Tuesday, 15 April 2014

(106) April 16: 1 Samuel 17-18 & Luke 15:1-10

Ask God to open your mind, heart and will to understand, delight in and obey what you read.

To discover:­­
As you read note how David’s greatness is displayed.

To ponder:
With the Israelites and Philistines facing one-another across the Valley of Elah, the Philistine Goliath challenges the Israelites. His size (which has been known in the modern day), armour and weaponry stress how undefeatable he should be, especially when reading David comes as a boy, without armour and armed only with a sling! So the battle is to be decided by two champions. Goliath shouts out the terms. Israel’s champion will represent Israel as Adam did humanity and Christ does us. Defeat would mean slavery for all the people, and victory, their supremacy. What follows points to Christ’s deliverance of his people from sin, death and the devil.
The forty days Goliath offers his challenge is the time often equated with potential deliverance, but one can imagine how demoralising it was for Israel. David hears only because he is sent with provisions to his brothers in Saul’s army. Saul has promised wealth and a daughter in marriage to whoever kills the Philistine. But David acts out of concern for God’s glory: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God.” Eliab’s rebuke of his little brother’s enquiries about what is going on stresses David’s meek position. However, whereas Eliab claims David has a wicked “heart” and is only there to watch, we know he has a “heart” God esteems and is there for another reason.
It seems strange for Saul to send for a young lad asking these questions; but not if David is pretty much the only person in forty days who has. Moreover, as Saul was already aware of David, this would have intrigued him. David’s courage is undeniable: “Let no-one lose heart…your servant will go and fight.” We then learn the reason for the courage. Through faith David sees his deliverance from bears and lions when protecting his sheep as from “the LORD.” So he naturally assumes through that same faith that God could deliver him here too. Whereas Goliath despises David, cursing him by his gods, David is therefore unphased, responding that he comes “in the name of the LORD Almighty” who will hand Goliath over to him so David can cut off his head and everyone “know…that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s.” David then defeats Goliath with his sling and stones, cuts off his head, causing Israel to surge forward, striking down and plundering the Philistines.
This would all have been a huge encouragement to future generations to trust the LORD as they did battle. It displays the nature of the godly king as a man of faith, who shepherds God’s people, defeating their enemies out of care for them as David in caring for his sheep. With this shepherd-like courage Christ faced the cross, and ministers must tackle false teachers. And with it, any can boldly take on areas of service, confident that God can do “immeasurably more than we ask or imagine” (Eph 3v20).
The depth of David’s friendship that ensued with Jonathan is one of one spirit, loving as one loves self. And David remained with Saul. However, David was successful in all he did as the LORD was with him. When this gained him praise, Saul got increasingly jealous, first throwing his spear at David, and then offering his daughters in marriage on the condition that David fights the Philistines. By this means, Saul hoped David would be killed. Instead, Michal loved David too. So chapter 18 begins and ends with love. The sense is that even those closest to Saul are devoting themselves to God’s true king, as we should to Christ.

Praying it home:
Thank God for Christ’s victory over all our enemies that delivers us from their power. Pray that he would increase your love of Christ, that you would be one in spirit with him, loving him even more than you love yourself.

Thinking further:
None today.

If you receive this post by email, visit bible2014.blogspot.co.uk and make a comment.


Post a Comment