Learning from David and Juh-liath

March 27, 2012

in The Good Word,The Parenthood

One of the most delightful moments of the day these days is the moment when the Hubs, the Bear and I are piled into our bed at bedtime. The Tiger is already down for the night, and the Bear gets to choose two or three stories from his Children’s Bible for us to read. It’s such a peaceful and quiet time, and, being honest, I am usually thankful that it’s the Bear’s bedtime, and my own bedtime is not too far away.

Sometimes the Bear “reads” one of the stories himself, and when that’s the case you can count on him choosing the story of David and Juh-liath. He pretty much has it memorized, although it’s a slightly abbreviated version of the story. He emphasizes the things he finds most important like the fact that Juh-liath was nine feet tall, like Da-da, and that the stone landed in Juh-liath’s forehead before that Da-da-sized giant fell down.

Hearing this precious abbreviated version of the story has breathed new life into it for me. And even if it’s told with sentences that are no more than six words long on pages that are mostly full of pictures, you could still write a book about the beautiful life lessons to be gleaned from the story.

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“You’re only a boy…”

Take this moment for instance — the moment when David tells Saul he’s going to fight Goliath. The Bear always remembers this key phrase — Saul’s response to David’s willingness to take on a fight no one else in the army was willing to stand up to — “You’re only a boy! How can you fight Goliath?”

You might remember David’s brave and valiant response: “God will help me.”

And isn’t it amazing that a boy like David understood what no one else saw, even though Israel’s army had been hiding from the giant for days, and had plenty of time to think about it?

David understood that God just needed someone willing to fight — the battle was the Lord’s!

Have you ever thought that maybe we just need to be willing to stand up and face our giants and God can give us the victory?

“He tried them on, but they were too heavy.”

Picture a boy with a helmet covering his eyes, a sword and a shield weighing him down. Saul gave David his armor, helmet, and sword. David tried them on — but they were too heavy.

People will tell you to fight the way they think you should. Sometimes one of our biggest battles is learning to live out the Gospel in a world that would rather we focus on being comfortable and complacent. A world that would rather we spend money on ourselves, stay focused on being good consumers. And even the people who are a part of our army — even our brothers and sisters in the Lord — might (with good intentions) hasten us to take it easy, be safe, or provide an excuse for why we don’t need to step up and obey the calling of God on our hearts.

We cannot win our battles wearing other people’s armor. The Hubs would never have won a race in the pool if he tried to swim in someone else’s lane. Look at the boundary lines God has placed around you, fight the way you were made to fight, and watch how our redeeming God uses the things that look like limitations to bring Him more glory.

“So he picked the five stones from the water.”

Goliath had a sword. David had a slingshot. I’ve heard he picked up five stones because Goliath had four brothers. Out in the fields, tending the sheep, David didn’t learn much about wielding a sword — but he did know how to use a slingshot. And that was all God needed.

Remember when God dwindled Gideon’s army from thousands of men to just 300? Or when Moses was afraid to speak up because of a speech impediment? Isn’t it the way of the Lord — to use the weak things of the world to shame the strong? (1 Cor. 1:27} And isn’t it glorious?

“This battle is the Lord’s.”

Here we are — back where we started. With a young boy who believed what no one else would. God could’ve used the army — they could’ve defeated the giant together — but they were unwilling to come out from their tents and face him. But here comes this ruddy shepherd-boy, certain that the Philistines are no match for the God of Israel, certain that if he is only willing to stand up, the victory is secure.

What made David so certain of that victory? When all his older brothers backed down — it was as if he knew he was born to stand up. I think his declarations of faith throughout the story make it clear where the bravery came from. “God will help me.” “This battle is the Lord’s.”

“David trusted God.”

Although he might forget the couple of sentences that follow, the Bear remembers this one: David trusted God. The story ends:

David trusted God.
God helped David win.
All the people were glad.

And in the last illustration, the giant is lying on the ground and David is standing, arms stretched heavenward.

In our own lives, the enemy might send out his best troops to fight us. And the enemy might look bigger, stronger, faster (and even hairier) than you or me. But the truth is it doesn’t matter what the enemy looks like — we know that if God is for us, no one can stand against us! If God finds a heart willing to stand up for the things that matter to God, you can be sure the results will never be less than glorious.

Are you willing to face your giants and forget your limitations? {And do you believe in a limit-less God?}

xCC

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