During a nightly run, this week, I was listening to Dr. David Jeremiah’s series, “Overcomer”. He was detailing the events surrounding young David’s decision to take on the giant, Goliath. If you read in 1 Samuel Ch17, verses 1-51, you will find that Goliath spent quite a bit of time intimidating, threatening the Israelites, and blaspheming their God…our God. David heard Goliath’s words day after day – the same words the other men of war (the men who were actually soldiers) heard day after day. The difference is that David knew that God WOULD give him the strength that he needed to stand-up to the giant. He didn’t just know it. He believed it and then acted upon it. You’d think the soldiers would be glad that someone else would be going out against their enemy – so they didn’t have to – but David’s own brother criticized him! Eliab questioned his own brother’s integrity and said, in front of the others, that David was “just a shepherd” and had only come down to hang out with the grown-ups to take a break from his sheep and show off (my paraphrase). Then, David responded with something (in verse 29) that is simply amazing – “What have I done? Is there not a cause?” David point blank called his brother Eliab out – “Eliab, you have heard Goliath longer than me. He is making fun of our God and our people. Why aren’t you even trying? What will it take for you to care? And you know what? Why are you trying to shame me and talk me out of doing what you know needs to be done?”
When I read that selection, I feel David’s frustration. I can think of a few times in my own life, when I have shared something God was leading me to do, and those around me responded a lot like Eliab – “Oh boy! Here we go again, James! Why can’t you just leave well enough alone?” “Are you sure that’s what you should be doing?” Most recently, it’s been “You’re probably going to blow out your knees running.” I do believe that hearing advice from those we trust – most importantly from those who have a track record of wisdom – is invaluable. We shouldn’t ignore genuine concerns from those who love us, simply because it is contrary to our agenda. However, sometimes people, even those with best intentions, will question your motives because they are, themselves, fearful and lack the guts to do what you have been called to do. That doesn’t make you a superhero. However, it does put you in a position to do what David did – focus on the cause God has called you to pursue, pray like you’ve never prayed before, face the roar, and by faith and in God’s strength slay the giant.
David’s cause for righteous anger was that God’s name was being mocked. It’s a bit refreshing that he wasn’t upset over detailing his position endlessly on social media…you know what I’m saying? What’s more, David stood firm in knowing that God had already won the confrontation between he and his enemy. Look at what He says in verses 45-47,
Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand’.
Friends, there is a cause. It goes far beyond social media, cable news, and the next pre-packaged crisis (thank God!). Rather than being right, let’s focus on doing what is right (Micah 6:8), so that who we are — in our thoughts, our words, and our actions — will reveal whose we are.
Have an AMAZING week!