Daily Post: Dash
One of the many Bible narratives from the Old Testament people love to hear is found in 1 Samuel 17. A giant stands hurling insults at God’s army, while assassinating the character of Israel’s king. The warrior/champion has killed more than his share of enemies, so his bravado was marked with experiential knowledge. His training was exemplary, his capabilities self-evident to the naked eye. He was a giant, in actual fact, and legendary prose.
On the other side of the valley stands a shepherd boy, shocked to hear the ravings of this giant; confused and disillusioned to see the cowardice in the camp of Israel. His brothers, Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah, all told him to keep his mouth shut, and go back home to their father, Jesse. Instead, David seeks an audience with the king for the singular purpose of volunteering to take out the giant. I’m convinced Saul, the king, didn’t think this was funny at all. The enemy was 9.5 feet tall, the armor he wore outweighed the shepherd boy soaking wet. Goliath had helmet, leggings, javelin, sword, and shield, all made of bronze, which all fit like a glove. The king offered the shepherd his own armor, as a token. When it clearly didn’t fit, the king offered David only these parting words, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.”
David’s weapons were: his stick – a walking stick/club he used to defend himself against wild animals and thieves, his sling, and five smooth stones from the brook lying at the bottom of the valley between himself and the giant. Then David does something mind-boggling to most of us today. David is described this way…
1 Samuel 17:48-49
Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.
Having no armor, sword, shield, spear or helmet, here David stood victorious over the battle-trained giant. David cut off the head of this giant, with the giant’s own sword (verse 51) and when the enemy army saw it, they fled in panic.
This is a wonderful story of courage. It speaks of God’s protection and provision when God’s people face an enemy which is more prepared for battle in every way. The intimidation factor in the world today is gigantic, in Goliath-like proportions. Sometimes we struggle with the right words to penetrate the darkness, feeling defenseless or defeated. All the while, the lesson to be learned in this simple story is often missed by the reader or hearer.
Lesson: using unconventional, readily available elements, empowered by God, can have spiritually eternal outcomes.
David’s sling dashed a stone into the forehead of the giant. David used the elements at hand.
It might seem ridiculous to some today, but the most powerful stone we may use in our sling is the one from the mouth of Jesus Himself. He told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” It seems like spiritual slang almost. This statement’s meaning is unknown to the world today, just as much as it confused ole Nick when Jesus said it. Yet these words can slay giants.
For the friend next door, suffering under the sword of Satan, and the weight of sin, the deliverance may be found in, “you must be born again.” A co-worker seeking a way to make sense of their life, may be set free by hearing “you must be born again.” Each of us could be used just like this shepherd boy who delivered Israel that day, if we would courageously sling out the truth, “you must be born again.”
It doesn’t matter that the world laughs at this ancient story, or at your spiritual slang. The world laughed at Jesus too. Goliath laughed at David too. What matters is my willingness to be used by God to defeat evil in the world. You and I must be willing, ready, and running to the battle we must shout:
“You must be born again!” [John 3:3]
So I say to you today… “Go, and may the Lord be with you.”
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