This is a story that starts a fire in my bones every time! It will be the next sermon that I preach, and I pray the continual story of my life as well as for you. (The title betrays exactly what I am reaching for out of 1Samuel 17.) This story has more to be gleaned from than simply an epic portrayal of good vs. evil. It is a story of a dependency upon God when all seems lost and fear increases.
Many men and women prepare themselves mentally, physically, experientially for battle, but the idea of worship doesn’t seem to strike us as an important preparatory work….. It is particularly important that we understand this youth, his heart, his lowly service to the sheep, and how God works on behalf of those that are poor in spirit. This kid was a singer, worshiper, poet, fighter, lover, and never suspected of needing to ever face a giant! He simply loved God and defended sheep. But the moments of preparation for a fight came when he fought off a lion and bear—all of that designed by God—to bolster his confidence in the Lord. He could have taken confidence into himself but he turned it outward and upward to God.
David unwittingly enters the valley Elah to provide food for his brothers and immediately takes up an offense for the LORD at the voice of the giant’s taunts. Unable to contain his conviction, he begins to rally the convictions of others and is accused of arrogancy and an evil heart (1Samuel 1:28) by his very brother! (Remember this is taking place after David has been anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel.) Bitterness abounds.
While we are not David, we are totally wrong to think that we have not been promised a Kingdom as well. You see, David had a confidence in the LORD because of the promises of God! I am convinced that because David trusted God; that he was going to make him the next king, had tested him in “trial” by both lion and bear; He was utterly convinced that his life was the LORD’s and nothing could take it until God said so.
You know the story; I don’t have to give you the details—I will save that for a sermon, but please read 1Samuel 16-17 in the light of what is attested to be said here. (Make sure that what I am saying is true.) Consider the following thoughts: Are you worshipping the LORD in the “field” of the mundane life, are you considering the trials that you encounter as a training ground for the battle to come? And lastly, are you taking up an offense for the Lord now when all others are not?
That last question aught to hit home. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him….” (2Chronicles 16:9) To be considered “blameless” your righteousness must be found in another: Christ. Trust him. God IS NOT A REACTIONARY GOD, HE IS THE AUTHOR OF THE STORY.
Three applications come to mind out of this passage: 1. If God has chosen you, then you are invincible to serve God until he says otherwise, so be confident in him (even if others consider your confidence in the LORD “arrogancy”, 2. Giant slayers are those whose dependency and worship is upon God before the battle is waged, and 3. Taking up an offense and concerning yourself for the honor of God is the most powerful motive we have against the enemy. (Note: a sling and stone is not the most powerful weapon. When God is behind anything, the weapon being wield is yourself—by Almighty God.)
Let this be food for thought. I want to rally you to worship and to consider these three things: God has much to say and do in our present age; we only need to be found worshiping, to be engaged in the plan he has for each one of us, and consistently in a posture of worship and dependency upon Him whatever comes our way.