Friday, April 15, 2016

David Stands Up to the Bully!!

Readings for the Day
1 Samuel 17, Psalm 9, Matthew 2

Verses for the Day
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.”

The context of these verses is that the Israelites are lined up against the Philistines in a battle line. For 40 days their giant Goliath, who is an intimidating 9 foot 9 inches (two feet bigger than "Shaq"), taunts the Israelites calling on them to send anyone to fight him. Jesse sends his youngest son David to bring some cheeses to his brothers, and report on how they are doing. While he is there, he sees Goliath verbally abusing his brothers and the other men of Israel's army.

David hears there is a reward for whoever slays Goliath, but he is much more concerned with how the giant is mocking the living God of the armies of Israel. When he volunteers to fight Goliath his brothers mock him and tell him to "best it". Saul tells him he is only a young man and Goliath is a trained warrior. And we see David's reply in the verses above.

David recounts how he took care of his father's sheep and killed the lion and the bear with his bare hands. David had proved he was a good shepherd, willing to lay his life down for the sheep. And he reasons that this Philistine will fall, just like the wild animals, because he has defied the living God. David knows that God goes before him to defend his holy name. Rather than going with heavy armor Saul puts on him, David strips himself of it and confronts Goliath with on a sling, a stone, and rock solid faith that God would be with him. When he slays Goliath, a new king is born in Israel.

The story reminds us when we fight, we don't fight with the weapons the world uses. As Paul defends his ministry in 2 Corinthians 10 he says, "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses."

What battles are you fighting? Where are you faced with a "Goliath" in your life, who taunts you day and night as a son or daughter of God? We often try to fight in our own strength and might and often fail miserably. But when we fight the battles God calls us to fight, he arms us with just what we need to fell the giant.

God, we come before you and know that one smooth stone from you can defeat our enemies who surround us. Give us the courage to stand up to the bullies in our lives that not only mock us but you! We know you will give us what we need to bring glory to your name. Amen.

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