It was the middle of the afternoon as young David came with the meal from his parents.
He’d left early in the morning and arrived at the place of battle to deliver the food to his brothers. Here were all of David’s heroes the men he’d looked up to all his life.
His brothers and the other soldiers were marching across the field, screaming and yelling in battle. He walked across the field, drinking in this emotional moment a great moment for him.
David looked, and behold, Goliath of Gath, a monstrous giant of a warrior, was stepping out of the Philistine ranks onto the field of battle, heading directly for the armies of Israel.
Goliath was coming to make his declaration once again, as he had done for 40 days.
He cried out for the Israelite army to send a man to fight with him only, and he’d fight with that man to determine who would serve whom: the Philistines to serve the Israelites, or the Israelites to serve the Philistines. The warrior who conquered would be the victor for all his people.
Goliath stood firm, watching as the Israelites retreated in shame and defeat to their camp. The Philistines cheered for Goliath, their champion.
For 40 days Goliath had mocked and jeered the army of Israel. He had defied Israel’s God by the names of all of his own gods.
Goliath roared once again, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am not I a Philistine and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me, I defy the armies of Israel this day,” I Samuel 17:8-10. Unfortunately, the Israelites focused on what the enemy was declaring, rather than on their God, who would be their strength and fight for them. They had failed to remember their own God’s words.
Several things stand out from this story.
First of all, the Israelite army was going noisily to battle. They equated loud noise with battle and victory, so these people had the concept of fighting a war, but not the victory.
David stepped out, crunching the stones of the battlefield under his feet, and began asking some poignant questions.
The questions highly offended the men of Israel, causing David’s brothers to reprimand him sharply. Even King Saul took offense at this young man who would dare question his battle strategy.
David was simply asking, “Where is the victory? Where is our faith? Where is our vision of God? Where is our triumph over the enemy?”
David’s questions are relevant to the church today, as there’s a lot of noise and shouting. However, where is the victory? Where is the triumph?
Just like it was for the nation of Israel, the church is getting the concept, but not the victory. So frequently our enemy, Satan, dictates our condition and circumstances.
Like Goliath, Satan demands that we choose the man to come out and fight, and then he tells us how it is going to happen.
The church needs people to think like David, who will step forth and declare, “Why not just kill this enemy? How dare he defy the nation of Israel the church God’s chosen people? How can he determine our circumstances? Why is he the one dictating to us?”
To complete this familiar story from I Samuel 17, verses 1-58, David walked toward the battle already feeling victory because he knew and trusted the God he served. David was a man who walked in faith. He was a man who saw the vision that God had for his people.
When Goliath saw David coming toward him, Goliath stepped forward and mocked David, saying, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” I Samuel 17:43-44.
David was not at all concerned about the giant he was about to take on.
He said, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
In this battle, David didn’t even have his sword. After using his slingshot and bringing Goliath down with the first of the smooth stones, he took Goliath’s own gigantic sword to cut off his enemy’s head.
As soon as David accomplished this feat, the Israelites suddenly remembered their destiny and began to pursue the army of the Philistines, consequently defeating them.
The Israelites had been blinded by a big enemy, and failed to see their bigger God. David realized that God doesn’t require us to fight the enemy using the enemy’s rules.
In order to defeat our enemy, we have to fight using God’s rules, hence the definition of spiritual warfare.
In our own battles, we must decide to do what God wants us to do and to declare that we are not going to argue with the lying spirit of darkness that taunts us.
My prayer for you is that as we journey together, you will increasingly be aware that we serve a big God, and before Him Satan is but a little devil weak and powerless in God’s presence.
Robert Reasner is senior pastor at Abundant Life Assembly of God, 32940 Sterling Highway in Sterling. He can be reached at 262-7266, or online at www.abundantlifealaska.org.
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