Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Thoughts on David Facing Goliath

I don't feel I can leave last week's post without a few more thoughts on David facing Goliath. There are several note-worthy characteristics about David that impress me in 1 Samuel 17. I have a feeling that they may have something to do with his courage in facing the giant and that we might want to possess some of them ourselves if we're going to have the same success.

I am in awe of the way David wasn't intimidated by the scorn and accusation of his brother: "What are you doing around here anyway? What about those few sheep you're supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!" (v. 28) I don't know if he could have been any more insulting! The fact that his brother misunderstood, judged, insulted, and mocked him didn't shake his confidence in what he believed God called him to do. Joseph faced the same challenges. (Genesis 37:8) In fact, I've noticed that it's not unheard of for believers (brothers) to criticize or scorn those who dare to say a giant can be defeated.

This was a critical moment for David. His response, "What have I done now?" shows frustration, but it didn't slow him down much because he kept on in his pursuit of destroying the giant. He didn't argue with his brother until the brother was persuaded. He didn't get bitter and resentful (and those were some pretty heavy-duty insults from someone close to him). It doesn't appear that his confidence in his calling to conquer was shaken one bit! All the way through this chapter we see David repeatedly being told "facts" as to why the giant couldn't be defeated. David simply perseveres and declares the greatness and power of God.

A change is noticeable when David faces the king, the God-appointed authority. The king himself didn't think the giant could be defeated or that David was capable of the task. (v. 33) This doesn't cause David to give up. Rather, he humbly explains his confidence in the God who saved him from other enemies
(v. 34-37). His humility is impressive. He doesn't brag that past victories qualify him, but expresses faith that the same God will help him now.

David also respectfully attempted to do things according to the king's directions by wearing the king's armor. But somehow, even in his youth, he knew better than to try to fit into another person's image and mold of what he should be. (v. 39) He knew what God had gifted him to do and when he stuck to that the king blessed him and God honored him.

"Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant." (Galatians 1:10)

These reflections lead to a few questions for would-be giant slayers:

-Are the insults and scorn of others hindering me from my calling?
-Am I scorning or encouraging my brothers? (Hebrews 10:24)
-Is there unresolved bitterness or lingering resentment toward any of my brothers? (Matthew 6:14-15; Colossians 3:12-15)
-Am I more focused on worshipful obedience than the opinions of others? (Acts 5:29)
-Am I respectful and under the authority of God-appointed leaders? (I Peter 5:5-7)
-Am I humble and aware of my hope being in God rather than my own strength? (Psalm 73:26)
-Am I at peace with the gifts God has given to me or am I trying to be like someone else? (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

"I pray that God, the source of hope,
will fill you completely with joy and peace
because you trust in him.

Then you will overflow with confident hope
through the power of the Holy Spirit."

Romans 15:13

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