Read I Samuel 17 -- 18
The Philistines were a continual threat to the Kingdom of Israel all the days of Saul (I Samuel 14:52). Early in Saul's reign, the giant champion-warrior Goliath had challenged the Israelite army to send a man to fight him and let the outcome of their fight decide who won the war. There is no indication that Saul was willing to accept his challenge.
For 40 days and nights, Saul and his army cowered while Goliath belittled them. But, when young David came into the camp, without hesitation, he confidently faced Goliath and said: I come to you in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of . . . Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand; and I will smite (slay) you . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel (17:45-46).
Following his spectacular victory over Goliath, David was welcomed into the palace of King Saul and was made his trusted armor bearer, captain of the guard, and son-in-law by marrying the king's daughter Michal (18:27). We are not told how many years passed from the time David was welcomed into the king's court until Saul was determined to destroy him. But, when Saul heard women singing David's praises, he became exceedingly jealous and eventually attempted to kill David by throwing a javelin at him as he was playing his harp (18:10-11).
David fled to his home and escaped with the help of his wife Michal, who let David down through a window. . . . So David fled (19:12,18). The man who had once enjoyed acceptance in the king's palace was now reduced to hiding in caves in the rugged hill country of southern Judea. He left behind his wife, his best friend Jonathan, his parents, and even his aged spiritual counselor Samuel. The difficulties, handicaps, and suffering in life that we face are permitted by the Lord to help us develop godly character and become the persons whom God can use to accomplish His purposes. As He did with David, God first assures us of His blessings and then we are put to the test to see if we will remain faithful and prove worthy of our high calling. Furthermore, we can be sure that no one or combination of circumstances can keep us from being exactly what the Lord wants us to be.
We each decide and are accountable as to what effect trials, suffering or handicaps will have on us. We can let them be used to develop our dependence on and faith in the Lord, or we can become bitter, resentful, and revengeful, blaming God and others for our troubles. The kind of person we are is not determined by our successes and popularity, but by how we react to the difficulties we must face. When confronted with our sins and failures, how do we respond? Do we choose to excuse ourselves and blame someone else, or do we sincerely pray for forgiveness and then surrender more fully to Christ. When we allow Him to work His will in our lives, we do not remain the same.
Continue in the faith . . . we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).
Christ Portrayed: By Jonathan (I Samuel 18:3-4; see Romans 5:8; Phil. 2:5-7), whose covenant love for David illustrates the covenant love the Lord has for us.
Word Studies: 17:6 target means javelin; 17:18 take their pledge means bring back news; 17:22 carriage means baggage; 17:39 assayed to go means was reluctant to go; 17:53 spoiled their tents means looted their camp; 18:9 eyed means viewed with suspicion and jealousy; 18:27 full tale means full number.
Government Official: Rep. Edward Schrock (VA) · BPM Staff: Steve Harle · Pray for Bible Pathway Prayer Partners · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by two of the Lord's Bible Missionaries · Country: Chile (15 million) on the southwestern coast of South America · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 63% Roman Catholic; 23% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks and praise to the Lord (Psalms 92:1).
Optional Reading: Acts 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33