One thing we do in our discipleship Bible study is visualize ourselves being right there, in the Bible story we are reading. And I now ask you to visualize yourself in the battle, “Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.” (1 Samuel 17:2-3, NIV)
The one who represents the Philistines is “A champion named Goliath…His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.” He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and all those who heard him were dismayed and terrified. (From Samuel 17:4-11, NIV)
In this situation, which team would you prefer to be on? If this is a question about a sport team or political party, you may have you answer immediately, whether it is based on your own opinion or the influence of the majority around you. But this is not about our opinion or betting on who the wining team might be. This is about our loyalty, our belief, and a choice between life and death. This is more than a decision we make for our own benefit, but about how we will honor the God Almighty.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26, NIV)
David, who was a shepherd boy during this battle between the Israelites and the Philistines, may not have had the word of Jesus like we have today, but he made his choice nonetheless. “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” (1 Samuel 17:32b, NIV) “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26b, NIV) Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (1 Samuel 40, NIV) And he 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. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head…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.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47, NIV)
Do we have the same faith, belief, and love for the Lord to see things and circumstances just as David did? To stand firm for the name of the Lord Jesus and our Father who is the Most High? To fight for His glory rather than seek to win our life?
My dear friends, being fruitful requires that we stand in the Living Water and connect with the Vine as His braches. And that requires that we stand in His truth, stand for His name, and that we love like Christ. David was called by God “a man after My own heart”, so what would you like God to call you?