Risk or Faith? David the Faith Taker

As a young person I hated art. As a Girl Scout, I hated arts and crafts. As a daughter, I hated learning anything that was artistic or creative. Why?

I am a perfectionist.

I’m not certain that I was born that way. I believe certain environmental elements made me that way, but regardless of the process, I have been a perfectionist for many, many years.

I don’t enjoy doing things that might not turn out exactly right. It isn’t surprising that as soon as art became an elective, I NEVER elected to take it.

However, the summer after my sophomore year in high school I went to Europe for twenty-one days on a student tour that our high school band director, John Howser, was chaperoning. Imagine my surprise when one of the things I was looking forward to the LEAST wound up inspiring me the MOST.

Michelangelo’s Statue of David was captivating. Never in my life had I seen a piece of art so moving. I stood in awe, frozen in space as I took it in.

People bustled and talked around me, but I couldn’t take my eyes, my mind, my thoughts off of what was in front of me.

As I studied the statue, I was very much surprised by David’s hands. They were huge. Another student nudged in beside me.

“Look at his hands. Weird. They’re too big for the rest of him.”

“Man hands.” I replied. “He was a boy with a man’s job. He did the work of man before his time. And he did grow into those hands later. God had great plans for David. It took big hands to kill a giant.”

The student standing beside me hadn’t expected me to repsond. Most definitely hadn’t expected me to discuss David or religion. But all of the sudden David and I connected on a very deep level. I understood.

Several other students pushed in and listened as I spoke. Some asked questions. Tears flowed freely as I told the story of a boy who stood before a giant with no fear, God, a sling, and five smooth stones.

Took a chewing from his eldest brother. Defended his ability to the king. Refused the king’s armor. Withstood a cursing from the giant. Then plainly told the giant, Goliath, what the Lord was about to do.

The David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, 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. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47

Put yourself in David’s shoes for just a minute. His brother doesn’t believe in him. The king sends him out into battle, tells him “the Lord be with you”, but tries to give him armor to protect him. Goliath is beyond offended by whom they have sent to fight him. In all reality, no one is rooting for David. Would you have the faith to declare something as specific as what David declares?

1. I will strike you.

2. I will take your head.

3. I will give your dead body to the animals.

4. All the earth will know there is a God in Israel.

5. This group of people will know that God doesn’t save with swords and spears. The battle is His.

Pretty strong words for such a small boy.

David had quite a load of responsibility to carry. His age, his size, his experience, none of it mattered. The battle was the Lord’s. All that was needed from David was faith.

When Goliath drew near to David, David didn’t stand his ground, he didn’t turn and hide, no, he ran, RAN forward to meet Goliath! How crazy is that?

David pulled one stone out of his bag, slung it at Goliath, struck him in the forehead, and Goliath crashed to the ground.

Explain that one.

Teenage boy vs. giant and his shield bearer. One against two. Who’s going to win this fight?

I started to say the one with God on his side, but the real word is the one on God’s side. The truth is God doesn’t choose sides. We’re either on His side or Satan’s side. Our choice. Not God’s.

Now, since David didn’t have a sword, he took the Philistine’s sword, killed Goliath, and then used the sword to cut off his head.

David’s claims are being taken care of. Apparently he wasn’t just making cocky teenaged statements.

If you read through 1 Samuel 17 you’ll see that David never takes credit for anything he’s about to do. He always gives credit to the Lord.

See, David recalled something before he volunteered to go into battle that many times we forget.

And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took almb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:33-37

Who delivered David in the past? God. Who has delivered us in the past?

David knew that God who had delivered him from predators in the past would do the same with this predator. Do we remember who has delivered us when we face a new, huge predator?

To us, Goliath looks like a huge risk. David didn’t see a risk, however. David just saw God.

Perhaps this is why David is referred to as a man after God’s heart. I’d like to be that kind of risk taker. Wouldn’t you?

photo credit: apbialekhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/apbialek/395754455/”>apbialek> via photopinhttp://photopin.com”>photopin> cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc>


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