WALKING WITH GOD. No.19
1 Sam 17:45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This is a delightful story of a young man who is full of confidence in his God. There is courage and boldness in this young man that perhaps puts many of us to shame. David, as we have seen previously, has been chosen by God to be the next king – but that is not generally known. It will be a number of years and some perilous adventures before that happens in reality. Meanwhile he is looking after his father’s sheep. Saul is gathering all the potential fighting men to come against the Philistines who had been oppressing them for so long, and so most of David’s brothers have gone and joined the army and are camped out in a place of stalemate opposite the Philistines. It is at this point that providence pushes David into the foreground. His father decides to send him with supplies for his brothers at the battlefront.
When he arrives, he finds nothing is happening. Apparently the Philistines had a giant who came out every morning and challenged an Israelite to fight him. Being so big, no one had the courage to take him on. What is so bizarre about this is that Israel allowed this giant to intimidate them. Why did they settle for his terms? Why didn’t six of them go out and kill this giant? The answer seems to be that, like many Christians today, they allowed themselves to be intimidated by the enemy and allowed him to set the agenda.
When David arrives, he’s rather like the boy in Hans Anderson’s story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, who hasn’t been told about the supposedly invisible clothes. David hasn’t picked up the fear. He knows what he knows and wonders whatever is going on: “David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (v.26). Observe his language: Who is this uncircumcised Philistine? He is saying, who is this man who has no relationship with the Lord that he should insult Israel?
The story then takes us through the process of David being brought to King Saul where we find: “David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 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.” (v.37-37). Again see his language that highlights relationship with the Lord. David is simply stating what he knows. I’ve killed lions and bears when they’ve come after my father’s flock, so what difference is this character? Saul then equips him with his armour but David is not a fighter with armour and he puts it off. He’s a man with a slingshot and that’s all he needs.
When the Philistine giant comes out next day, David goes out to him and we see the peak of his confidence in our verse today. You come with sword and spear? Huh, I come with the name of the Lord. As David walks out onto the battle field and as he walks towards with giant, it is a walk of confidence, a walk that is secure in the knowledge of his God. David knows that he is on God’s side and this giant isn’t. David knows that the Lord is jealous for His name, and David knows that the Lord has trained him and equipped him to deal with predators. He looked after his father’s flock at home, and he’s going to look after God’s flock here before the Philistines. There is nothing brash or arrogant about this young man, he’s just confident in his God. He kills the giant. End of story!
Have you come to know the Lord like this? Is your confidence in life established in God, like David’s was? Have you come to a place where you know your abilities in God, where you know what the Lord can do through you? This is just all about faith and trust that comes out of a living relationship with the Lord. When you walk in the service of the Lord, is it a walk of confidence in Him and in His calling of you? Know these things and be assured in them. Walk in confidence of who you are because of who He is!