This is an excellent and encouraging message from Dawn Alcock. Let these words sink into your hearts today.
Where Does Your Strength Come From?
We all know the story well…David and Goliath. David, a quiet shepherd boy. Goliath a prideful 9 foot giant. We all know that David killed Goliath with one, single, smooth stone. This story has always intrigued me. Mostly because a young boy with no fighting skills faced a man nearly twice his size with such confidence and boldness. While most of the Israelites recognized Goliath’s size and feared him, David did not. So, I wondered why was it that David had no fear when facing the giant?
First of all, I looked at the life of David. He was the youngest son to Jesse who had eight sons. Jesse was quite old so while the other sons were sent with Saul’s army, David stayed behind tending sheep with his father. The bible tell us “David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep” 1 Samuel 17:15 I would imagine David being young and eager that he would venture up the mountain side to see what his brothers were up to. Maybe he caught a glimpse of a battle every now and then? However, David was more likely to be found in the fields going about his father’s business tending the sheep. The bible doesn’t give much information as to what David did all day in the field, but I’m willing to guess he did a lot of talking and singing to God. After all, God called David “a man after his own heart”.
Second of all, we see David’s obedience to his father, Jesse. Although David longed to be on the battle field with his brothers he stayed in the field with the sheep without complaint. He used his alone and mundane (I’m sure it was at times) time to build his faith by communing with God. When his father ordered him to take some food to his brothers and to check on them, David immediately obeyed and set off. Again, he was going about this father’s business. I believe his dedication to his earthly father is a direct representation of his dedication to his heavenly father. Very similar to Jesus, who was always going about his father’s business. Jesus only did what his father commanded him to do. Are you about your Father’s business? Do you respond with eagerness when he asks you to do something? Or, do you sit back and think about it for a while? And, maybe while you sit and think about it somebody else steps up to the plate? I’m guilty of that!
Third and last point, David’s confidence was strong! Looking back on verse 11 and how the Israelites responded to Goliath’s taunts is very interesting “they were terrified and deeply shaken”. The problem was bigger than they anticipated! Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the problem was bigger than what you planned for? I have! And, it often leads me in utter panic! So, David arrives at the camp only to find that his brothers had gone to the battlefield. David leaves the food with the keeper and runs to the ranks to meet his brothers. Once he gets there, he can hear Goliath taunting the Israelites. He could also see the fear in the Israelites as they ran as soon as the giant appeared. David was astonished that they were allowing him to “defy the armies of the living God”. When David’s brother, Eliab heard that David was questioning the men he got angry and criticized David and asked him “what about the few sheep you are supposed to be caring for? I know your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle” vs28 David’s questioning was sent to King Saul and the King requested to speak with him. It was in that moment that David told Saul that he would fight the giant! Just imagine Saul’s response! What would your response be? Your little brother who has no battle skills that you’re aware of tells you that he’ll fight a 9 foot giant?! It’s laughable because it’s looks physically impossible! But, David had confidence. But, his confidence didn’t come from his outward strength it came from within. It came from the God within him! David did reassure Saul that he was strong as he fought off bears and lions as they came into the shepherd field. He tells Saul, “the Lord that has rescued me from the claws of the lion and bear will rescue me from this Philistine” vs37
David’s confidence was in the LORD. He was relying on God to fight the battle for him and he knew that if God was with him during the battles with the lions and bears He’d be with him in this fight too!
Saul then gave David the consent and told him to go ahead and may the Lord be with him! It’s very interesting to read that Saul gave David his armour to wear. When David tried it on he took it off again because it didn’t fit him. Saul’s armour wasn’t fitted for David. David couldn’t rely on someone else’s armour to fight the battle. Do you often try to rely on someone else’s armour to fight your battles? Where does your strength and confidence come from?
David choose five smooth stones from the stream and with his shepherds staff headed to the valley. When Goliath saw him coming with a sling and a stick he asked him with great intimidation, “Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?” vs43 It’s David’s response that I love so much! And, it has to be our response to every giant we face…
“You come to me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies…” vs45 Then down to verse 47 “this is the Lord’s battle and he will give you to us” Talk about speaking faith into a fearful situation?! David did exactly that!
You see, my friends…that is confidence in the Lord! And, with a sling of a stone David defeated the giant!
It wasn’t the STONE that killed Goliath but rather the STRENGTH behind it! David relied on what he knew….God was with him, God was his strength and confidence and the battle belonged to the Lord! And, when we hand our battles over to the Lord he equips us to face, fight and slay the giant! So, gather up your stones and tuck them into a sling…but know that it’s the strength behind the stone that slays the giants!
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble”