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March 10, 2023 - 1 Samuel 16-17

David and Goliath. Everyone seems to know this story. It’s even a part of our larger cultural story telling. David’s and Goliath’s names are employed analogously for everything from football, when a huge underdog goes up against a mighty team, to the political realm, when an upstart upsets a long-serving senator or whatever. The problem with all that, of course, is that commentators on these sorts of cultural items never reflect on the real meaning of the story, i.e. that God gave the victory to David.

David asked: “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (17:26) Essentially, the Philistines and Goliath stood against God himself, and God would give the victory to his people. And so, David responded: “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” (17:37).

No armor. 5 small stones. A sling. That's all David had! Oh, but it was not . . . God was with him! David, again, this time to Goliath: “You come to me with a sword and 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, who you have defied. . . . the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand” (17:45,47).

Funny, we never hear the sports commentator or the political analysis quote David or mention these matters. It doesn’t matter, our God is still Lord over all.

The battle is the Lord’s!

Not ours in strength or skill,

but his alone in sov’reign grace,

to work his will.

Ours, counting not the cost,

unflinching, to obey;

and in his time his holy arm

shall win the day. -- Edith Margaret Clarkson (1960)

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