Friday, May 30, 2008

Godly Confidence - 1 Samuel 17:31-37

31When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32And David said to Saul, "Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." 33And Saul said to David, "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." 34But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God." 37And David said, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you!"

1 Samuel 17:31-37

David was the man. Every time that I read this chapter, chills flow down my spine as I read the words that come out of his mouth. His lines are better than Mel Gibson’s lines in Braveheart and better than Eric Bana’s lines in Troy. They are better than any movie line out there trying to prepare their troops for battle because his proclamation is not rooted in his own ability to fight. Even though he recounts the times when he struck down lions and bears and he uses a first person narrative to explain his actions, he gives context here in his last sentence, “The Lord who delivered me form the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear…” He knew the source of his strength and victory and he was confident in that.

God had raised him up to be a man’s man. But not the kind of man’s man that we think of today. He was the kind of man that was so confident that the Lord would rescue him that he was not afraid to take on anything or anyone.

He had grown up protecting the sheep of his father’s household from all manner of predators and now here he was read to take on yet another predator trying to take out the sheep of his Heavenly father. And God had prepared him for this day. He had a keen awareness of the Lord’s presence in battle.

He had become adept at using his sling. He had fought seemingly impossible battles against beasts that built up his confidence in the Lord’s ability to save and be victorious. And now he stood ready to fight again on the Lord’s behalf and he could not understand why everyone else was scared to go out and fight. After all, the Lord was behind them.

Sometimes we are faced with challenges that are seemingly insurmountable. And in those times we have a choice. Do we act and think like David who had seen God’s provision time and time again and so then took action with the confidence of the Lord as his source of strength. Or do we cower and wait for somebody else to step up to the plate.

There are things that we are all called to do. But if we lollygag and sit on our laurels instead of taking action because of our insecurity in the Lord, He will raise somebody else up in our place.

On the battlefield that day David saw something that had to be done. Not necessarily defeat the giant or drive out the Philistines, but bring glory to the name of God. Verses 46 and 47 tell us that David went out “…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with a sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s,…”

When wait to take action because of fear we are effectively saying that our God is not big enough to take on what ever is in front of us.