But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” – 1 Samuel 17:34-37 NIV
This is one of the most famous Bible stories. It is taught to our children when they are young. Yet, when we get older we tend to forget this great story. What makes this story great is the difference between the young boy, David, and his GIANT FOE, Goliath! In our familiarity with this story, we tend to forget important details. In our familiarity with this story we tend to make it more of a legend, than actual, factual history. This is a TRUE historical event, this was a true battle, and this has lessons for us, not just for VBS, Vacation Bible School, but for our ADULT lives as well. Especially in today’s America which has become like the land of the Philistines. Some of the most popular and enduring stories involve an underdog who overcomes great obstacles and secures victory against the odds. One of the most famous of such stories is the triumph of David—the young Israelite shepherd—against the battle-hardened Philistine war machine, the nine-foot-nine Goliath of Gath. Because this story has become a metaphor for dealing with the GIANTS in our lives, we can tend to forget the REALITY that this was a real event, and the reality that today we face REAL GIANTS in a Country that is no longer friendly to those who choose to follow the God of the Bible. We now live in a land, similar to Philistia, where believing the WORD OF THE LORD, the Bible, is not only uncommon, but also, considered silly, ignorant and along the lines of believing in fairy tales.
Leader, there are rules of war. It sounds weird to people, but like most things in life there are rules and there are criteria established. To see these 10 rules, goto: https://www.icrc.org/en/document/10-things-rules-of-war-Geneva-Conventions#. In the days of antiquity, war was not as sophisticated as it is today. Soldiers would line up with swords and march forward and kill each other. Usually those at the front of the lines, were killed, those that came later, had a better chance of survival. As a matter of fact, it is this brutal nature of war, and its understanding, that led an older, King David, to have his loyal general Uriah, killed to cover up his sin of adultery with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In the letter he wrote: “Put Uriah at the front of the fiercest battle; then withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and killed.” (2 Samuel 11:14-15) In order to preserve their soldiers and to minimize the loss in war, warring factions could come to an agreement that each side would take their best soldier and send them out to battle. The victor in this battle would decide which faction won the battle. They would come to an agreement and whoever won the battle, their side would be victorious, and the other side would assume defeat. “Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” (1 Samuel 17:8-9) This is what is happening between the Philistine Army and the Israeli army. What the Israeli’s lacked was FAITH. Faith requires a gap. The gap is the distance between what the LORD tell us and what we feel, see, or hear in our flesh. God is looking for people of GREAT FAITH. The greater the gap, the greater the faith!
Conduit, when David- just a boy, was sent by his Father, Jesse, to bring bread to his brothers in the battle, David heard this “uncircumcised philistine’ insulting the God of Israel, he would have none of it. How about you? Do you ever tire of the world insulting our Jesus and our WORD? What are you doing about it? The Israelites were afraid of the GIANT GOLIATH. Scripture says they hid in caves and under rocks. King Saul upped the ante for anyone brave enough to fight Goliath, eventually offering his daughter as bride, no taxes for life and a seat at the king’s table- still no takers. For what good is it to gain the whole world, but lose your LIFE? Hearing the Philistine insult Jehovah, David would have none of it. He would stand up for God and to the GIANT, GOLIATH. David was so small he could not even wear armor, for he attempted to put on Saul’s armor, and it was too big. David without armor, without training in combat and without the maturity to be afraid approached his enemy, and the nemesis of his God with confidence and with REMEMBRANCE of God’s past performance in his life. When He finally got in front of his foe, he was mocked openly, to his face! Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” (1 Samuel 17:41-44) David had everything possible going against him, and yet he was successful because David had the one weapon that He needed; a Belief System that REMEMBERED what God had done for him. David knew the WORD OF THE LORD, and the WAY OF THE LORD. David remembered that God has rescued him from the lion and the bear, and believed that He would rescue him again. This is the lesson of David and Goliath. As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. (ibid v 48-49) Read 1 Samuel 17 and be reminded of the power of our BELIEF SYSTEM and our MEMORY. The Bible tells us it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without Faith. Faith is B.S. (Belief System). This is the only way to wage a proper spiritual battle, we must BELIEVE ON HIM WHO SENT US, and REMEMBER all that Yahweh has done in the past for us, and for other warriors of God! It is this combination of weapons that allows us to defeat our giants like GOLIATH, and our virus’ like CORONA! Believe that the BATTLE IS THE LORDS, and we fight from VICTORY, not for! (2 Tim 1:7) For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Live and Lead in that SPIRIT!