Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Battle Cry or Quiet Obedience

The giant Goliath taunted the Israelite army for 40 days.

David reached the camp when the army of God was going out to rank-up against Philistine enemies. Israel's soldiers went to the battlefield "shouting the war cry" (1 Samuel 17:20). Young David ran to the battle lines to greet his brothers. He heard the latest war tales, and when Goliath rumbled forth and bellowed his challenge, the Israelite soldiers "all ran from him in great fear" (24).

With his shepherd's staff, slingshot and five smooth stones, David approached the belligerent champion of the Philistines. Compared to armored Philistines who had blacksmiths, David looked vulnerable. Out of all of Israel's soldiers, only Saul and Jonathan had swords.

The winning tools were not in David's hands. The winning force was in his heart. His speech to the giant was not a war cry. He didn't run with blind rage at the tree trunk of a man. He gave a speech in God's name. "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

David continues describing how the giant was about to lose his head in battle, and concludes with a sweeping news release. "The whole world will know that there is a God in Israel . . . that it is not by sword or spear the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's"(45-47).

Israel shouted war cries, but their retreat from the enemy didn't match their shouts. A quiet trusting lad, his chest clad only in shepherd's clothing led an army by example. Eventually, the army with only two swords, a faith-filled David and God on their side prevailed against their enemies.

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