Tag Archives: Philistines

Fighting Giants

 This morning I  read in I Samuel 17 the account of David’s triumph over a giant Philistine.   Of all the felt-board stories I recall from childhood Sunday School lessons, this one stands out the most.    Who hasn’t heard this tale dozens of times?

 The short version: A giant Philistine named Goliath and his back-up entourage of the entire Philistine army repeatedly mocked the people of God.   Goliath challenged the Israelites to a showdown and a little runt shepherd boy stepped forward to pick up the gauntlet.  Rather than brandish a sword to slay this giant, David selected a sling and a small smooth stone, lodging the rock directly in the forehead of the antagonist, mortally wounding him.  Instantly, David ran to stand atop the giant and employed a sword to lop off his head. 

Was that really necessary?  I mean, the adversary was already dead.  Did David need to further humiliate his opponent’s entire coalition by climbing on the fallen foe and slicing off his head?

 YES!  I think he did.  David’s swift action loudly proclaimed, “Let that be a lesson…” to the remaining enemy forces who immediately fled.

If we listened at all to any Easter sermon a few weeks ago, you & I know our ROCK, Jesus Christ, soundly defeated the enemy.  When Jesus rose from the grave, the lethal stone landed squarely in the face of our adversary.  Still, the enemy’s entourage remains in our day-to-day life threatening to wage war against us should we fail to pick up the Sword of the Spirit and finish off those threats.   

How often do we face battles in our lives…unemployment, marital discord, rebellious teens, health issues, workplace pressures, financial difficulties, loneliness, depression, a quick temper…as if we are helpless to fight?   David’s story offers a lesson to all warriors. 

 Little David’s example beckons modern-day citizens of Christ’s kingdom to run to a crushed combatant.   Engaging the power of our ROCK, Christ in us, we  not only put this enemy under our feet, nor even merely trounce the offender.  We sever his head!  Our place in Christ compels us to daily wield the Sword, the Word of God, as the weapon of our warfare possessing the power to decapitate the wiles of our enemy and send his army running in fear.

“The Battle is the Lord’s…”  {I Samuel 17:47}  True.  Yet truer still, the battle is ALREADY WON!  Calvary secured the victory.  You and I would do well to stop hanging our heads in defeat, to recognize our sure victory against those giants repeatedly mocking us, to begin to live accordingly by the power of the Sword as we issue our own proclamation to forces of evil… “let Calvary and the Resurrection be a lesson to you.”    

THE LORD IS MY ROCK, and my fortress, and my deliverer.” II Samuel 22:2.

“Bow down Thy thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be Thou my strong ROCK, for a house of defense to save me for Thou art my ROCK and my FORTRESS; therefore for Thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” Psalm 31:2,3).   

“He Only is my ROCK and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In GOD is my salvation and my glory: THE ROCK of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times, ye people, Pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”  Psalm 62:6-8

“…upon this ROCK I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Matthew 16:18

GOD ROCKS!

god-rocks

“Samuel took a large stone and set it up as a monument between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah and called the name of it Ebenezer—‘the stone of help’—for he said, ‘Up to this point the Lord has helped us!’ ” —1 Samuel 7:12 NEB

 

The Israelites, through the prayers of Samuel and by the power of Almighty God, had just experienced a great victory against the Philistines.  Samuel took a stone and raised it as a reminder to all who saw it that God is mighty to save and greatly to be praised.  What’s interesting to me is the precursor to the victory in battle was that the children of Israel had repented of their worship of other gods and had returned to worship alone the One True God with their whole heart and mind.  {I Samuel 7:2-4}

 

God desires our worship.  But He’s not interested in double mindedness.  He wants ALL our worship with all that is within us.  Even now He calls you & I to turn from our idols and to worship Him alone.  The same God who delivered the Hebrew children from emerging blood thirsty Philistines is able to rescue us…IF only we will turn from idols and commit our whole heart and mind to worshipping Him.

 

When is the last time you examined the other gods in your path that keep you from giving Him your all?  What idols stand between you and a heart of pure worship?  Is it material possessions?  Your vocation?  That next promotion?  Your 401K or other dwindling assets?  A relationship?  Or the longing for a relationship?  Your children?  Obsession over your image or your physical appearance?  Anything that we esteem more than our relationship with Christ quickly becomes an idol. 

 

In my time alone with Him today on the beach I asked the Lord again to show me the idols in my life that have taken His rightful place on the Throne of my heart.  In repenting & surrendering of my lesser gods, I was free to worship the Lord with a pure and holy passion.  In gratitude I raised my Ebenezer.   

 

I wasn’t trying to “outdo” Samuel with numerous “Ebenezers”.  I simply had much to be grateful for and hence, got a bit carried away.  But my ensuing art gallery on the beach afforded me several opportunities to tell others of the goodness of the Lord.  I was able to testify to numerous people today…“GOD ROCKS” !