Sometimes it feels like sinking sand. You fight and struggle, but no matter what you do this world gets the best of you. I’ve been there and so have many others, but God is there for us. We are not alone in the struggle. You can stand firm on his promises. The key to victory is in his word. This blog post will continue to look at 1 Samuel 17, and explain how David found victory in an unbeatable battle.
Preparation wins battles & planning wins wars. Last blog post we touched on young David’s mindset compared to the entire army of Israel. While all of Israel cowered at the sound of Goliath’s voice, David was close to his God and spiritually ready. He was already thinking differently than the rest of Israel. The main point was to be spiritually ready. When the battle begins we should already be close with God. We should be consistently reading the Bible and praying to a God who wants to hear from you.
This is part 2 of 3 in “The Art Of War.” (For part 1 click here)
We left off with David arriving at the army’s encampment, and finding that no one would face Goliath. He questions the mens bravery asking, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Prompting the men of the army of Israel to step up and do something. But when you push a scared dog into a corner, they’re likely to bite. David’s brother Eliab does just that.
“Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”
We would think that David’s family would be excited to see him. He brings food and gifts, desires good news to bring home to their father, but Eliab (David’s oldest brother) is furious. He lashes out at David pointing out his insignificance. Being a shepherd back in the day was the lowest of low jobs. Eliab drops the lowest of low blows. He tells David to go back to his sheep, and infers his motives.
“And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.”
David stood his ground, despite his brothers refute against him. He stands alone in the midst of a mocking group of soldiers. He spins in circles looking for just one person to agree with him. But none do. Not one heartened soldier of Israel agrees that there is a cause worth fighting for. The soldiers cowering in fear, and eager for someone else to be chosen tell Saul that David is ready to fight Goliath.
“Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight the Philistine.”
David stands before the King of Israel and states, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” Little tween David just walks into an encampment of soldiers and says, “Don’t worry I got this.” We could assume this is teen pride and overconfidence, but really David has confidence that God will hold true to his promises. This is also the first time David specifically volunteered to fight Goliath. It’s one thing to say, “Someone should do something”, and it’s another thing to say “I’m going to do something.” So King Saul now responds to young David's bravery.
“And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul. “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and form the paw of the bear, He will deliver me form the hand of this Philistine,” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Only seeing the outside, Saul immediately looks at David’s age, size, and inexperience. He doubts David’s ability saying in his heart, “There is no way David can do this.” But David’s heart states, “There is no way God can lose.” God had prepared David for this very moment. David had battled before with lions and bears attempting to kill his beloved flock of sheep. He trusted God to protect him then, and will continue to trust God in this very moment.
“So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.”
Saul was still only seeing the physical. He thought, “If this boy is going to fight that man, he need the best armor possible.” He gives David his armor and sword, but the armor didn’t fit. It would be like putting a 2XL shirt on your 2 year old keiki and watching them trip over it with every step. David ditches the kings armor and sticks with what he knows. A wood stick, a leather strap, and a few rocks. He takes his crude weapons of warfare and “drew near to the Philistine.”
Not only did David trust God, but he was preemptively prepared. David could have simply talked the talk, but he walked the walk. He boldly took the tools he needed and showed up. When you are going through struggles, do you just show up each day and expect results or do you plan and prepare for battle.
A recovering alcoholic shouldn’t walk into a bar with friends thinking, “I’m just here to hang out.” If you struggle with lust, don’t listen to music that will stir up those thoughts in your mind. Set yourself up for success, and remove the things that will bring you down. Take the steps necessary to sway the battle in your favor. Remember preparation wins battles & planning wins wars!
This is part 2 of 3 in a series through 1 Samuel 17 titled “The Art Of War”. Part 3 coming soon!
If you missed part 1 find it here!
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