I Samuel 17 part 4–Memories of victory

David faced Goliath with only one weapon—The Lord God.  When the battle started it was over, results…God Wins. As Goliath lay dead on the ground David took his head and his armor.  The Army of Israel regained their faith and confidence and routed the enemy.  David took the giant’s head to Israel and the armor to his tent. When one sees God do amazing things, it is critical to do things to remember the amazing works of God.

There are many days in the journey that our faith is tested.  We get tired and discouraged of the daily battles and question God’s plan.  In those days, it is awesome to have reminders of the great things God has done in our lives. We can never undervalue a copy of a check, a picture of a child or the wedding ring on your hand can serve as the reminder that God will always fight the battle for you.  We must cling to the miracles to carry us through those times and remind us that God is in charge.  Then, when we do see God doing amazing things we have to be careful to document those events in our lives as well.  We can never be ashamed to do all things to glorify his name.  He will honor us as we honor him.

God Bless You

49 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.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath[f] and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.

54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.

I Samuel 17 part 3–What to Wear When Facing a Giant

Growing up in the country has a tendency to make one look at life more simply. When one has a task to complete you do not take courses, read books, hire consultants and buy a bunch of equipment.  Instead you assess the situation, take what’s near and trust your instincts and proceed.  That was David’s approach to defending Israel.  When he was commissioned by the King, he was Armed with the Kings finest armor, given the Kings very sword and helmet and coached by the King to use the equipment.  But David knew he was not used to that stuff so he set it aside, picked up some rocks and faced the giant with the one thing he knew would affect the outcome—God.

When life seems filled with Giants, we often prepare for battle by employing the newest tools, latest theories and counsel from the best and brightest.  We try methods and theories that for our purposes simply do not seem to fit and are extremely uncomfortable.  What we should prepare for battle is a few simple tools—a Shield of faith, the sword of the spirit—(God’s word) and the helmet of salvation.  Like David, we walk into battle armed with the one thing that assures victory—God. 

It is great to read and grow knowledgeable in theology and life tools. The clear truth is, however, that without the Lord being in charge, all other tools become obsolete! Help me Lord to trust you and follow your leadership.

God Bless You

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

I Samuel 17 part 3–Lions, Giants or Bears…Who Cares

So there David stood—completely appalled that Israel would stand by and let this heathen talk about God that way. So the young warrior asked the simple question how do we get this giant silenced.  Who do I ask–to take on the task? In David’s mind, the issue was protecting the name of God, NOT, how would the giant be defeated.  He had that perspective in part because he had relied on God for other challenges.  He faced a lion, he faced a bear and God delivered him in both instances—so what is the difference?????

That is the heart of faith.  Faith is simply looking at the Lord as the solution to whatever the problem becomes.  In that mindset, all problems are interchangeable.  For David—whether lion, bear or giant, god would deliver him in battle. It was not personal pride, but simple faith that drove him.

In us, it needs to be much the same.  Whether the challenge is marriage, finances, children, health or career—the solution is God and his plan.  We walk by faith and encounter challenges in all categories.  When they arise, we seek God and trust him to accomplish all he has in mind. We face all issues with God’s leadership and trust him to affect a victory.  It is never about us—it is simply about him.  The famous definition for humility is—“Humility is not thinking lowly of yourself, it is simply not thinking of yourself at all.” David simply compared his enemy to God and not to himself. In that comparison, GOD always wins!

God Bless You

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 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, 35 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. 36 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. 37 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.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

It is all Perspective I Samuel 17 part 2

The Army saw a giant, but David saw a heathen. Goliath was 9’6″, and was by human standard and appearance unstoppable—But David, like God, did not look at the appearance, he looked at the power of God.  Compared to the God that created the universe, Goliath was a mere speck.  The idea of fear and or uncertainty was never an issue.  That was why David, the newly anointed king was a man after God’s own heart.

In our world, like David’s, our perspective will dictate our fear.  If we dwell on the giants in our lives, we will live enslaved by fear.  But, if we focus on the size and greatness of our God, we will be confident, protected and provided for.  God does not change, He simply is. We are the only ones that become a variable.  Paul Reminded Timothy, as a young pastor in a dynamic church—“God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind.” 2 Tim1:7

God Bless You

20 Early in the morning, David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

I Samuel 17 part 1–The Giant is Real and Large

Israel had a very real problem.  They had an enemy with a champion that was almost 10 feet tall. That champion wore armor that was heavier than most in the Israelite army.  That giant wanted to fight any soldier from Israel winner take all. From Israel’s perspective, there was little to win and everything to lose.  Anyone looking at what the army faced, they had a very real problem.  It was not only sheer fear that kept the volunteers from lining up, it was the thought of a failure leading to the capture of the entire army.  From Saul down everyone understood the size of the giant and the implications of failure.

In our lives, we also face giants.  Whether spiritual, emotional, financial or professional, those giants are most times very real and very large.  When facing them, we, like the Israelite army not only analyze the problem personally—but also we look at the effect it has on those we care about and care for. What we see, though is that through our eyes, many of the giants we face are simply too big and too powerful for us to face.  BUT, from the Lord God’s perspective, they are nothing.  As we face each day and each giant, we have to walk by faith and believe that GOD not us is charged with facing the giants.  He alone will met and defeat them no matter how real or large they are.  Sadly, it takes patience and faith to meet the giants and face them—but, as we will see, doing so can change the world.

God Bless You

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him.

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.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

I Samuel 16 part 3 God’s Transition Plan

It is always amazing to watch God work.  Whether looking at creation or observing his work in the lives of his children, God executes his plan with precision that is breathtaking.  David, God’s choice for King is now anointed.  God needs to train him on the life and duties of being King.  What better way than put him in the service of Saul—the very man he is replacing.  What’s more—it is Saul that calls him into service.

You can’t make this stuff up.  God in control is always awesome.  In our lives, God prepares his plan on a daily basis.  He moves the world around in ways that seem impossible to us. Yet, as we see his plan executed, we must always be willing to allow it to play out in his way and on his terms.   When we do it is always complete and perfect.  We need to start our days simply requesting him to allow us to see his plan working in our lives.  We also need to be aware of his execution in the lives of those around us.  When we do we will see some pretty amazing stuff and we will be a part of an awesome plan.

God Bless You

19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.

21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”

23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him

I Samuel 16 part 3–God Looks at the Heart

The great thing about worshipping and serving the Lord is that God focuses upon what is in our heart.  How we look and what we wear does not affect how we are perceived by God.  From the beginning of time, God has always focused on the condition of our heart.  Most times, that is a great indicator of what our impact on the world will be. It was not that David, son of Jesse was an ugly oaf—scripture said he was healthy and handsome. The difference was that David was passionate about God.  His heart was as beautiful as was his person.

In our lives, we are perceived by how we appear on the outside.  What we wear, how we look and what we own often make a big contribution to how we are perceived. But, now, as then, the condition of our heart and not our appearance are what is most significant to God.  He wants us to trust him, follow him and seek him.  As we do that he provides guidance and direction.  As we diligently seek him, he walks with us and meets our needs.  We simply need to focus on our heart and allow God to lead us to freedom and bless us with his hand. 

God Bless You

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.