Engaging an Enemy

Observations from 1 Samuel 17:

It seems that there are seasons in our lives when maybe we’re a little more gutsy than we otherwise would be. There are seasons where we take on some larger enemies, either in own lives or in our communities, like David did with Goliath. We can expect several responses:

1. Brothers accusing us of wrong doing. (“I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” v. 28)

2. Leadership or people in positions of authority say, “You can’t do that!” (v. 33) These folks are often – if not carefully Spirit-led – very good at pointing out our weaknesses and the difficulty of the circumstances.

3. Others trying to put their own revelation/tools/limits on us (v. 38: “So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail.”) There is room to find symbolism in these components, but the point is unchanged: they want to make us like them before they decide we’re ready to “be released.”

4. The enemy also will speak to us:

a. Some enemies will disdain us (v. 42) (Hebrew: “to despise, regard with contempt;”)

“Who do you think you are? What makes you think you can take on this kind of thing. You’re nothing but a ‘wimpy, wimpy, chicken, chicken!’

b. Some enemies will curse us by their own gods (v. 43) (Hebrew: “to make despicable; to curse,” but in a verb form that indicates intensity and repeated action.)

Goliath cursed him vehemently and repeatedly! In the current vernacular, “He ripped him a new one!”

c. Some enemies will make threats. (v. 43: “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”)

In contrast to the enemy’s words, David took action:

A. Before the challenge:

1. David carried (received, walked in) the anointing of God (1 Samuel 16:13).

2. David was a practicing worshipper (1 Samuel 16:23 & most of the Psalms).

3. David had a practice of serving others (Saul, see above; Dad’s sheep, 17:15; brothers in the war, 17:20).

B. During the challenge:

4. David hung around the warriors (17:22), and became aware of the reality and nature of the war by first-hand experience(v. 23).

5. David asks questions (v 26, 30). I think he's essentially asking, “What’s it take to fight this guy?”

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