“The Lord does not save by sword and spear.” – 1 Samuel 17:47
You remember Goliath.
He was that ginormous Philistine who challenged the Israelites to a one on one, winner take all duel to the death. No one accepts, even though Saul, the Israelite king, promised untold wealth, his daughter in marriage and a family-wide tax exemption (I’m not making this up).
A young shepherd boy named David approaches Saul and says “Put me in, coach.” When his qualifications are questioned, David presents a resume in lion and bear slaying. How hard could one oversized Philistine be? Saul is impressed and puts him in the ring.
Goliath, on the other hand, is insulted. As David steps forward, Goliath starts talking smack: “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks? This boy will soon be bird food.” David responds, “Oh the birds will feast alright, not only on your big, ugly head and carcass but also the bodies of your army.” Isn’t that just great dialogue?!
David goes on to give away his battle secret: “You come to me with a sword and spear. I come armed with faith so that you will know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear.”
Faith, not superior firepower, is what truly counts. Faith is the greatest weapon there is.
Would that our country remember that when faced with challenging international problems. Would that you and I remember that when faced with giant struggles and seemingly impossible situations.
God, when I am faced with giant problems, help me to remember that you do not call me to be practical, strong, resolute, calm, cool, calculating, patient or frantic. You do not even call me to be successful. You only call me to be faithful.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.