So…. yesterday morning as I was driving to school I was hit with a thought that hasn’t left my brain yet so I took to writing it… You know those Aha! moments you have now and then when you teach a Bible story to kids and suddenly re-discover yet another truth in the story that you never noticed before. Well, that was me. Except I wasn’t teaching the story to kids at this time. I was simply on my way to school and praying about some difficult circumstances and things that are on my heart right now.
In 1 Samuel 17, we see the account of how David went to the Philistine camp simply to carry food to his brothers. He was a shepherd. At least that’s what everyone thought. David had an identity that had not yet been discovered by many around him. You see just prior to this David was privately anointed to be the new king of Israel, yet he continued caring for the sheep. He even killed a lion and a bear to protect his flock. No big deal right? Just the life of a shepherd? Then he was ushered to the palace, but not to be honored as a king. No, instead David played his harp for the king! Soon he would face the ultimate battle. The battle that would define David’s character and reveal his identity. This battle would also be a test.
David was doing a simple every day task. Certainly not a task that a king would be doing! As he approaches he sees a problem. The problem has a name– Goliath! The problem is intimidating and breathing huge threats making even the most experienced men tremble. David begins to see that his time has arrived. David knows the answer. It was time for David’s identity to be revealed.
Then David took the first step. He did what I like calling “breaking the sound barrier”. David spoke. He was not about to stand around and allow a giant to defy the Living God. When David “broke the sound barrier” he faced what many of us will face– cold faced accusation and resentment. This time from his own older brother, Eliab. Eliab did not see David’s identity, he even tried to place David back with the sheep, but that did not stop David. He kept right on asking and speaking and breaking through with his words until the king heard and asked to see David. Even King Saul tried to stop David by trying to remind him that he was only a boy. Once more David rebutted the words against him by declaring the faithfulness of God in helping him conquer a lion and a bear.
Finally Saul consented, and here is where something interesting happens. Saul orders an armor for David to wear! Not just any armor. This was the king’s armor. How fitting right? But no, this armor was too heavy for David. This is the question that hit me yesterday morning as I was trying to pray and reason through some difficult circumstances. “Why did David not wear armor?” And that was when I saw the spiritual similarities. We are in a spiritual battle. We are constantly making it about the physical. When we fight a physical battle we will try to equip ourselves with the best armor possible. But it’s the wrong kind of armor. We need God’s armor to protect us. The physical armor is too heavy; it trips us. We can’t run our race efficiently because we are always tripping over our own feet. The spiritual armor allows us to be active in the kingdom we have been called to. Our spiritual weapons just like the stone and the sling will fell the biggest giant.
Why did David choose five stones? It only took one! I don’t know for sure, but I like to think that David was preparing to stay at his task until it was accomplished, and that God always equips us with more than we need to fell our giants. If David had taken the armor that Saul provided him, it would likely not have ended well for the Israelite army. This way there was no doubt in David’s mind WHO had won the battle!
What we see manifesting in the physical is directly related to what is happening spiritually. In order to be successful in felling the giants we need the correct armor. (Ephesians 6) Way too often I find myself fighting against symptoms instead of felling the giant causing the symptoms.
While there are many more applications that could be drawn from that account, I think I will conclude there.
Blessings as you stand tall wearing your physical armor and remembering your identity! Don’t be afraid to break the sound barrier! It is the first step into victory!