IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
NOT WITH SWORD AND SPEAR!
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.
“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of Jehovah of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”
I can imagine how the armies of Israel felt when they were fighting the Philistines and Goliath of Gath stepped to the front of the line. It wasn’t enough that they had felt suffocated by the Philistines for decades or that they felt insanely outnumbered. When Goliath stepped out, they knew they were finished. He was over nine feet tall and he was a hulk of a man. He wore a bronze helmet and was covered by a coat of mail that weighed 125 lbs alone. He had bronze armor on his legs, a javelin, a sword, and a shield-bearer to go out before him. He carried a spear with an iron head that weighed 15lbs.
But David looked at him with confidence. “You come with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of Armies, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have insulted. The Lord will give me victory over you and I’ll cut off your head, then I’ll feed all your corpses to the animals so that all the earth may know there is a God in Israel and that all this assembly may know that Yahweh saves not with sword and spear. The battle is the Lord’s.”
And with that they ran at each other, David slung a stone, it sunk into Goliath’s head, and he fell down dead on the spot. He won with a sling and a stone. Then he cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead.
Anyone with eyes and a brain knew there was no way David was going to win this fight with a sling and a stone. And yet, by trusting in the Lord, David put the whole army to flight. Impossible battles are no new thing, and the impossibility of God’s Kingdom winning out against the domain of darkness feels very real today.
David may seem like a scrawny teenager, but his love for his father’s sheep and his Father’s people and his faith in God made him into a man’s man. Possibly my all-time favorite text in 1 Samuel is David’s rationalization to Saul for why he can fight the Philistine. “Saul, you don’t understand, when a lion or bear takes one of my father’s sheep, it’s go time. I chase them down, deliver the sheep, and if it turns against me, I grab its beard and kill it with my bare hands. This Philistine has come against the armies of God, so it’s go time.” As I read that I think, “We need a king like that.” We need a king who will leave the safety of the flock and risk his own life to rescue God’s people. We don’t need a hireling who runs when the enemy comes. We need a king who will not rest until he has established justice in the earth. We need a shepherd-king who will lay down his life for his Father’s sheep.
The reality is that snatching the lamb from the wolf, executing justice, slaying the evildoer-it’s not something you do from a high tower in heaven. You put your own life at risk.
Thank God for David, but thank God more for the one he points to-Jesus Christ. When the hour of darkness came he did not say, “Father, save me from this hour,” but instead, “For this purpose I have come.” When the hour of darkness came, he brought judgment upon the god, the uncircumcised giant of this world by being lifted up on the cross. It was only through his own death that he destroyed the one who had power over death.
They have hate, but we have Jesus’ love.
They have sin, but we have grace through Jesus.
They have rulers and authorities, but we have the king of kings.
They have deception, but we have truth.
They have guns, but we have the empty tomb.
They have numbers, but we represent the living God.
Let us represent him honorably.
Let us not cower back in fear, let us use our gifts and opportunities boldly for his glory, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self- control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
“They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14 ESV)
Part of trusting God’s power in the present is remembering God’s faithfulness in the past. When the Israelites were getting ready to enter the Promised Land, what did Moses tell them? He told them to remember Egypt. We read in Deuteronomy 7: “You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?’ 18 But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:17-18) Psalm 105:5 says: “Remember the wonders [God] has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.”
Trusting God’s power means you don’t worry about your own weakness.
The battle is over before it barely begins. This is a knockout punch in the first round, on the very first punch! David triumphs over Goliath without a sword in his hand. Trusting God’s power and using God’s weapons, David triumphs over the Philistine with just a sling and a stone.
So, use God’s weapons. Don’t use the weapons of the world. Put on the full armor of God. Remember the battle is the Lord’s.
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