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June 21, 2012

“…If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

Approximately 400 years after the nation of Israel had returned to Palestine, the entire army under King Saul cowered in fear on the field before Goliath of Gath, the Philistine champion. Vicious and terrible, Goliath stood roughly 9 feet tall, armored head to foot in bronze, shouting a challenge to the men of Israel: “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” (I Samuel 17:10) The terms of the challenge: the defeated would be subjected to a life of servitude…a life the Israelites, slaves for centuries in Egypt, knew all too well. And yet, the Lord never intended for His people to fall before the Philistines, though not a man among them had faith that their God would deliver them; “all the men of Israel, when they saw the man(Goliath), fled from him and were dreadfully afraid,” (I Samuel 17:24)

All that is, save one.

A young shepherd boy by the name of David, son of Jesse, had come to the camp that day to bring dried grain and bread to his three older brothers, who fought with King Saul. Hearing the words of the giant Goliath, David wondered why this ungodly man was allowed to defy the Lord’s people, and volunteered to meet him in combat. When the King expressed his doubt, David simply replied, “the Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine,” (I Samuel 17:37). And with that simple faith, David went out to meet his enemy and was victorious, slaying the giant with nothing more than a sling and a smooth stone.

Many of us are dealing with major problems just now, and sometimes these issues seem so large we feel like children, so intimidated by them that we lose hope of ever being free; we feel like a young, small David towered over by a giant, terrible Goliath. Like Goliath, these problems stand on the field before us, shouting challenges as we cower in fear before them. What we need to remember, however, is that as the Lord sent David to deliver Israel that day, so He sent Christ to Deliver us: from the largest problem to the smallest annoyance. Like David with his sling and stone, our weapons may seem simple, yet they are more effective than the strongest armor: prayer, study of the Word, and fellowship. With these tools, and God on our side, we’ll bring Goliath down every time.

Because today I claim that our God is bigger than any problem, any crisis, and any affliction. No darkness and no evil can stand before the word of our Lord: we are unbeaten, and we are unbeatable. If you belong to Christ today, then you are not chained to your mistakes, bound to your failures, or enslaved by any problem in this life, for you have been set free, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed! If you are lost today, then find Christ at the altar of God and find that freedom, and join the winning side, for Victory belongs to us! For, “if God be for us, who can be against us?”

And so today, let us all give thanks “to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 15:57). Amen, and amen.


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