Friday, November 6, 2015

I Ain’t Afeared a Nothin’

I Ain’t Afeared a Nothin’

Goliath had laid out his challenge to the armies of Israel. He’d stepped forward and taunted the army of God, making light of the fact that no one among the Israelites had the courage to step forward and face him. You’ve heard the story. It is even used as a metaphor for how the “little guy” or the “underdog” is able to take down the giant. Though this scene has lived through the ages and is common in every household, what’s really behind the story?

This scrawny, smart-mouthed kid who just came in off the ranch to bring his brothers some food and to find out what’s going on for the old man has no experience at making war. He hasn’t gone through any formal training. He doesn’t even have any armor. This boy, of whom God boasts, is a man after His own heart is completely ill equipped and unprepared to do battle with anyone, let alone Goliath. David, however, has something much more important.

David had Godly Courage.

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 from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” – 1 Samuel 17:34-37

David was incensed that anyone would challenge the army of God in that way. He saw the challenge as being against God Himself and he had no intention of letting Goliath get away with that. Notice, however, that he didn’t say, “I’ll go out there and do my best and maybe I’ll get in a lucky shot.” He was absolutely confident that God had his back.

Remember that God had already ordered Samuel to secretly anoint David as the next King of Israel back in 1 Samuel 16 when God had had it with Saul. “Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, ‘Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!’ Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” 1 Samuel 16:12 & 13.

David had Godly Confidence.

When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon you, you ought not to have fear of anything. David had no idea that God had sent him to the Valley of Elah for a special purpose that day. He was just doing as his father, Jesse, had asked him to do and was minding his own business, but his hackles stood up whenever he heard Goliath defying God. Folks, I get like this when I hear people, organizations, government leaders and enemies defying God too. Some of you do as well. But before we step into battle, we have to know where our true strength is coming from. Watch what Saul and his servants tried to do to prepare David for battle.

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. – 1 Samuel 17:38 & 39

What men think is appropriate for taking on a great battle is often times an encumbrance to serving God’s purpose. Saul was a big dude. He wasn’t Goliath size, but he certainly dwarfed David, so putting his armor on David really had the effect of just weighing him down and making him awkward. He probably even looked silly when he tried to walk in it. David had bourn their fussing over him with patience, but when it came right down to it, he knew that he couldn’t wear that armor.

At this point, most of us would have just gone home. We would have shrugged and said, “Well, I tried. I was ready to do it, but since I couldn’t wear the armor and couldn’t be prepared properly, then I guess God closed that door. Maybe He was just testing me to see if I would do it. But it’s obvious that I can’t, so that’s that.”

David had Godly Commitment.

David took his staff and his sling and stopped at the brook to pick out five smooth stones. Why select five stones? The number of stones, as far as I know, wasn’t significant other than it wasn’t one stone. By picking up five stones, David was committing himself to a battle. He didn’t have the mind-set that he might only get one shot and he had no idea how the battle was going to play out, but he was ready for a drawn-out affair. He got his five stones and headed out to face Goliath.

When Goliath saw David he was insulted. The boy was hardly worthy of doing battle with someone as great as he was. He said, in paraphrase, “You are coming to me with a stick like I’m a dog? Fine, bring it on, I’ll feed your carcass to the buzzards and the coyotes.” David’s response tells us that David’s commitment was a Godly one.

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, 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 and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-47.

You know how the story plays out. This is the coming out of Israel’s second greatest king. He had his ups and downs, however, David was God’s chosen one and it was from his lineage that He sent His greatest king. But David wasn’t boasting in his own skill with a slingshot, I don’t think anyone can boast in their skill with a sling shot. In my experience, one shot out of five, had David had to use all five stones, would have been a pretty good fete.

David’s boast was in the Lord.

I have purposely laid out this series of blog posts beginning with the power and preeminence of Jesus Christ, because I want everyone who reads these words to understand that my own confidence and my own boasting is not in myself, but in Jesus Christ. I have little more than an inaccurate slingshot. I have no credentials with which to impress and I have no particularly profound wisdom. I’m nothing more than a man who grew up on a ranch out in the mountains of Colorado. However, I, like David “ain’t afeared of nothin’,” because my courage, confidence and commitment aren’t to the things of the world, but come from the Spirit of the Living God, even in the Lamb of God who was slain.

Those who know Christ and have His Holy Spirit living in them have that same power and more if they will call upon it. As days of great testing and trouble come upon Christians; are already upon many, remember in whose army we really fight. Put your confidence in the Lord. Make your commitment to the Lord. Be found courageous in the Lord when your day of battle approaches.

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