Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 18: David and Goliath – 1 Samuel 17

Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 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, 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. 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. 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.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

Imagine facing a nine-foot giant covered with a coat of bronze armor weighing one hundred twenty-five pounds. You’re just a boy and simply have a staff, a slingshot, and five smooth stones. Most of us can trace this Bible story back to our Sunday School days. David chose to fight Goliath only because he trusted that God would deliver him as in the past when he killed a lion and bear while he tended his father’s sheep. David took one simple stone, slung it, struck Goliath in the forehead, and Goliath fell facedown to the ground. Who won this battle? The Lord our God used this humble boy in a unique situation to win the victory over this ferocious giant.

Look around today and think of the earthly battles that face us. The giant might be in the form of cancer, divorce, unemployment, loss of a loved one, accident, or many other trials of life. How do we cope? We can use God’s mighty Word and promises to win any earthly battle. Along with this, He has given us family and friends that love us and help ease the pain. It might be a simple card or visit, gift of food, driving for a doctor’s appointment, and most importantly prayers. Just look at your past and reflect on ways God has delivered you. The ultimate victory will be our entry into Heaven as God welcomes us home. Praise God for His love for us!
-Cindy Wass

Dear Merciful God, We thank you for loving us and leading us through all our earthly battles. May we always focus on You, reach out to others in need, and look forward to our Heavenly home someday. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use.

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