The Battle Is the Lord’s

1 Samuel 17:38–47 (ESV) – 38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.

41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

When Goliath approached David, he was amused. How could this young and tiny man think he could stand before such a great and powerful warrior? “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” Goliath asked.

David’s response is the key to understanding the whole point of this biblical episode. He tells Goliath, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts.” David was not standing before the great Goliath in his own strength. If he were, he would have been no match for the giant. However, in the strength of God, he knew he was prepared and had no reason to fear. This battle was the Lord’s and David was the instrument that God was using to show his glory to the world.

Believers in every age must remember that we too are involved in a battle. It is a battle not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil (cf. Ephesians 6:12). We would stand no chance if it were not for the truth that this battle is not ours, but the Lord’s. We stand not in our own power, but in the power of God through Jesus Christ. We can stand with confidence knowing that God will be glorified and victorious in the end. He has already revealed to us the end of the story.

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