1 Samuel 17:45–47 (NIV84)
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Michael Buffer is an announcer known for one phrase, “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.” Wow, are those words fitting as we peak into the Valley of Elah and watch David make his way to battle Goliath. The story is well known- Israel and Philistia are encamped on either side of the valley. Philistia’s giant champion, Goliath, taunts Israel for someone to come out and fight him. David hears the taunts and is disgusted that this heathen would dare defy Israel’s God. With Saul’s blessing, the shepherd boy, there only to bring his brothers some food and supplies, enters the ‘ring’ for a battle to the death in which all odds were stacked against him.
David, though, knew something that neither Goliath nor the Philistines did. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” Philistia’s champion didn’t stand a chance. God would defeat Goliath just like he had done for his people since the beginning of time. Philistia’s champion didn’t stand a chance because he had set himself up in opposition to God Almighty.
We sometimes forget that in the battles of life, don’t we?! We forget who fights on our side. Rather, we look at how we measure up and cower at the sight of God’s enemies. We determine there is no chance of withstanding their attacks. How short-sighted we so often are when temptations come alluring, or when push comes to shove, or when Satan rears his ugly head to give us grief.
Satan, like Goliath, is no match for the God who fights for us. While our battles do not take place against a real-life giant in a valley, the same God who brought David victory that day is the One who fights for us and assures us that victory is ours. And this God knows something about victory. His sent his own Son to battle Satan on our behalf. The victory won on Calvary’s cross and triumph declared by an empty tomb is a battle won, once and for all. This same God arms and equips us to fight day after day. More than that, he announces to all our enemies the same battle cry as did an Israelite shepherd boy, “ All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” What a victory we see in 1 Samuel 17. What a victory we have in Christ alone.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as the world, death, and the devil stand over me as Goliath did over David, I cry to you for mercy. There are so many things that I am not equipped to handle on my own. And yet, in your mercy, you sent your son, Jesus, descended from David, who has won us victory by your mighty name and with your endless power. Strengthen me by the power of your Word, dear God, to boldly face the challenges of this life, confident that you are always with me. Build in me the faith to know that you will keep me close to you and be joyful that my home is with you for eternity in heaven. Amen.