Friday, May 17, 2013

Facing giant odds with strength and confidence

I've been doing some thinking about the "stuff" going on around me....not only in my life but in the lives of my friends and family. Let's just face it, the issues we face from day to day can be down-right tough and can leave us overwhelmed by what seem to be "impossible odds." Wouldn't you agree? 

Pondering "impossible odds" I thought the time David stood up to Goliath. If ever there was a story about strength and courage while standing before "impossible odds" it's this one. David's encounter with Goliath is found in 1 Samuel 17. 

The Philistine army had come out prepared to do battle against Saul and the Israelites. The Philistines set up camp on one hill; the army of Israel on the other. For forty days Goliath, a 9 foot tall Philistine warrior taunted Saul and his men.

 "“Why have you taken positions for battle? I am a Philistine, and you are Saul’s servants! Choose a man and send him to fight me. If he can fight and kill me, we will be your servants. But if I can kill him, you will be our servants.” Then he said, “Today I stand and dare the army of Israel! Send one of your men to fight me!”  (1 Samuel 17: 8 - 10)

Whoa! The gauntlet was thrown. Saul and his men were afraid. In these days, armies would often avoid the high cost of battle by sending their strongest warrior to fight the strongest warrior of the other army. Saul knew if Goliath was "calling someone out" he was the tallest of the Israeli army.  He would have to be the one to face Goliath. I think I'd be sufficiently "afraid" if a 9 foot tall man dared me to a fight. Wouldn't you?

What was Saul to do?

Enter David. At the request of his father, David went to where his brothers were camped out with the Israeli army to give them food. It just so happened, he arrived at the exact time Goliath came out to taunt the Israelites once again. David heard Goliath's dare and then saw the men of Israel flee in fear. What would you do in this same situation?  Look at Goliath and run? Or would you see the situation from a different perspective?

David saw the situation completely different from everyone else. He saw a man defying the living God. Knowing this man was not a man who feared the Lord, David said with boldness and confidence "I will go and fight this Philistine!" (1 Samuel 17:32)

“Huh?” Can you just imagine the silence among the men of Israel? “You? But you’re just a boy. This guy is going to rip you to shreds.”

David knew God would protect him in the midst of the battle. After all, God had spared him from the paws of the bears and lions that tried to steal his sheep. He saw Goliath the same way and knew God would protect him.

David ignored the criticism of the crowd and stepped out knowing it wasn’t him doing the fighting…it was the almighty God of Israel. Sling in one hand stone in another, David quickly loaded the stone and chucked it at Goliath. Ok, I have to admit that this is the place in the scene where I would typically throw my hands up over my eyes and not watch what was going to happen next for fear the “good guy” was going to get squashed like a bug. I guess it’s just the girl in me. 

The stone landed in the middle of Goliath’s forehead. God used one confident heart and one smooth stone to knock the giant off of his feet and send the Philistine army packing. 

Isn’t it amazing how God can use the youngest, weakest, and/or smallest to accomplish His purposes? Even when the odds look impossible, God is at work to show us anything is possible (Luke 1:37) when we trust and choose to allow Him to fight for us.

What “impossible” odds are you facing in your life?

·         Job loss
·         Cheating spouse
·         Financial issues
·         Behavioral issues with your children
·         Poor choices
·         Sexual Sin/Pornography/Lust
·         Addiction
·         Depression
·         Divorce
·         Death of a loved one
·         Incurable disease

Whatever it is, our God is stronger, bigger, and higher than any “giant” we will ever face. My I encourage you today to surround yourself with people who will pray with you, provide Godly wisdom, support you, encourage  you, show you the love of Christ and the truth and promises of God’s word.

Remember, you are not facing "impossible odds" by yourself....GOD...the same God who shaped the earth, hung the stars, led Israel through the desert, and formed you in your mother's with you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NCV) Be strong and brave. Don't be afraid of "the giants in your life" [paraphrase mine] because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you.

No comments:

Post a Comment