By Larry E Campbell
BIBLE MEDITATION: “Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine." 1 Samuel 17:40 (NKJV)
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: Have you ever faced a giant? This text focuses on the shepherd boy David as he rose to fight the giant named Goliath, using nothing but a slingshot and five smooth stones. Israel under King Saul constantly faced the challenge to their presence by Philistines, who were natives of Canaan. The text reveals a forty day standoff between the armies of the two countries. The Philistines offered to settle the difference by a duel of the champions. In a duel of the champions, each country would send its greatest fighter in a one on one contest, fighting for victory for his country. This method would save needless bloodshed.
A challenge had been issued to Israel by the Philistine champion, Goliath, to send their best man to fight him in a duel to the death. The Israelites however, could not control their fears. They shook in their sandals and wondered who would be the one that would fight Goliath. King Saul, himself a great warrior, would not meet Goliath. His sons were great warriors but they would not fight either. They were all afraid of the size of Goliath. Their fears got the best of them.
However David, a little shepherd boy, took up the challenge. He refused to wear the king’s armor or to use swords and shields. He chose only to carry his shepherd’s bag and his sling shot. Though he went forth there was certainly concern in his heart because of nature of his foe. That concern was reasonable because he faced a giant, fabled to be 13 feet tall. There was fear in his heart. He faced an opponent who wore a coat of armor that weighed 194 pounds. David was concerned but not intimidated. David secured five smooth stones from a brook, and armed his slingshot, with which he killed the mighty Goliath with a single stone.
ACTION POINT: My brothers and sisters we must remember that God is bigger than any giant we may face. David did not hesitate to use what was available to him because he had faith in the miraculous intervention of God. He picked up five stones from the brook, but he carried with him, outside of the sight of any man, five other stones that were more powerful than the stones from the brook. In his heart he carried the stone of courage, faith, hope, discipline and preparation. These five gave something that was bigger than Goliath himself; it gave him confidence. David was confident because he knew the source of his victory. He knew where his blessings came from.
Today, we must remember where our blessings come from. Before we burden ourselves with unnecessary worry about the giants that we face, we should remember that we serve an awesome God who reigns and can help us defeat any foe. Believers should not worry today, because, like David, we remember what He did yesterday. Somebody remembers that when they were: WEAK He provided them strength DOWN He picked them up! DEFEATED He gave them the victory DISCOURAGED He restored their hope! LONELY, He gave them comfort TROUBLED He gave them peace of mind Somebody remembers how He came to a little town called Bethlehem That He died on an old rugged cross! Somebody remembers that Early Sunday morning, He arose from the grave! He’s still blessing us today, just like He did yesterday! As Christians, we rejoice in the knowledge that although we may face giants in our lives, God empowers us to overcome each and every one. Every day, we face the fearsome challenges of life with little more than a stone of hope, but God gives us faith for the fight.
In His Love & Service, Pastor Larry E. Campbell, M.A., MDiv. St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA
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