Slinging Spiritual Slang

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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Of Skewers, Pitons, and Stakes



Life today is so interesting.  Combine technology with the English language and you find a myriad of meaning in just one word:  Spike.  I did a simple Google search on “spike,” then clicked on “images,” and found hundreds of pictures beyond the one above I screen-captured.  My favorite definition of “spike” was #2 under “noun” which reads: “a sharp increase in the magnitude or concentration of something. (i.e. the oil price spike)  The Google definition search went into great detail with how spike can be used as a noun, a verb, along with its origin, and specific allusions to sports usages.  Gotta love the English language.

A spike might be a skewer, used to make my famous steak kabobs on a sunny spring afternoon.  A spike might also be piton; a peg driven into a rock or crack in the rock to support a mountain climber or rope.  Different from a skewer, or a piton, a spike might also be a stake the mountain climber uses to secure his tent on the side of the mountain.  All three things could just as easily be called a spike.  A rose by any other name, right?

I can’t image how folks from other countries, who learn English as a second or third language, make any sense out of how complex our communication becomes just by using words which all mean the same thing, but have different “monikers” to distinguish them within the group.  I’m not sure I’m smart enough, and it’s the only language I speak.  Unless of course you count “Texan,” then I’m fluent in both.  Here’s a brief sample:

  • “y’all” is “you all”
  • “howdy” is “hello”
  • anyone who lives North of the Mason Dixon Line is a “Northerner”
  • a “looker” is an “attractive woman”
  • to do something “fast” is “right quick”
  • “dinner” is “supper”
  • a “tank” is a “pond”
  • “big hat. no money” means “all talk, no money”
  • “eat up” means to “overtake something”
  • any type of “soda” is a “coke”
  • “tuckered out” means “exhausted”
  • “over yonder” means “over there”

Sometimes the words people use in church are just as confusing as the Texas slang examples above, because many of the things said, come right out of the Bible, but paraphrased a bit.

Are you washed in the blood?
You been sanctified?
Are you born again?
Do you have the Holy Spirit in you?

None of these sentences would anyone use in the normal context of human existence, except that someone found expressions in Bible terms, then attempted to turn them into catch phrases that sound religious.

To the church the Apostle Peter wrote: 1 Peter 1:2
… according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Jesus was attempting to explain a spiritual truth to Nicodemus when He said, John 3:3
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

See, I’ve only used 2 verses of the 31,102 verses in the Bible, (23,145 OT + 7,957 NT).  Yet, in just these, I’ve found 2 verses to support all four of the questions in the example.  For those who think they understand the Bible and all its many facets of knowledge, they have been skewered by their own ego, living in the delusion of such a belief.

Not only that, but the Texas slang above is pretty much fixed, or stable.  You can go to any part of Texas and those words are almost always the same.  But to have context for Biblical understanding requires understanding the language of the document (whether Hebrew or Greek), comprehension of the culture and age of time it was written, but most importantly, a relationship with Whom the document is about, God.

Like a stake through the heart, like a piton into the side of the hardest rock on earth, the Bible has the ability to skewer our minds with truth.  It reveals.  It convicts.  It enlightens.  It empowers.  Yet the revelation, conviction, enlightenment, and power come only to those who know the Author.  Not Moses, John, David, Peter, or Paul… no.  These benefits of the Word only come to those who truly know Jesus.

The apostle John is the only Gospel author who doesn’t discuss or diagram the birth of Jesus on earth, instead focusing on His pre-birth position in heaven.

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Spike (truth) with which God impales the world today is His WORD – Jesus.

John 14:6
I am the way, the truth, and the life; and no one comes to the Father but through me.

It’s really this simple:  Know Jesus? Know the Word!


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