Who do you depend on in the battle?

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July 17, 2022

This week we read 1 Samuel 11-20. We read that Saul was made king and was king for 42 years. He did not follow God’s commands and lost the Spirit of the LORD that was upon him, and lost his linage of kingship through his children. We also read that David was anointed to be the future king.

Our main focus this week will be in chapters 15 and 16. I heard a sermon by Tim Keller and it inspired me to write this week’s blog.

I want to look at the main characters involved in the story and then ask the question, “Who are you like currently in the story, and who do you want to be like in the future?”

The main characters in the story are King Saul, David, and Goliath. Let’s review the story and look at each character individually.

After Saul was named the king, he was told by the LORD via the prophet Samuel to “attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Samuel 15:3).

Saul attacked everyone and everything except “Agag (king of the Amalekites) and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs – everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:9).

Because King Saul did not follow the commands of the LORD, the LORD through Samuel said that he would no longer be king. Samuel said, “You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel! As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. Samuel said to him, The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors – to one better than you. He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind” (1 Samuel 15:26-29).

After this, the LORD had Samuel anoint David (a young shepherd) as king. Once he anointed David, “the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power” (1 Samuel 16:13). Even though David had been anointed, he did not become king right away. Remember, Saul was king for 42 years.

Some time after David was anointed, the Philistines and the Israelites gathered for war. The Philistines were on a hill on one side of a valley, and the Israelites were on the hill of the other side. There was a champion soldier from the Philistine’s side named Goliath, and he was “over 9 feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; (125 pounds), on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weight six hundred shekels (15 pounds)” (1 Samuel 16:4-7) Goliath said, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us” (1 Samuel 16:8-10). “On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified” (1 Samuel 16:11). Goliath did this for in the morning and evening for 40 days (1 Samuel 16:16).

Three of David’s brothers were at the site ready for war. David was sent there by his father to give them food. When David heard Goliath’s words, he said to King 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 on 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 wll deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 16:32-37).

Saul let David go. He tried to have him wear his suit of armor, but David could not wear the items because he was not use to them. So, “David 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” (1 Samuel 39-40).

After the Philistine saw that David was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, he despised him. Goliath then 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!” (1 Samuel 16:44).

David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head…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’.” (1 Samuel 16:45-47).

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” (1 Samuel 16:50).

We see hear that David did not back down. He ran toward the Philistine, and killed him. The Israelites then went after the Philistines, and won the battle.

Let’s look at the different people in the story.

  1. Saul: He feared Goliath. He was the king who was supposed to lead his people into battle. Saul looked at the Philistine, saw a giant that was too big for him to fight and win, and became fearful. He saw the giant through man’s eyes, and not through God’s eyes.
  2. Goliath: He was a seasoned warrior who was very large and good at what he did. He wore heavy gear to protect him from anything coming at him. He depended on himself because he had all that was needed to win the battle within himself; size, strength, experience, and protective gear.
  3. David: He was small in size and inexperienced on the battlefield. He had faith that God would give him what was needed to win. He used what skill he had to beat Goliath, even though it was different than what was expected.

Who are you most like in the story when difficulties arise?

  1. Are you like Saul, becoming anxious and fearful because the battle seems too large for you to handle so you do nothing? Or you allow someone else to fight the battle for you?
  2. Are you like Goliath and go into battle, but lean on your own strength to fight the battle? You feel you have what it takes, and don’t need the help of others to win.
  3. Are you like David, and are not really equipped alone to fight the battle, but know that God has your back? You know that because God is really the one fighting the battle, he will use whatever skill you have to win. You rely on God.

I have been all three of these people at different times in my life. I want to be like David more often, however. In order to be more like David, I need to remember God is for me, and Jesus is always there with me. Just because I am a Christian does not change the fact that battles will come my way. I know that I will never be alone to fight them. 

Because Jesus has come, if you are a Christian, you have Jesus on your side, and the Holy Spirit living within. He is there to help fight our battles, just like he was there for David. We just need to ask His help and trust that He is always there for us. Hebrews 13:5 says, God has said, “ Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Next week we will finish reading 1 Samuel by reading Chapters 21-31. Please let me know if you have any prayer requests.

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