NO RETREATING

| 22 May 2013 |

NO RETREATING

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: 1 Samuel 17: 1-31

*Goliath Challenges the Israelites*

*17 *The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped
between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. *2 *Saul countered
by gathering his Israelite troops near the valley of Elah. *3 *So the
Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with
the valley between them.

*4 *Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the
Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine
feet*[**a*

*]* tall! *5 *He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail
weighed 125 pounds.*[**b*

*]* *6 *He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin
on his shoulder. *7 *The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as
a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15
pounds.*[**c*

*]* His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.

*8 *Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why
are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine
champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to
come down here and fight me! *9 *If he kills me, then we will be your
slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! *10 *I defy the
armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” *11 *When
Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply
shaken.

*Jesse Sends David to Saul’s Camp*

*12 *Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from
Bethlehem in the land of Judah. Jesse was an old man at that time, and
he had eight sons. *13 *Jesse’s three oldest sons—Eliab, Abinadab,
and Shimea*[**d*

*]*—had already joined Saul’s army to fight the Philistines.*14
*David was the youngest son. David’s three oldest brothers stayed
with Saul’s army, *15 *but David went back and forth so he could
help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.

*16 *For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine
champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.

*17 *One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket*[**e*

*]* of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them
quickly to your brothers. *18 *And give these ten cuts of cheese to
their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back
a report on how they are doing.*[**f*

*]*” *19 *David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army
at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.

*20 *So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early
the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived
at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield
with shouts and battle cries. *21 *Soon the Israelite and Philistine
forces stood facing each other, army against army. *22 *David left his
things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to
greet his brothers. *23 *As he was talking with them, Goliath, the
Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks.
Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel.

*24 *As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in
fright. *25 *“Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes
out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to
anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a
wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying
taxes!”

*26 *David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get
for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is
this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of
the living God?”

*27 *And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that
is the reward for killing him.”

*28 *But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to
the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he
demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking
care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the
battle!”

*29 *“What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a
question!” *30 *He walked over to some others and asked them the
same thing and received the same answer. *31 *Then David’s question
was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him.

_______________________________________

For a whole month, one man (yes, a big man, but a man nonetheless) has
an entire army in fear. The logic of this astounds me. Yet, it’s not
all that different from the way we do experience life today.

We have been promised the Holy Spirit who does life with us. He
guides, protects, teaches, encourages … the list continues. Yet,
when faced with just one obstacle we often retreat in fear.

We have also been promised that Greater is the one in us, than the one
in the world (1 John 4:4). Yet even with this promise, we are still
intimidated by those who oppose us in both the natural and spiritual
worlds.

God has not called us to retreat. He has called us to fight a battle
daily, and has promised us that we have an entire powerhouse – the
hosts of heaven – backing us.

A CALL TO ACTION

Stop it! Stop retreating at the first sign up opposition. That is not
God’s best for you. God’s best for you is to claim the territory
that has been promised to you. And He has promised to help you in all
things when you honour Him.

A PRAYER TO PRAY

Father forgive me for ignoring your promises to give me victory in
life. Forgive me for running away from opposition when I know you have
already promised me success. Help me to face my obstacles in life head
on, knowing that you are behind me empowering me. Amen.

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