When the Philistine looked and saw David, he was contemptuous of him; for he was only a youth, and reddish, with a handsome appearance. So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild animals.”
It never fails to thrill me when a well known scripture comes alive with new insight, that has been the case in the last week reading in the book of 1 Samuel about David’s early life. I was purticularly struck by chapter 17 which quickly delivered the series that I begin today entitled “The Man of God.” As I wrote this I was thinking how this may encourage readers in their walk, but specifically men of God. In my last post (Divine Anointing) I layed the foundation regarding the man who is chosen by God, in this case David.
It was no ordinary shepherd lad who delivered food to the Israelite battle lines facing the Philistines, he had been chosen by God and anointed by Samuel the priest. He was the boy who would be king one day, and the Spirit of God was in him even now. David hears the fearsome challenges and oaths hurled by Goliath the Philistine across the battlefield against the cowering Israelite troops, David is filled with a spirit of righteous anger at words of the giant. (1 Samuel 17:26). With anger came righteous courage, David accepts the challenge.
As Goliath saw this young lad stepping forward, he could see that he was no man of war. Goliath’s pride in himself was pricked by this perceived insult, the “disdain” that Goliath showed was utter contempt for David. Goliath could have done with heeding the words of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before dstruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Men of God, as you read this you may be facing Goliaths in your walk with God, those who disdain your faith – stand firm! As David was mocked as insufficient, so may we be before the world. But let us remember the words of Paul in 1st Corinthians 1:27b: “…God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.”
Goliath was a hardened man of war, fully armoured and weaponised, a fearsome spectacle on the battlefield. But David in his shepherds garb with simple tools was well equipped, he had been in training for this very moment protecting his flock from wild beasts. He didn’t know it then, but he certainly knew as he faced Goliath that his particular skills were what were needed. Brethren we are no different in the enemy attacks on our stand for God, all that has gone before has been leading to this conflict – Almighty God has trained and equipped us! Our enemies may not see much as we stand before them, but He has clothed us in Holy armour.
Look at the boasts of Goliath in verse 44, he was promising to do awful things to God’s Chosen champion. I have lost count the many times I have threatened for Christ over the years, but in the end the words were just empty wind. I prevailed not because of anything I did, but because of Whom I stood beside. I like what Matthew Henry says about this in his commentary: “The security and presumption of fools detroy them. Nothing can excel the humility, faith, and piety which appear in David’s words.”
Dear reader, the world will always attack those who stand up for Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. Let us find encouragement from young David as he ran into battle with Goliath; we too can conquer our Goliaths equipped and empowered by Almighty God, regardless of what confronts us.