And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”I Samuel 17:37 ESV
Such a familiar passage. David and Goliath. Even those not familiar with the bible likely know the basics of this story. Giant enemy, defenseless boy, the apparent underdog wins. But, there is so much more in the reading of the text.
David, a simple shepherd, comes to the battlefield without the negative cloud of intimidation and fear that blanketed the rest of the camp. He hadn’t seen failure and death to the extent that the army cowered from. He simply knew God was to be trusted and not blasphemed. He knew the Hebrew beliefs that God was their banner, and that the battle belonged to Him. And he believed it.
Just because he stepped into a new arena filled with new enemies and challenges, he continued to trust what God had said and proved over and over. Giants couldn’t stop him. Domineering older brothers couldn’t stop him. The fear of death and failure couldn’t stop him.
New challenges test the depth of my faith. I can say I trust God’s provision in my life, but when God puts me in a situation requiring complete reliance on Him, I see areas my trust is deficient and I learn to trust in a fresh way. I can say that I have God’s love, but when a student walks into my class that is “hard” to love, I have my eyes opened to how selfish and unloving I still am. Our circumstances do not change our faith, but they do expose it.
David had an unquestioning faith in God. He didn’t see a huge giant to defeat. He saw a problem that was smaller than his God. His bold declaration should be my daily battle cry:
“You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”I Samuel 17:45-47 ESV
Paraphrased for my everyday life: You come to me with accusations and with conflict and with challenges above my pay grade, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God above everything, whom you have defied. The Lord will deliver this day into my hand . . . that all the earth may know that God is my God, and that all who here may know that the Lord saves not with resolutions and defenses. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give this day’s challenges into my hand.
From this moment, military success followed David at every battle line he approached. He did not win any of those battles though — God did. And, Saul didn’t know what to do with that.
And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him.I Samuel 18:14-15 ESV
Not giants or siblings or jealous kings, not work pressures or wayward children or broken dreams, can take us down on the battlefields of life. If my daily confidence rests not in my own ability or resources, but in the God of the universe, the challenge is always conquerable, because God always wins.
God wins. Every time.
Lord of Hosts, lead me with boldness. Strengthen my heart, hold my focus on You, bolster my confidence with Your truth. Help me see each challenge in its proper perspective where it shrinks to microscopic when compared to Your strength and sovereignty. Let me fight with courage and trust You with each blow of the battle. The battle is Yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.