Nov 13, 2017
A daily devotional walking through God's word together using The Bible Reading Plan at http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com
Bible Reading Plan - www.Bible-Reading.com; The Story, Chapter 11; You Version Bible app Engaging God's Story Reading Plan Days 71 through 77
Whether you are a church goer or not, you probably know the story of David and Goliath. David the giant killer. This 16 year-old shepherd goes to find his brothers in the army, take them some home cooked food, and see how their fight with the Philistines is going. He comes into the camp and hears the taunts of the Philistine champion, Goliath, daring anyone in the Israelite army to come out and fight him. All the Israelite soldiers hide behind the rocks and trees and bushes or in their tents afraid to face this giant of a man who stands almost ten feet tall.
David also hears about the reward for taking on this barbarian and killing him. Whoever kills the giant gets to marry the king’s daughter and he and his family lives tax free the rest of their lives. So David goes to king Saul and volunteers. Saul loans David his armor, but since Saul is a head taller than everyone else in the kingdom, of course the armor just swallows David. So David sets the armor aside and faces the giant with the weapon with which he is most familiar, his sling.
I think sometimes people get the wrong impression of David and his sling. We sometimes think of David as this scrawny 16 year-old kid with pimples and stringy hair, like the Shaggy Rogers character of Scooby-Doo fame. But don’t kid yourself. Jesse’s boys seem like the start of a mafia crowd to me. As a teenager, David killed a bear and a lion barehanded.
David’s brothers were all part of his band of 30 mighty men. Those were the elite of his army who characterized themselves by extraordinary deeds like killing a hundred men or more in one battle by themself. And David was their leader. To be the leader of these kind of men in those days, you won fights against them yourself. So, I have a feeling David was no slouch when it came to his physical frame or his fighting abilities.
David also came from Bethlehem. Warriors from Bethlehem were known for their ability to use slings. They learned as kids. These weren’t toy slingshots that we get in the store here. They weren’t the Y-shaped stick with a rubber strap you pull back and release. These were real slings. A leather pouch connected to two flax cords that would be swung over the head and then one of the cords released at just the right moment to release the stone held in that pouch. The stone would reach speeds of well over 100 miles per hour.
Imagine being hit by a rock moving one and a half times faster than the best pitchers throw their best fastballs. A good fastball can break a bone. If hit in the head, expect at least a concussion if not a fractured face. Now reduce the size of that projectile, increase the speed by 50% and put God behind the placement of that projectile. Pow! Right in the forehead. Down for the count! Whether immediately dead or just unconscious and giving time for David to run over and cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword. The sling was the perfect weapon. David could project that stone farther than the length of a football field.
But God was behind it all. The visit of David to his brothers. The confrontation between His people and the Philistines. The armor that was too big. The skill with the sling. The trajectory and impact. The fear Goliath’s defeat created for his countrymen. The defeat of the Philistine army. God intervened in the life of this unlikely character to unfold His plan and show us His greatness.
Who would have picked this 16 year-old as Israel’s champion that day? No one but God. Who would have expected this shepherd who have never lifted a sword to kill a nearly ten foot giant and rout an entire army? No one but God. Who would have thought anyone would go out on the battlefield against this champion without armor and face him with only a shepherd’s sling in his hand? No one but God.
God empowered David and David knew it. God cuts giants down to size and David knew it. God takes the impossible and makes it possible and David knew it. God can intervene in what might seem to be the most difficult of circumstances and turn those circumstances into good for us and David knew it. So David could walk out onto that field. Pass by the stream and pick up five smooth stones. One for Goliath and four more for Goliath’s four brothers just in case they decided they wanted to play, too. David could declare with confidence God was on His side and God would do the impossible to prove He was God.
Was David special? Not really. What was special about him was that He turned to God in the good and the bad times of life. When he made mistakes, and he did, he went to God and repented. He tried his best to live the way God wanted him to live. He read and meditated on God’s word. He read the scriptures that were available to him. He listened to the prophets that came to him and advised him. He prayed. He talked to God and listened to God. And he did what God asked him to do.
Does that make him special? I suppose it makes him different than most of the people around us. Because most of the people around us do what they want instead of what God wants. That’s the difference. What course will you follow? Yours or God’s? What giants do you face? Will you step out and let God defeat them with you or will you cower in the tents and let them continue to hold you back and make life miserable for you?
God is still in the business of showing who He is to those who will listen to Him and obey His word. All you have to do is step out on the battlefield. He pretty much does the rest. And He always wins. Always. Romans 8:28 is true when we meet those two conditions it holds. All things do work for good when we love Him and when we align our lives with His plan. Look up and let Him work in your life the plans He has for you. You won’t regret it. He promises.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more about The Story and our part in it. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn’t, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.