Lessons from David and Goliath

Recently I spoke to my church’s youth group from 1 Samuel 17 – the story of David and Goliath, and I found it really exciting how many parallels there are to Jesus, and some of the lessons we can draw out of that passage. I’ll start with those lessons and then look at Jesus and David.

The world loves the story of David and Goliath – most people think that it’s all about conquering you’re own giants, about being yourself in the face of fear and hardship, of overcoming hardship on your own strength.

They’re dead wrong. The whole point of the passage is that David trusts God and acts on that trust when no one else does. The whole point is that David can’t do it – but God can, and God will vindicate his name.

God makes Israel wait 40 days before he gets David to rescue them. God doesn’t promise us that he will rescue us from our struggles here and now, and he definitely doesn’t promise immediate rescue. In fact he tells us that everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12).

God doesn’t promise to save us from depression or financial difficulty or broken relationships. He doesn’t promise to heal us of cancer or other sickness.

But he does make big promises. He promises that he works everything for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), and that these hardships are for our growth and to purify us (1 Peter 1, James 1:2-4). And he promises that although he may not “rescue” us from them in this life, if we trust in him then we already are rescued from them, and will be free of them in heaven (Revelations 21).

Will you trust God with you’re giants? Will you wait on his timing to save – be that in this life or through death and into his arms?

 

Here are some of the cool parallels I was talking about before:

David obeys his father. He has been told that he will be king of Israel. He has every reason to be proud and selfish and not do the low jobs that his father makes him do. But instead he obeys selflessly and humbly.

Jesus obeys his Father. Jesus is God, he has every right not to come and give his life for us, the people who have rejected him. Yet he obeyed his father to the full – even to death on a cross. He gave up his glory and humbly gave his life for us to save us. Philippians 2.

David is a good shepherd. He looks after his Fathers sheep – he makes sure that when he goes away to obey his father more fully that he provides someone else to care for the sheep.

Jesus is THE good shepherd. He looks after his Father’s sheep – us. He is the good shepherd who lays his life down for the sheep. And when he did that in obedience to his father. and when he rose again and went to heaven, he sent someone else to look after the sheep – the Holy Spirit (John 14).

David was to be a king after God’s own heart. David trusts God and obeys God fully – and his willingness (in fact eagerness) to fight Goliath shows his faith in God. Yet David did sin and stuff it up.

Jesus is THE true king after God’s own heart. He did not sin.

David conquered Goliath and saved God’s people from slavery to the Philistines

Jesus conquered sin and death when he died for us and rose again, freeing us from slavery to sin.

But Jesus did more than David, as we’ve already seen. He didn’t just fight the enemy and win. He gave his life to win the victory for us, and rose again to prove it.

Will we trust Jesus? He is the true and better giant conquerer. He is the one who crushes the serpents head. He is the saviour – will you trust in him?

He is the only one who can save us from our biggest enemies – sin, satan and death. But he does if we repent and believe and follow him. Will you?

 

Note: Another common misconception about David and Goliath – people think Goliath was a giant in temrs of “Jack and the Beanstalk” Giant. No – he was probably about 3m tall. Only about a foot taller than the tallest man recorded in the 20th century. Not all that unfeasible.

The Gentiles

Here’s something that I don’t think we usually think about as Western Christians: We are the Gentiles.

We are the ones who never had a part in God’s promises to his people or his covenant. We are the ones who were historically always outside of God’s people. We, like the Jews do not deserve God’s salvation – but we, the Gentiles didn’t even have God’s direct promise of salvation.

And yet in his mercy and grace it was always God’s plan to save us. To forgive us for our sins if we put our trust in him just as he has forgiven all the Jews who put their trust in him. Even though we entirely had no part in it, God in his awesome love decided to save us also to bring glory to himself. He made us as much part of his people and his family as the Jews who turn to him!

We truly have no room for pride or to think we were worthy.

What a glorious God we have! He saves us though it is 100% entirely undeserved. He is truly worthy of Praise!

Isaiah 49:6 – ‘he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”‘

 

 

We’re the gentiles. The ones who rejected God, the ones he didnt choose first up, the ones without the heritage in Gods word. What grace!

I don’t understand – and it’s good!

11949856321026402567tasto_9_architetto_franc_01.svg.medI’m reading 1 Corinthians at the moment. And while I can understand the general gist and idea of each passage, there are so many smaller points that I just don’t understand.

But that got me thinking: I actually don’t know as much as I think i do about the bible. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know all the ins and outs. In fact, I probably don’t know much at all. And realising that was an extremely good wake up call.

I find it so easy to get complacent. To get lazy. To think I’m doing alright because I think I know a fair bit more than most others. And as a result to not try very hard because of it. The thoughts aren’t usually that blatant. They’re usually hidden under a guise of fake humility that can just slip past if I’m not careful to keep them in check.

Therefore, when I’m reminded that I actually don’t know a lot and that there are plenty of things I actually have no idea about, it’s a bit of a slap on the face. A much-needed wake up call that needs to be heeded.

God is infinitely more knowledgable, more powerful, more wise, more awesome, more holy, more just, more righteous, more loving and more perfect than me. I, like Job wasn’t there when he created the universe. I don’t know everything there is to know about the world. I don’t know much at all really. But I’m so inclined to be proud and to think that I actually know a lot. To be the first to spurt out answers when people ask questions. In reality I need to be humble, to realise that even if I can piece an answer together it doesn’t make me better than the other person – and it doesn’t automatically make me right either.

Aside from just humbling me a little, Not understanding is also good because it gives another opportunity to praise God. To realise that  he is far more glorious and knowledgable than I can fathom. It gives  a chance to prayerfully explore new areas (which takes time and effort and can be extremely frustrating – but also quite humbling, helpful and exciting).

I don’t know if you’ve ever had an experience like this – a moment of clarity where one of your obvious failings hits home. But they are good moments.

I don’t know everything. But God does. And that is good. I don’t understand. But God does. And he is good.

After writing this post I read this passage, and although the context is different, it does still ring true: 1 Corinthians 8:1b-3

 We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.