|Palermo Zone - February 2015|
As part of the training on faith, the Assistants used the example of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel chapter 17.
1 Samuel 17:2-11
And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.
3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
4 ¶ And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
As Saul and his army were wondering what to do, David, the younger brother of three of Saul's soldiers, went to the camp to deliver food to his brothers. When he learned of their plight, David said:
1 Samuel 17:26. . . who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
When Saul heard what David had said, he sent for the young boy.
1 Samuel 17:32And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
Saul must have been stunned that this young boy would volunteer to fight against Goliath when even his seasoned warriors were afraid. David insisted he was equal to the task.
1 Samuel 17:37David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
Saul attempted to provide protection for David by placing his own armor on him.
1 Samuel 17:39And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
David didn't need all the armour that encumbered him. All he needed was his testimony and faith that God would protect him. He did not fear.
1 Samuel 17:40And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
Goliath was not pleased when he found out he was going to fight against David because he was just a boy and not even a warrior.
1 Samuel 17:42-44And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
David didn't back down from his challenge because he had faith the Lord would protect him.
1 Samuel 17:45-47Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls 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 all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.
Armed only with his faith, a sling and five smooth pebbles, David was prepared to take on a giant.
1 Samuel 17:48-49And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
David didn't waste a minute trying to decide whether or not he was doing the right thing. When the time came to fight, he was prepared and immediately put his trust in the Lord. Because of his great faith, he was able to kill the giant with one tiny, smooth pebble.
Just as the Lord helped David slay Goliath, He will help us slay our individual Goliath's if we will place our faith in Him. Like David, who had practiced and perfected his use of a sling, when we are prepared to share the gospel and bring others unto Christ, the Lord will help us, too.
* * * * *