The Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear.(1 Samuel 17:47)


One of the reasons I think many non believers find Christian faith so hard to understand, is the idea that God’s methods are, so very often, outside our human imagination. No one present, in either of the opposing armies, would have expected a young boy like David to be any kind of match for Goliath. David was a shepherd boy not a warrior. In the heat of battle, amongst the heaving mass of muscle, swords and spears, David’s sling shot would have been an utterly useless weapon. But one on one, giant against boy, David’s shepherd boy skills were magnified into a secret and deadly weapon of great power. Not only did David have the vision and confidence to see that he could beat Goliath, but he also put all his faith in the Lord and was totally aware that any action of his, would be through the strength of the Lord and for the Lord’s glory. After Goliath had sneered at him with contempt, David said: Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head (1 Samuel 17:46). He states that it is the Lord who will conquer. David is aware that he is only the means by which the Lord will achieve his purpose.


1 Samuel 17:41-51 NLT

Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran.


I have no great strength, no great power or influence. I have no fame or fortune either. I am not a warrior of any reputation. But I know the Lord. He has stirred my heart and soul and I can always be ready to serve him. This is the Lord’s Battle – not mine. My goal is to remember my job as his servant and just to do what he asks of me. Any success I may have in the course of my service is to his glory – not mine. My skills might seem little in a human context, but put to use in the service of God, they could be magnified to epic proportions!

Today’s readings:

1 Samuel 17:1-18:4, John 8:21-30, Psalms 111:1-10, Proverbs 15:11


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