christ. When we are struggling, we need to follow David’s example. We need to put the distractions behind us, and step out in faith. We need to address our fight by saying, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts!”
Thank you for being our strength and our salvation. Lord, each day, we face challenges that threaten to overtake us. Fear wells up, and defeat seems inevitable. Lord, we thank You that while we are in our battles, Jesus is making our petitions known to You, and that You are with us. Lord, give us courage. We need courage to overcome our oppressors, and we need courage to face our battles. Help us to step out in Your name.
We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Go with God!