Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
1 Samuel 17:19-32 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.
All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid. The Israelites said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free in Israel.” David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” The people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”
His eldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David. He said, “Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart; for you have come down just to see the battle.” David said, “What have I done now? It was only a question.” He turned away from him toward another and spoke in the same way; and the people answered him again as before.
When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
In the Looney Tunes cartoon series, there is a young chicken hawk named Henery Hawk. He is young and doesn’t know what a chicken is, but he knows he is supposed to hunt them. Foghorn Leghorn is a full grown rooster how patronizes young Henery. He tells the young chicken hawk that other animals are chickens such as the dog or the cat. Whenever Henery’s exuberance or energies gets too much for Foghorn, he shoos the chicken hawk away, and he says, “Go, I say go away, boy. You bother me!”
As the youngest of four boys, I can really relate to our scripture today. David is excited because he is getting to go see his older brothers who are fighting in the Israeli army. In his mind, his brothers are his heroes. They are big bad soldiers who can’t be defeated.
David’s fantasy was about to hit reality. When Goliath stepped out and made his challenge, David saw fear in the eyes of the Israeli soldiers and in the eyes of his brothers. David challenged them and questioned, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
David’s brother, Eliab, basically pulled a Foghorn when he rebuked David. He didn’t like that David questioned their courage and resolve. Eliab tried to squash David’s courage. Instead of being deterred, David turned to the people and spoke even more with conviction.
May we have the courage to stand firm when others challenge us. May we remember we are more than just the army of the living God. We are His children.
Today, we come thanking You that You are our shield and protector. Many of us are facing battles in our lives right now. Lord, we ask that You give us the courage of David. Give us courage to speak the Truth when others are trying to shush us. When those that are closest to us try to discourage us or give little hope, help us to speak out. Help us to remember that You are the living God, and that You know us by name. Help us to remember that You have adopted us into Your family.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Go with God!