May 2009 - Vol. 30
The Battle is the Lord's, by Paul Jordan, continued



And David heard him
Scene change. We’re back in the sheep fields with the teenage shepherd, young David. David’s three eldest brothers were at the battle. His father asks David to take the boys some food. “Take these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers.”

David sets off and comes “to the encampment, as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry.” David went and “greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, behold, the champion …Goliath… came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before.” Once again the giant begins his provoking, defying taunt. 

Then four simple words: “And David heard him.”

David didn’t just hear him like you hear background music in a store. He heard him. He understood. He perceived that there was something significant going on here. It’s the kind of hearing that normally happens in slow motion in movies. Young David’s head slowly turning. His eyes meeting the giant’s.

Who does he think he is?
“And David said to the men who stood by him, What shall be done? …Who is this Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?’"

You can hear the indignation rightly rising in David. What are we going to do about this? Who does he think he is? He is defying our God! We have to act, brothers. Why is nobody doing anything about this?!

“Eli'ab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, ‘Why have you come down?’” Eliab was David’s oldest brother. No.1 meets No. 8.

I actually grew up with six younger brothers so I’m no stranger to the clashes. But older brothers, like Eliab and I, can too easily douse the youthful fire. David’s response to his ‘big brother’ is so human it’s almost comical.

“’What have I done now?’ …And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way.” David won’t stop. Eventually even King Saul hears about David…. “and he sent for him.” 

Give me a place in the battle
After a heated discussion in the royal war room, David says: “Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” In other words: “with all respect King Saul, send me to fight Goliath!”

Saul retorts, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” You can’t do it David. Why? Well Saul gives a couple of reasons. Firstly, you’re too young. And secondly, he’s a pro. This guy Goliath has made a career from killing people and you don’t even know what a Gillette Mach III is!

Now Saul’s reasoning isn’t all that bad but he’s missing two crucial truths. Firstly, David has experience that Saul doesn’t know about – Saul underestimates David. But more significantly Saul misses the spiritual truth. 

David answers, “Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

David believes that because Goliath has defied God, Goliath simply has no chance. The battle is the Lord’s. It’s not blind faith or youthful rashness, it’s truth-based courage.

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