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Bible Pathway - April 6, 2012


Read 1 Samuel 17


David defeats Goliath; Jonathan's loyalty to David; Saul's plot against David.

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 (I Sam. 17:47).

It is no accident that the Lord permitted the Philistines to once again unite their forces to conquer His people. It is also no accident that the giant Goliath challenged the Israelite army to send him a man and settle the battle between the two armies.

King Saul could have been the first to challenge and defeat Goliath and join the Hebrew heroes who by faith subdued kingdoms . . . obtained promises (Heb. 11:33). Saul was an example of the lack of faith which existed throughout the nation.

It was also during this crisis we discover why God did not choose Eliab, David's oldest brother, to be anointed king. He had earlier said to Samuel: I have refused him (I Sam. 16:7). At this time of testing Eliab could see nothing but the giant backed by a huge army.

In contrast to both Saul and Eliab, young David considered the giant insignificant compared to the ability of the Living God to protect His people. David had braved dangers in caring for his father's sheep; therefore, he could say with confidence: 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 (17:37).

Saul seemed satisfied to sit on his throne, let David fight his battle, and offer his advice on how to win. Nothing seems more natural to some people than getting someone else to do what should be their responsibilities — of course, the way they think it should be done. As David faced Goliath, there was no hesitancy when he shouted: I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied (17:45).

David used only a sling and a stone to defeat Goliath. He learned through experience to trust in God. Each day's experiences are designed of God to prepare us for what lies ahead. Then comes the time when, by faith, we fulfull His purpose.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matt. 25:23).

Thought for Today:

Faith is developed one day at a time as we continue to rely on the Lord.

Christ Portrayed:

By Jonathan, who stripped himself of his royal robes and made a covenant, promising all that he had to David (I Sam. 18:3-4). Knowing the will of God, Jesus cast off His heavenly robes and took upon Him the form of a servant . . . and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8).

Word Studies:

17:6 greaves, leg armor; 17:18 take their pledge, bring back news of how they are doing; 17:20 trench, camp; 17:22 carriage, baggage, supplies; 17:31 rehearsed, reported; 17:39 assayed, tried, attempted; proved, tested, tried; 17:40 a scrip, his small pouch; 17:43 staves,  sticks; 17:53 spoiled, looted; 17:56 stripling, youth; 18:9 eyed, kept his eye upon David with suspicion, envy, and jealousy; 18:11 avoided, escaped; 18:27 tale, number.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy (Dr. John A. Hash's mother) • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Rep. Joseph Courtney (CT), Rep. Michele M. Bachman (MN), and Rep. Tim Walz (MN) • Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Religious freedom • 87% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 1.5% Muslim; 1% Jewish; 2.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Diligently seek the Lord in prayer and He will bless your efforts (Heb. 11:6).

Optional Reading: Acts 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20

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