Archive for February 21st, 2008

Giants CAN BE Slain!

The chapter for today, 1 Samuel 17, could possibly be one of the best known Old Testament stories.

Goliath, was anywhere from 8’5” to 9’2” with armor and weapons to match his size. And he spoke such demoralizing and fear-producing challenges, that the Israelites were defeat by words alone. 

Oh the power of words, Lord let me bring life with them!

Forty days (40 is the number for testing and trials…try to think of a few examples!) of listening to the Philistines scorn and challenge. I can hardly bear 30 seconds of listening to my old tapes that resound with Goliath-type words. 

Jesus Christ, grant me to partake of the sweet words of grace that fall from Your mouth.

[Trinka, do you know that verse in Isaiah that talks about His words being trained and His lips sweet or gracious…I’m without my Sword here]
The situation had become so desperate, the Saul needed to offer a bribe

  • a cash award,
  • a princess, and
  • a tax exemption –

to induce someone, anyone to fight and win against Goliath.

And though the Lord may kindly give fringe benefits for doing things His way, what purity of heart there is if we can arise to the occasion focused alone on the reputation of the Children of God and the honor of the living God. 

Living Fire, You say blessed are the pure in heart, and I confess it can’t reside in me save You put it there. Consume all impurities and refine until it pure gold You see in me.

He saw the problem in spiritual terms, not in material or fleshly terms.
When the men of Israel said, “This man,”
David said, “This uncircumcised Philistine.”

When the men of Israel said, “Surely he has come up to defy Israel,”
David said, “That he should defy the armies of the living God.”

When the men of Israel said, “The man who kills him,”
David said, “The man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel.”

David saw things from the Lord’s perspective, but the men of Israel saw things only from man’s perspective.

Father, there are many trials in life where I’m stuck seeing them through man’s perspective, (and I even have plenty of friendly eyeballs sharing that same perspective). But show me Your view point, Your perspective, especially when it comes to the giants in my life.

What a Cinderella Story this is! Even his brothers snarl at him!

There is no doubt that what his oldest brother Eliab said hurt David, but he would not let it hinder him.

What have I done now? Is there not a cause?

What helped David to nearly ignore his brother’s jabs? He was more concerned with God’s cause (Is there not a cause?) than with his own feelings.
When David was misunderstood and rebuked, publicly, by his own brother, probably amid the laughs of the other soldiers, he could have blown it. But he showed the strength of God in his life, and replied rightly. 
He didn’t care about his glory or success, but only for the glory and success of the Lord’s cause. 
This is where the battle was won for David! If Eliab’s hurtful words can get David in the flesh, and out of the flow of the Spirit of the Lord, then David’s strength is gone. But when David ruled his spirit and answered softly, he was more in step with the Spirit of the Lord than ever. 

Father, help me to see every hurt, even the seemingly little ones, as opportunities to walk in the Spirit and strengthen me for larger victorie

David seems to be increasing in boldness as the story progresses.

  • First, he said someone should fight Goliath.
  • Then he said he would fight Goliath.
  • Then he reports to Saul, he will beat Goliath!
  • And now he tells Goliath that he will kill him him, and
  • even adds for emphasis, “I will strike you and down and take your head!

Jehovah, I pray that each baby step I take towards You and away from evil, will strengthen and embolden me more and more.

I remember after reading David Brainerd’s biography, a godly missionary in the times of Jonathan Edwards (1700’s), that I thought to employ his methods of godliness in hopes it would do my heart good. 

So I attempted to pray the hours he prayed and when he prayed. It was an absolute utter failure. His armor did not fit me at all. 
Or once a prominent homeschooling administrator and teacher convinced me that classical music would enhance my study time. And I can say, as I mull this passage over today to the tune of some techno music, his armor didn’t fit me either! 

Dear Captain of my soul, I pray You’ll be the One who suits me up to face my Goliath’s and not my admiration of others or the lust for people to think me spiritual because of how my armor looks!

David took the head of the Philistine. He made certain he was dead!

Lord Jesus preserve me from the error of messing around with my sin and spiritual enemy. Help me to slay each temptation…to the death.

David’s victory over Goliath is a “picture in advance” of the victory Jesus won for us.

i. Both David and Jesus represented their people. Whatever happened to the representative would happen to God’s people also.
ii. Both David and Jesus fought the battle on ground that rightfully belonged to God’s people, ground that they had lost.
iii. Both David and Jesus fought when their enemy was able to dominate the people of God through fear and intimidation alone.
iv. Both David and Jesus were sent to the battleground by their father (1 Samuel 17:17).
v. Both David and Jesus were scorned and rejected by their own brethren.
vi. Both David and Jesus fought the battle without concern with human strategies or conventional wisdom.
vii. Both David and Jesus won the battle, but saw that their enemies did not then give up willingly.
viii. Both David and Jesus fought a battle where the victory was assured even before it started.

Thank You Conqueror of my Soul, that Your love has captured me and taken me prison by the bonds of grace! I pray that everyone who faces a giant in their lives will experience a David-like victory because of what the battle You won on Calvary!

Charles Spurgeon cannot be ignored, for I’ve it heard it said (as I am saying it all the time!) that “a Spurgeon sermon a day, keeps the blues away!”

“Immediately before the encounter with the Philistine he fought a battle which cost him far more thought, prudence, and patience. The word-battle in which he had to engage with his brothers and with king Saul, was a more trying ordeal to him than going forth in the strength of the Lord to smite the uncircumcised boaster. Many a man meets with more trouble from his friends than from his enemies; and when he has learned to overcome the depressing influence of prudent friends, he makes short work of the opposition of avowed adversaries.” (Spurgeon)