Eternal Father, may Your Word sink deep into my heart and soul today and continue making me into Christ’s image.
Read 1 Samuel 17:28-54
 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”  “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?”  He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.  What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.  David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”  Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”  But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,  I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.  Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.  The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”  Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.  David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.  Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.  Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.  He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.  He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”  David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”  As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.  So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.  David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.  Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron.  When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.  David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, and he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat does David celebrate about God’s nature here?
This passage reiterates some of the themes previously seen. Once again we can learn that what matters for God’s work is not age or appearance, but his presence: “The Lord … will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (37). Both Saul and Goliath see David as merely a boy, and yet he is the one who provides an example of courage, bravery and trust in God’s power.
This story outlines the fact that God doesn’t need human strength and weaponry to protect David. The Lord doesn’t need swords or spears to save his people. The Lord always wins his battles (47).
Like all the best stories of heroism, David puts his life on the line—in this case, to bring God the glory in battle. David actively trusts that God will grant victory and makes himself vulnerable for God’s power to be shown through him. Would you be willing to trust God with your life?
What can you put your faith into? What can you do in faith that will encourage others to follow your lead?
Lord Jesus, I want to practice my faith each day. Show me ways to lead others by my example, too.
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