Sunday, September 30, 2018

Fifth Sunday Meditation: Facing The Giants

"Then David said to the Philistine,
You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin,
but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied."
1 Samuel 17:45

David Slings The Stone
James J. Tissot

When David's words were heard, they were repeated to Saul and he sent for him.
David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of this Philistine;
 your servant will go out and fight with him.

And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go fight against this Philistine.
You are only an adolescent, and he has been a warrior from his youth.
And David said to Saul, Your servant kept his father's sheep. And when
there came a lion or again a bear and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out
after it and smote it and delivered the lamb out of its mouth; and when it rose
against me, I caught it by its beard and smote it and killed it.

Your servant killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised 
Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God!
David said, The Lord Who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of
the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.
And Saul said to David, "Go and the Lord be with you!"

Then Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head
and clothed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword over his armor.
Then he tried to go, but could not, for he was not used to it.
And David said to Saul, I cannot go with these, for I am not used to them.
And David took them off.

Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones out of
the brook and put them in his shepherd's lunch bag, a whole kid's skin
slung from his shoulder, in his pouch and his sling was in his hand, and 
he drew near the Philistine. Then the Philistine came on and drew near to
David, the man who bore the shield going before him.

And when the Philistine looked around and saw David, he scorned and
despised him, for he was but an adolescent, with a healthy reddish color
and fair face. And the Philistine said to David,  Am I a dog, that you
should 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 the beasts of the field.

Then David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear,
and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied.

This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you
and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the
Philistines this day to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth,
that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

And all this assembly shall know the Lord saves not with sword
and spear; for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands.
When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward
the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand into his bag and
took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine, sinking into his
forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone,
and struck down the Philistine and slew him. But no sword was in David's hand.
So he ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out
of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it.
When the Philistines saw that their mighty champion was dead, they fled.
1 Samuel 17:31-51

David Bearing The Head Of Goliath
Jacob van Oost the Elder

The well-known story of David and Goliath teaches believers
that obstacles in our life are no match for God. Whether our Goliath
is a relational challenge or an overwhelming situation we must realize
that the Lord is sovereign over everything in heaven and earth,
and He has the power to give us the victory.

David had unshakeable trust because past experience had proven
that God was faithful. The young shepherd recalled how the Lord gave him
the victory on two separate occasions, when a lion and a bear threatened his flock.
Our faith is bolstered in a similar way by remembering God's provision in our
life and by reading about His faithfulness to men and women in the Bible.

This is why it's helpful to keep a record of God's faithfulness.
Then when facing a trial, we can looks back at what we've journaled
and be strengthened, knowing that God has proven trustworthy in the past.
Trusting in the Lord gives us the courage to face our giants. Being so armed
we can respond to challenges on the basis of three important truths:

Who Christ is in us-our Savior and Provider
Who we are in Christ-God's adopted children, eternally secure
and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
What we have in Christ-the promise of access to almighty God.

Instead of fixing our attention on how big the obstacle is, let's begin
focusing on the greatness of our God. If we'll trust and obey Him,
His Spirit will equip us for the challenge, and our faith will glorify Him.
-Dr. Charles Stanley

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