Who is this Philistine?

David was a very young man. He had spent his life obeying his father, a farmer. He had been taught from babyhood, the ways of the G-d of his ancestors and had placed his faith with his heavenly Father. Out in the fields, he had plenty of time to meditate on heavenly things. He sang his poetry, he worshiped his Creator and learned to depend on Him. He fiercely protected his sheep. They were his sole responsibility. Should lions or bears or wolves come around (were there wolves in Israel?) He was ready to fight! This is who he was – this is what he knew. He surely had many occasions to test his methods.

He learned early on to quickly obey his parents and did as he was asked – even if it was hard or seemed impossible. Once he was called in from the fields, his beloved, quiet, serene and beautiful meadows, to go on a mission of mercy. His father asked him to run to the battlefield and take food to his army brothers. This was no easy task. It was a long ways away and the load was heavy. He obeyed without hesitation, even though he knew his brothers had no love for him. There seemed to be confusion and chaos going on when he arrived. Seems there was a giant of a man threatening the Israelis – he roared and gestured and mocked from the top of the hill across the Elah Valley. Mary & I have been there and here is a rock I picked up…

David was amazed. Perhaps he had never seen a man over 9 feet tall. One could not help but compare the two. Little David in his hillblly shepherd’s outfit and this mountain of a man in full armor and a cocky attitude. There was a lot at stake. King Saul must have been desperate as well as out of his mind to allow this snip of a red-headed fellow to represent the whole Israeli army. One against one took the whole battle. David, sure of his G-d, sure of his standing with that G-d, and sure of his abilities, made his move. He presented himself to the enemy and after the roaring laughter – picked his best rock. He had four more in his pouch – not for Goliath, but perhaps if he needed them for Goliath’s four brothers?

David took a last look at the gargantuan monster before him and thought to himself, “Who is this Philistine?” (I Samuel 17:26) He took a deep breath and slung his sling. The stone hurled right into the giants forehead, knocking him out. He grabbed Goliath’s own huge sword and cut off his head. What a trophy!

Was David afraid? You think? But fear is a sin because it is a command to “fear not”. Surely David had some trepidation. He certainly must have felt at least some tension, knowing what was at stake. But he stepped out in faith and DID IT! He had enough practice behind him. He had accomplished much in the name of the Lord. He was read up, prayed up and practiced up. Despite the extreme circumstances, he knew who his G-d was. He knew the Power behind the throne. He had experienced it first hand. He was not afraid. He saw/heard the challenge and took it. Who are you? Are you ready? Prepared? Prayed up? Who is your Goliath? Can you say, with David, in great confidence, “Who is this Philistine?” as you face all of life’s battles and know in your heart of hearts that YOU can claim victory? I dare you to find out!

Shalom, Sharaka 2/14/14

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