Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 17
“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.” (1 Samuel 17:37)
The story of David and Goliath is one of our most loved Sunday school stories. We all know the gist of it — a shepherd boy with a sling defeats a warrior giant, a victory against all odds. But is David’s victory pure luck or just his extraordinary skill?
It was none of these. For David, the war was as much spiritual as it was physical. The main problem was that uncircumcised people were mocking God and His people. Because David knew God, He could not let God’s name be mocked. He knew that God would have Goliath dead. David knew God’s wrath and holiness. And so, at this momentous occasion, David stood up to a task everyone else deemed impossible and radical — a ‘1v1’ with the Philistinian giant.
David’s bravery was not in his fighting ability but in His trust that God would make Himself known and prove Himself to be the God of the universe. Before Goliath, David said, “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. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth my know that there is a God in Israel, 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” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
How did David develop such trust and assurance in God? It is by God’s discipline and lessons of faith in the mundane everyday things of life. God trained David to radically trust in Him when lions and bears attacked his flock out in the fields. Although there was no big crowd watching, God trained David, the lowly shepherd, to ‘prove’ that God was with Him by asking Him to wholly rely on God in the frightening moments of attacks from wild beasts.
Because David obeyed in these small circumstances when God gave David a larger context, all David did was practice the exact obedience only in a different setting. Are we brave like David to radically trust in God in the little things? For example, are we willing to entrust our time into God’s hands, prioritising church and ministry and our school work and household chores all at the same time when humanly speaking, our time is already scarce? Are we brave to stand up for the truth when our friends make crude jokes or encourage sinful actions? Are we brave to let go of our bitterness, lust, and inward desires and strive for purity and holiness?
Obedience in these little radical things will teach us to trust God and ‘prove’ His living sustenance in our own lives. Only if we learn to obey here will we be able to obey God and witness that He is the real living God amongst the thousands. May God help us.
Lord, teach us to walk with You in our everyday lives. Teach us to put radical trust in You and shape us to know You, the living God. Grant us these experiences with You. As You shaped David to be Your servant, shape us also. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.