“David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…” (I Sam. 17:37)
We live in a time in which we often feel overwhelmed with all that is happening in the world. Every day there is a new problem to face, nationally and individually. Many of these problems appear to be out of our control and we therefore become frustrated and fearful.
In I Samuel 13 the Philistines gathered together to fight Israel. The men of Israel were afraid and the people hid themselves (vs. 6). When Samuel did not come to Gilgal after seven days, as he had said, the people scattered and Saul offered the burnt offering. Samuel arrived right after this. “And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.” (I Sam. 13:13). Saul was afraid and frustrated. He had rushed ahead and done things his own way, therefore disobeying God. Verse 14 says, “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” Saul had not trusted God enough to wait.
Later the Philistines sent out Goliath of Gath, who was six cubits and a span, to fight a man of Israel. “And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” (I Sam. 17:10&11). The Philistine, Goliath, presented himself for forty days but no one would fight him as they were afraid. David, the youngest son of Jesse, took food to his brethren who were fighting the Philistines. While he was there Goliath arrived and again challenged anyone to fight him. “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were sore afraid.” (I Sam. 17:24). In contrast the young man, David, said “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (I Sam 17:26).
Oh, what a man of faith David was. If only we had a man like him to rise up today! Goliath was annoyed that his young man had dared come to challenge him. He wanted a real fight. “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” (I Sam. 17:45). David had complete faith in God and knew that He would be with him, just as God had been with him when he fought the bear and the lion. He stepped out in complete obedience to God. He knew that the battle was the Lord’s. He said “And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” (I Sam. 17:48). David ran to meet the Philistine, Goliath and with his slingshot smote Goliath with one stone. The men of Israel and Judah then joined him to fight. David lived his faith, he didn’t just speak it. Looking after the sheep had taught him to trust in God to help him in all things. He had grown in the Lord and become a mighty warrior for God. He knew that God was with him. This is a great lesson for us all.