Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Facing a Giant? You Need CONFIDENCE in God

David had heard Goliath and he was ready to act. His question shows it in 1 Samuel 17:26, “What will 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 taunt the armies of the living God?” The answer to the question concerning the reward for whatever man of Israel would fight and defeat Goliath was enormous. He would receive riches! He would receive the king’s daughter in marriage! And he and his father’s household would receive a lifetime exemption from all taxes! I’m not sure how excited I would have been about marrying the king’s daughter, but a lifetime of tax exemption may have been just the motivation I needed to take on goliath.

Either way, word was out that there was one person in Israel at least verbalizing a willingness to take on the giant. And from this we learn the third lesson we need if we are going to face the giants in our life. Not only do we need COMMUNICATION with God; not only do we need COMMITMENT to God; We also need CONFIDENCE in God. And David had just that.

But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David, he was furious. He scolded David in blistering fashion. What was Eliab’s problem? Well, for one thing, his little brother was showing him up – Eliab should have been the one with enough gumption to fight Goliath. But I am also sure that Eliab was remembering that day a while back when the prophet Samuel showed up at their father’s house to anoint the next King of Israel. As the oldest son, Eliab was sure that it would be him. But instead, the prophet anointed the baby of the family – David.

There is an important lesson to be learned here. Whenever your confidence in God results in your willingness to take some risks and step out in faith and attempt great things for God, there will always be those around you who will become jealous, who will criticize you and who will judge your motives. And here is the sad and most painful part – they are usually those who are closest to you – even family members. I once heard Bishop TD Jakes say (I am paraphrasing), “There is always a Judas nearby you and he is usually close enough to kiss you.”

Word quickly reached King Saul that after 40 days of hearing the Giant’s taunting each morning and each evening, there was someone ready to do something about it. David was rushed to the King’s tent but even he reacted in anything but encouragement. He told David that he couldn’t fight Goliath because he was just a boy. But his brother’s criticism nor his king’s negativity could stifle David’s confidence. He told Saul of the day a bear came to attack his father’s sheep and God allowed him to kill the bear. He told the king of the day a lion came to attack his father’s sheep and again God allowed him to defeat the lion. And then he proclaimed,

“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Facing the giants in your life requires confidence in God.

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