1 Samuel 17
I know the Kingdom of God which will be set up at the return of Jesus will be greater than anything I can imagine. I am really looking forward to a time when all tears will be wiped away and God will dwell with men (Revelation 21:1-4). At that time, I would really love to see God whip out his favorite home videos to show his resurrected and faithful family some of the highlights of how He worked through the ages. VeggieTales are great, but can you imagine watching these ancient recordings, with the Bible heroes at your side commenting on their exploits! Don’t tell me it can’t be done – I know my God can do anything. And if He wants it to be so – it will be. And, if He doesn’t, then He has a better plan than mine (that’s surely happened a time or two before!)
If you and I are there at His feet watching – I can only imagine that one of the favorite reels will be of the young shepherd David boldly and faithfully fighting the godless giant Goliath. Picture this: “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.” (1 Samuel 17:48 & 49). And the white robed crowd of overcomers watching the ancient playback erupts in cheers, patting David on the back and giving high-fives and fist bumps. Victory is a beautiful thing to watch!
But, sometimes the victory never happens because God’s people miss the opportunity. They are scared into silence and submission by the boisterous repeated taunts of the wicked who are defying God and shaming His people. They listen to the family member or friend (like David’s older brother Eliab) who is full of negativity and says you don’t belong and you aren’t useful and you should just go back home to do what you’ve always done. They give up when the leadership says you aren’t experienced enough yet, wait until you are older to be bold, speak up and step into a ministry. They get flustered when they try on the safe armor and find it isn’t a good fit, maybe they weren’t meant for this after all. They fail to prepare for the battle by packing their pouch with the surprising items needed for a successful fight against evil. And, perhaps most of all, they lack the faith that the great big awesome God of the universe can use them to do His work, to beat back evil and advance His Kingdom.
Imagine yourself again – in the Kingdom, watching God’s home videos – and whose face appears next on the screen – yours. There you are: standing up to a godless bully, running towards the battle, representing God when others were too scared to speak up or act, believing in a great big God who saves.
You are not too small, too young, too inexperienced, too insignificant to do mighty things for God. (And, you are also not too old – but that’s a different Bible story). Step out in faith. Be courageous with God. Don’t miss the opportunity to gain a victory for God.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- David was confident that the Lord who saved him previously would save him again, even against a larger foe. “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37) What has God already helped you to accomplish? How can this build your confidence? What larger project can you have faith that He will help you accomplish next?
- At first I am a little disappointed that David is concerned with what rewards will be given to the brave fighter who faces Goliath – it seems a bit selfish and I am tempted to question his motives. But, I too am excited about what rewards are awaiting God’s faithful – and they do make for great motivation to get in the battle. What rewards are you eagerly anticipating and what do they motivate you to do?
- Sometimes God’s people lose heart on account of evil and those defying (openly resisting) God. Where do you see this happening today? How can we do battle against them today? What tools/weapons would God have us use?