Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Behind The Stone

"...the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."
I Samuel 17:47 (KJV)

"Everyone else thought Goliath was too big to kill:
David thought he was too big to miss."

I love that saying.

I've heard the Bible story about David and Goliath 
since I was a little girl going to Sunday School.
But, I still love reading it and hearing it....all these years later.
It never loses its power to inspire me.

It is true.
It really happened.
Every word in the Bible is absolute truth,
 without error, without discrepancy.

I am SO glad God led holy men of old to write down and preserve the events that took place...
all those years ago.
They were written for our learning, to increase our faith, to give us hope.
That when we fight our own battles, God is always sovereign.
He is always bigger than any giant we will ever face.

I was praying this morning, and as I poured out my heart,
I felt the precious Holy Spirit come to me.
His presence was so sweet...and so real.

I was praying about a situation that is puzzling to me.
It is huge...monumental....way bigger than me or anything I can muster to work out.
I am in a quandary...about what to do next about it.
How to handle it...how to pursue it....
in the way God wants me to.
The enemy was talking to me.
Telling me that no matter what I do, I will lose this battle.
That the giant I am dealing with is several times bigger than me, 
and that evil will ultimately win.
Who am I to fight it?
Words from a phone conversation I had yesterday concerning the situation
came back to my mind.
The voice was pleasant, but discouraging, telling me that the parties involved will not be honest.
That wrong will be covered up and not admitted to.
I felt so defeated when I hung up the phone.
Satan was bringing all of this back to my mind this morning...
as I prayed.

Some One else was talking, too....as I prayed.
I made the choice to listen to Him and His still, small voice.

He reminded me that Goliath was brought down.
Not with a mighty army.
Not with weapons of war.
Not with an atomic bomb being dropped on his head.

But, with one small, smooth stone.

Who would have ever thought??

For 40 days, twice a day,
this mammoth, eleven and a half foot Philistine giant....
had tormented, taunted, and terrified God's people.
In I Samuel 17:4, the Bible refers to Goliath
as a champion.
He was powerful,
intimidating,
undefeated,
impossible to beat.
Until now.

He came out every morning and every evening, and he challenged God's chosen ones.
"I defy the armies of Israel", he bullied,
"give me a man, that we may fight together."

He wanted to fight.
He planned to win.
The odds were absolutely stacked in his favor.
Losing didn't seem to be a possibility.

The Israelite mighty men of valor....
strong, fighting men of war,
"fled from him, and were sore afraid".

This man instilled fear in the roughest and toughest of them.

They thought he was too big to kill.

Along came a young man by the name of David.
Verse 23 tells us that David heard Goliath's words.
Instead of running away, fleeing for his life, like the other men...
who were much older, more experienced, and wiser than he....
he thought Goliath was too big to miss.
He said these words,
"Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"

How dare he defy the power of His God?

David had courage.
He was confident.
Not within himself.
But within a Force that the others seemed to overlook.


His words got the attention....
of the most powerful man in the land of Israel.
King Saul was impressed, and he sent for David.

David's first words to Saul?
"Let no man's heart fail because of him;
thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

Saul's response?

Absurd!
You??
You aren't able to do this, David.
"You are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."

No way, David.
You aren't up to the task.
And while I appreciate your nobility, your courage, and your enthusiasm,
I simply cannot send you to certain death.
My conscience won't allow it.

But, King!
Listen to me!
While keeping the sheep for my father,
both a lion and a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock.
I went after them, delivered the lamb, and slew them both.
I caught the lion by the beard...with my bare hands!
"The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear,
He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine."

It is no different, oh King!
God is still God.
He is still the same.
Lion, bear, giant....they're all the same to Him.

David made a good argument.
He was so passionate...so zealous...so full of certainty and faith.
Saul listened.
He pondered.
He consented.

He tried arming David with the finest armor.
David was rugged.
He wasn't used to all of that.
He was used to roughing it.
He was used to relying on one thing.....God.

He took his staff and chose five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag.
He picked up his sling, and he drew close to Goliath.
When Goliath saw him, he couldn't believe his eyes.
"Am I a dog, that thou camest to me with staves?"
Are you kidding?
You sent this...this boy...to fight me???
Is this a joke??
"Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beast of the field" he bellowed.

David didn't flinch.

He saw Goliath's size.
He knew his own size.
He identified the odds.
None of it was a consideration.
He knew God....on a personal, intimate, proven-and-tested level.
The odds didn't matter.
No problem.

"Thou camest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield:
but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defied.
This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee....
that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel...
for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands."

He reached into his bag,
pulled out one smooth stone,
put it in his sling,
and hurled it.
It landed right where he wanted it to.
The stone met its target.
Goliath went down.
David won the battle.
Because of the force behind the stone.

David knew that the power of Almighty God...
trumped every earthly force.

He had no fear.
He had given the battle to the One Who has never lost.
He did it God's way.
It worked.

The Lord spoke to me this morning,
"Leave this battle in My hands.
It is My battle....not yours.
Give me time to work.
Let Me do this My way.
I will take care of you, child.
I'll do what is best for you.
It is big.
It is not bigger than Me.
Remember, I was the force behind the stone."

The stone wasn't a "magic" stone.
It had no power within itself.
But when it was taken into the hands of a man who had placed his faith in Almighty God,
it was a lethal weapon....
to his opponent.

Just as Goliath was much bigger than David,
this situation is much bigger than me.
Just as God was much bigger than Goliath,
He is much bigger than this situation.
Just as David obeyed God and trusted His ability to take Goliath down,
I will trust and obey God....
to work this out for me.

In faith, I will pick up the stone,
and I will trust the force behind it.

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