David’s faith-filled victory over Goliath…and Jesus promises, ‘no-one will take away your joy’.

8 06 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY SIX : 1 Samuel 17 v. 38 – 18 v. 30; John 16 v. 5 – 17 v. 5; Psalm 68 v. 1 – 6


1 SAMUEL

David and Goliath – The image of Saul dressing David up in his armour, which is far too big, and not at all what David is used to wearing, is a reminder that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ in walking the life of faith. David’s call is different to Saul’s, and David will be most effective in battle for the Lord with the garments and the weapons of the shepherd boy – his staff, five smooth stones and a sling (in his shepherd’s bag). Armed like this, David approaches the Philistine.
Goliath is full of loathing for David, even insulted that Israel should send out a mere shepherd-boy to fight him
Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?
David’s response to Goliath is faith-filled
‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty…whom you have defiled. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head…and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel….for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.’
Goliath moves in for the attack, but David also runs to meet him – taking and slinging the first stone, David hits Goliath in the forehead, and Goliath falls facedown, dead. David continued, running over to Goliath, and using Goliath’s own sword, he cut off his head.
The Philistines are sent into a panic, and run. The Israelites surge forward and kill many of the fleeing Philistines, plundering their abandoned camp.
Saul is pretty much unaware who David is, and asks his commander whose David’s father / family are. His commander, also, doesn’t know. When David returns, with Goliath’s severed head in his hand, he is asked and tells them he is from Bethlehem, and is one of Jesse’s sons.

A mighty victory – no battle is too great when on the Lord’s side – David’s simple faith, and the realisation that those battles with wild animals whilst protecting the sheep were a preparation for this greater battle, help him to strike Goliath on the first attempt.
Whatever giants / Goliaths we may feel we have before us, God is faithful and will use all our previous experiences and abilities to find the way to conquer, making us stronger, in Him.

Saul’s Jealousy of David – David is initially greatly favoured in Saul’s household; Jonathan (the king’s son) and David forge a strong bond of friendship :
‘Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself’
Jonathan shares some of his special ‘king’s son’ garments and weapons with David, who is being treated like a son by Saul, like a brother by Jonathan.
David is faithful and obedient to the king, proving himself to be successful in all he puts his hand to, and he is elevated to high rank in Saul’s army. The popular song which the people sang as the army returned after the defeat of Goliath and the Philistines (accompanied by dancing, joy and tambourines and lutes) went :
‘Saul has slayed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’.
Oh dear, that made Saul very angry, and he develops a ‘jealous eye’ towards David. This is to become a major issues, and will be part of his great downfall. It’s interesting to see where this begins – Saul is jealous of the good standing David is nurturing amongst the people.
The very next day, during what should have been a perfectly peaceful time – Saul prophesying, David playing his harp – an evil spirit came upon Saul and he hurls his spear towards David, threatening to pin him to the wall. David eludes him twice.
‘Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left Saul’.
Saul sends David away to command an army of 1,000, and this army is very successful in its endeavours. David’s popularity is growing : ‘all Israel and Judah loved David because he led them in their campaigns.’
Saul tries to marry David off to his first daughter, Merab, but David declines the offer, ‘who am I that I should become the king’s son-in-law?‘ So, then Saul tries to send David out to his possible death at the hands of the Philistines, by offering him his second daughter, Michal, in return for….wait for it….200 Philistine foreskins !!! Of course, Saul’s hope is that David will lose his life in endeavouring to accomplish this task, which just seems like the challenge David will thrive on.
So, David goes out and he and his men slaughter 200 Philistines and returns to the king with 200 foreskins.
Saul’s little plan hadn’t worked, and worse still, Michal genuinely loved David.
Saul becomes even more fearful of David, and positions himself as ‘enemy to David’ for the rest of his days.
David continues to become more successful and more popular than Saul….

the saga continues…

JOHN
The Work of the Holy Spirit – Jesus continues to seek to reassure the disciples
‘It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.’
Jesus says the role of the Spirit will be to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement, to guide into all truth, speaking only what He hears from the Father, making known to the disciples all that Jesus Himself knows, for God’s glory.

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy – the disciples have lots of questions about what Jesus is meaning by ‘in a little while you will see me no more..’; how long is ‘a little while’ ?
He promises them that, although they will weep and grieve (while the world rejoices), ‘your grief will turn to joy’. He uses the analogy of a woman suffering great pain through childbirth, but that pain being replaced (and even forgotten in time) because of the joy of having received a child. Jesus is saying that there is a time of great pain and grieving coming,  ‘but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no-one will take away your joy’.

Now that’s a wonderful promise – a joy unlimited, inextinguishable, complete, when we see Jesus (again).

Again, Jesus points to a time when ‘the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete’.
 
Jesus’ language seems clearer, with less figures of speech, plainer, telling it as it is, and the disciples faith in Him has increased : ‘We can see that You know all things and that You do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that You came from God.’
‘Oh at last’, Jesus seems to say, ‘just in the nick of time!’ They will need all their reserves of faith in the time that fast approaches, when they will be scattered, away from each other for strength.
‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’

Jesus Prays for Himself – Jesus then looks heavenward and prays that God will glorify His Son in the coming moments. In His prayer, Jesus states that the Father has given Him authority to grant eternal life to those He has received.
‘This is eternal life : that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent’.
Eternal life begins with, and is utterly completed by, knowing God – Father, Son and Spirit.
All Jesus’ earthly life has been to promote God’s glory, obediently completing all the work the Father has given Him.
The time for ultimate glory (‘the glory I had with You before the world began’) is the purpose of all that will unfold in the next few chapters….

PSALM
It’s interesting reading of David’s success against Goliath and the Philistines, and then turn to one of David’s songs :
‘May God arise, may His enemies be scattered…
may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God..His name is the Lord
A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows…
setting the lonely in families, leading forth prisoners with singing…’

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