#633 (11/7/22) AN UNEXPECTED HERO
Updated: Jul 31
(During the summer, I will not be producing our usual daily devotionals. Each week, I will only produce one group study based on the Sunday message. Daily devotions will resume - God willing - on Monday 5th September)
As I get older, I can find myself become an increasingly “grumpy old man”; I getter better and better at moaning rather than taking action! I can become cynical and complaining at not seeing breakthrough in situations. When in a position where I need to make a stand or take a lead for what I believe is right I can become like ‘a rabbit in the headlights’ and almost paralysed in not knowing what to do. It is in these moments that we need the example and encouragement of people who are sacrificially ambitious for God and His kingdom; those who inspire faith and can provide new ideas and initiatives to get things done.
On Sunday, we looked at the story of David and Goliath from 1 Samuel 17, and how it took a young man with faith, passion and zeal for God to break his people out of deadlock and move forward. We saw how :
1. DAVID WAS AFFRONTED BY WHAT WAS HAPPENING
‘And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”’ (1 Samuel 17:26)
David was shocked that nothing had been done about this Philistine who mocked God. A move of God among young people requires that they feel offended for the glory of God.
2. DAVID FACED OPPOSITION
David faced opposition even from his own family:
‘Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”’ (1 Samuel 17:28-29)
His own brother thought he was just an idle observer and not worth considering. If anyone, and young people in particular, are going to walk with Christ and serve Him, they need to learn to withstand opposition.
3. DAVID WAS PERSISTENT
‘Now what have I done?’ said David. ‘Can’t I even speak?’ He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.’ (1 Samuel 17:29-30)
David didn't storm off in a huff but repeated what he had said to others until it came to the attention of Saul who would listen. Any work for God requires persistence through times of waiting or discouragement.
4. DAVID TRUSTED IN WHO GOD IS AND THE GIFTS AND EXPERIENCES GOD HAD GIVEN TO HIM
‘David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’ Saul replied, ‘You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.’ But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’ Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you.’ (1 Samuel 17:32-37)
Do you see that David had allowed God to teach him whilst in obscurity? David learned truths about God and he learned skills in the situations that God gave to him.
5. HE FACED PRESSURE TO CONFORM
Saul tried to fit David into his traditional way of doing things - even though there had been no break through for forty days.
‘Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armour on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’ So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.’ (1 Samuel 17:38-40)
6. SO DAVID IS VICTORIOUS AND THE DEADLOCK IS BROKEN
‘As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.’ (1 Samuel 17:48-50)
If we want to see a breakthrough in the things of God we need to see young people with a passion and zeal for God and his Kingdom and being prepared to sacrificially step up and serve Him. And we need experienced older people who are prepared to listen and release people into new ways of doing things.
Did God speak to you about anything from Sunday’s message and what do you plan to do about this?
How would you summarise the story of David’s victory from 1 Samuel 17 in your own words?
This story is really a foreshadowing of Jesus’ victory; how is the gospel in this story?
From this story, who would you most like to be like and what steps can you take toward this?
SIV - Our friends need us, like David, to be faithful, courageous and creative to help them. How does this story inspire you to reach out to your friends?
SIV - Do you have any non-believing friends that you would like to pray for?