This week, Youth Sunday, we were blessed to hear from our own Sis Nekesha Johnson. She drew our attention to 1 Samuel 17:26-29. The scripture tells the story of David, when he was still a shepherd boy and he stood on the hillside and listened to the arrogant threats of the giant Goliath. According to the Bible, Goliath was 9 feet, 9 inches tall. His armor alone weighed 125 pounds. The iron point of his spear weighed 15 pounds and he had someone that walked before him, carrying a shield. As intimidating as Goliath must have been just to look at, imagine the deep, loud rumble of his voice as he taunted the Israelites to the point that they lost courage and were terrified.
The seasoned soldiers of Israel cowered, but a fierce determination sprang up in young David’s spirit. What was the difference between David and the Israelite army? The Israelite army only saw the power and strength of Goliath – David only saw the power and strength of his God. To David, God’s reputation was at stake and he was willing to stand up for God. He looked at the soldiers on either side of him and asked, “Is there not a cause?” In modern day vernacular he might have asked “Are you going to let Him talk about God like that?”
The truth is, all of us face a Goliath at some point in our lives – a giant sized problem that is overwhelming and beyond our capabilities to fight. In those times what do we do? Do we worry? Do we become angry and bitter? These attitudes demonstrate a lack of trust in God. When we take our eyes off God and begin to focus on the giant in our lives, we become terrified, just like the Israelite army. We begin to doubt if God will come through and defeat the giant for us. We begin to wonder if God is listening, or if He even cares.
I like something that David said in vs 26. He asked the question “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”. Great question David! If only we thought like this when we face our giant circumstances and squared up to our overwhelming problems. What if instead of descending into fear and worry, we rose in righteous indignation and asked, “Who is this problem, that it would try to dispute the power of the God I serve?”. God has proven Himself too many times for us to forget it. He has the power to dominate any giant that attempts to intimidate us.
All around us are opportunities to rise to the faith challenge. We cannot afford to sit back and passively allow the devil to run roughshod over our lives. We have a reason to fight, a call to react, and a cause to defend. We step over our fear because we are captured by a cause that demands a response. We meet challenges “in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (I Samuel 17:45). Whatever He calls you to, do not delay. Is there not a cause?
Read 1 Sam 17:20-30 and answer the following:
1. Why was David at the battle? 1 Sam 17:22-23
2. What was David’s question and why was it significant? 1 Sam 17:25
3. Why was David’s brother Eliab annoyed with David? 1 Sam 17: 28
4. What was David’s confused question to his brother and then to the other soldiers? 1 Sam:17: 19-30
1. Before going to the battle, David was stuck doing a job that didn’t take full advantage of his skills and talents. Have you ever been stuck in a place that felt ‘beneath you’? How did you handle that season?
2. David was training for the battle long before he even knew about it. His faithfulness in small things prepared him for the big things. What small thing is God calling you to be faithful in right now?
3. We don’t necessarily fight with swords and shields or even with slingshots today. How do you fight your battles?
This week’s assignment is to do the following:
1. Take stock of your reason to fight. When Nehemiah’s team got tired from their efforts to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and faced the threat of attack from their enemies, Nehemiah regrouped them by putting family members together. This would ensure that the people had a reason to fight. What is your reason to fight? write it down.
2. Thank God for unseen victories. In your prayer time this week, dedicate time to journal your thanks to God for victories that you have not yet experienced in the natural. Imagine if you were to push through your current season of discomfort, what could be waiting for you on the other side? Write these thoughts down and give God thanks for it. Do this each day this week.
Have a great week!