God turns “what if” into “so what”: the Art of Battling Giants, part 2

Joshua 1 9

So there they were, Saul Israelites on one side of the Valley of Elah and the Philistines on the other. Goliath, the 9 foot tall giant beckoning from the Philistine camp, challenging the Israelites to  a one one one fight to end the conflict, and the Israelites had no one to send to accept that challenge. Who can stand?

Along came David, a young shepherd boy who was sent by his father to deliver food to his brothers, soldiers in the Israelite camp.

He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.  Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.  David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were.  As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.  Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear. (1 Samuel 20-24)

Goliath surely made the Israelites feel small as he towered over them, taunting them, challenging them to a fight that they were not prepared for and did not believe they would win.

When uncertainties make you feel small, remember that God is more than just a friendly ally. He is a trusted warrior who will go out ahead and battle your giants. As you grow in your faith and in grace, he will conquer your insecurities about your looks and abilities as you grow to realize that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). He will conquer your lack of confidence in conversation by giving you the proper words to say through his Holy Spirit. He will fill you with security by giving you his righteousness. Then, when you’ve walked through the challenge, you’ll know it was God who won the war, and you can give him all the glory. (NIV Women’s Study Bible)

Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” (1 Samuel 17:25)

Who will stand? The king offered a pretty enticing award; riches, prestige, a beautiful wife, and no obligation to pay taxes. It’s almost as if you can hear the carnival music, “step right up and  slay this giant and claim your prize”. It was a top row prize too! Remember the top row of the carnival booths, where all the full size stuffed animals were? Remember walking around the circus or carnival and seeing someone carrying a 6 foot tall giraffe and wondering what feat they had accomplished to win such a trophy?

Tomorrow we’ll see who steps up- who will take a stand.

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