I left off last time with the battle story found in 1 Samuel. The Philistines, along with their champion Goliath, are on one side of the valley and the Israelites are on the other. David has shown up on the scene and has heard Goliath taunting the children of Israel. He is taken to King Saul and says, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged by him; your servant will go and fight this Philistine!” (1 Samuel 17:32). I love David’s courage! Can we all follow his lead, see what satan is attempting to steal and be willing to enter the fight?
Saul’s reaction is normal. “You can’t go fight this Philistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.” (1 Samuel 17:33). David could have agreed and taken the empty lunch pail and returned safely to his father’s house. We can too you know. This giant is just too big and we are too small. Besides the fashion, cosmetic, advertising, magazine, book, internet, movie industry, pornography, sex trafficking, abortion, same-sex marriage and the list could go on that promote sin, generate too much money to be held accountable and stopped for defying the Living God. Add on top of that, it isn’t popular or culturally acceptable to live by the truth found only in the word of God.
Back to the battle. “David answered Saul: ‘Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defiled the armies of the living God’. Then David said, ‘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). David had been unknowingly training, preparing for this very day. I am not sure if he saw something like this coming, but that seems to be the way with us all when looking back over our life. He went after what the enemy carried off and rescued the lamb. Aren’t our children much more valuable than a farm animal? The other piece I love here is that David had full confidence in the Lord. Is there any other way to go into a battle?
“Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the Lord be with you.” (1Samuel 17:37). Saul tries to protect David by having him outfitted in his military armor. However, if you remember Saul stood head and shoulders above everyone. “I can’t walk in these’, David said to Saul, ‘I’m not used to them.’ So David took them off. Instead, he took his staff in hand and chose five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pouch, in his shepherd’s bag. Then, with his sling in hand, he approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:39-40). I don’t see myself continuing on in this battle to “protect my house” with violence and slinging stones, but I do see myself continuing to stand for the truth. Also, David did not leave home without his shepherd’s bag, sling shot or staff. He came prepared. Are we prepared with the truth, only found in God’s word, to do battle when the occasion arises? David was only on an errand run after all.
“The Philistine came closer and closer to David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he despised him because he was just a youth, healthy and handsome. He said to David, ‘Am I a dog that you come against me sticks?’ Then he cursed David by his gods.” (1 Samuel 17:41-43). Yes, it looks like a champion Goliath is coming against families, children, marriages, innocence and purity. Yes, we may look unpopular and small in comparison. Yes, we make look unprepared. Like me. I am “just a mom” so what can I possibly do to fight back? Because to stand on the rock of truth is not being tolerant and therefore unloving. Nothing could be further from the truth! We love people so much, that to think of anyone spending eternity in hell compels us to stand. That is what is at stake here. And if people are already believers, that salvation can not be lost, but being held in the captivity of sin cripples ones life.
“David said to the Philistine: ‘You come against me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel – you defiled him. Today, the Lord will hand you over to me.” (1 Samuel 17:45-46). The enemy has come against us too, created in the very image of God (see Genesis 1:25) for much to long. The twisting of truth, hate and depravity are only growing in intensity. It is time we remind him who he is up against – “the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel.” That is whose army we are apart of if we are followers of Christ. You have to pick a side. I ask my kids all the time, “Who are you going to let win? God or satan?” It is a choice to be made day in and day out.
“When the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in the bag, took out a stone, slung it, and it hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown to the ground. David overpowered the Philistine and killed him without having a sword.” (1 Samuel 17:48-50). Scripture doesn’t mention what happened to the shield-bearer in front of Goliath. It doesn’t really matter, God won the battle and used a small, youthful shepherd to take down the defiant champion.
As for the rest of the army, “When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled. The men of Judah rallied, shouting their battle cry, and chased the Philistines to the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron.” (1 Samuel 17:51-52). I would have loved to have seen them retreat and I would love to see our enemy flee now. Can you only imagine the children of God rallying together, shouting a battle cry and chasing after the thief who “comes only to kill, steal and destroy..” (John 10:10). Saying “Enough! You can not have my family!” We are on the side of the one who has “..come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10). It is time to stand up, pick the side of truth and fight! Our children now and those to come after us are counting on us!