Who Defies the Living God?

1 Samuel 17:19–27 (ESV)
19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall 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 defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”

In yesterday’s reading, we saw how King Saul and the people of Israel shrank at the presence of the mighty Goliath. They trembled in fear before him. Today, we read of a young David, one who was not even in the Israelite army, but was only visiting his brothers to take them supplies. David also heard Goliath’s threats and bold pronouncements, but David’s response was much different. He did not fear Goliath, but asked, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” In essence, who does this guy think he is? He is standing against the Lord, the Almighty! Does Goliath not know that he cannot win?

Saul and the Israelite fighting men had forgotten God and were terrified of fighting Goliath in their own strength. David knew God was on his side and was not afraid. Instead, he sought to take on the mighty warrior in the strength of the Lord. May we never forget that the Lord is with us. We do not fight our battles alone, but go in the strength of our God.


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