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November 13, 2014

In I Samuel 17:1-11 it says that after hearing the words of the threats made by the giant Goliath, “…Saul and all the Israelites were terrified…” (TNIV).  Saul was the king of Israel.  He was their leader, but fearless is not an adjective to describe him.  What he saw and heard was his reality.

Contrast Saul’s reaction to David’s.  Some scholars say David was about 17 years old when this story took place.  Verse 25 tells us that David knew what Saul had promised the man that would kill this 9 1/2 foot giant yet he asked what was going to happen to the man who killed Goliath “…and removes this disgrace from Israel?” (v. 26b).  In fact he asked so many people that word got back to King Saul.  David didn’t see Goliath as a threat.  He didn’t see this giant as someone to fear.  You see, God had been preparing this young man for this very day.  Yahweh had given David courage, faith, and victory over both a lion and a bear while taking care of his father’s sheep.  David not only got to eat some wonderfully rare meat after those kills, he got a taste of God’s victory.  While he was somewhere between the age of our middle or high school students, this incredible shepherd boy learned something about God while out in the fields with those sheep.  He found out that God has the back of the underdog and will give the victory to one who fights for the oppressed.  (If I can have anybody on my side, I want my Creator, the victorious Warrior-to beat-all-warriors.)  My challenge is to take an honest look at myself and ask, “When bad news taunts me do I become “dismayed and terrified” or do I see the situation as the young teenager David did, that God will conquer?  Do I see a potentially looming situation as bigger than the One Who made me?  Do I run away from difficulties because I don’t know the character of the One I claim to know, or have I seen Him resolve issues that I had no resources for?  Do I walk through life as though I’m on the winning side or in preparation to turn and run away in defeat and terror?  I want to dig deep and truly get to know the One Who fights for me so that my foundation is in really knowing Him, His character, and my firm foundation as His loved and protected child.

“The Lord says this to you: ‘Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of this large army.  The battle is not your battle, it is God’s’….You won’t need to fight in this battle.  Just stand strong in your places, and you will see the Lord save you…don’t be afraid or discouraged because the Lord is with you.’ ” – 2 Chronicles 20:15b, 17 (NCV)


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