God Does Not Always Solve Our Problems in the Ways We Expect Him To
The Story of David and Goliath
Prayer: Dear God, I cannot express how grateful I am to have your Holy Spirit here with me today. God, please use me, a sinful, crooked stick, to point towards the narrow and straight way. God give me your wisdom and truth to teach. Help me to recognize what you are doing in my life and praise You for it. Please give me the patience to wait on you and your timing. Jesus, I welcome you into this cabin devo, this moment, this day, and into my life. Thank you that you have sent your Holy Spirit to be with me, always helping me.
Devotion: Tapawingo! I am overjoyed at the opportunity to write to y’all about what the Lord has been teaching me. I know that everyone has probably been through a whirlwind as of late, but I pray that through all of this, you have been able to see the hand of God, His providence, His directing, and His teaching. I wanted to take tonight’s devo to focus on a familiar passage and bring new light to it. Tonight, we are going to be in 1 Samuel chapter 17, studying David and Goliath. I know this is a long chapter, and I encourage you to read all of it before we dive into it. Tonight, we are going to focus on the verses 24-27, which reads,
“24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, ‘Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father's house free in Israel.’ 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, ‘What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?’ 27 And the people answered him in the same way, ‘So shall it be done to the man who kills him.’”
So, we are starting off with a big problem, dilemma, challenge. I do not know what y’all’s story is right now, but if I had to guess, most of us have our own “Goliath” that we are battling. Some of y’all might be on a mountain top in your walk with Christ, which is a wonderful place to walk and be. However, I will focus on the "Goliath" right now because we know that God will send them to us to strengthen our faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7 states, “6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The Bible tells us that we will encounter hardships in this life here on earth.
Having heard this passage multiple times growing up, I was not surprised to discover David comes into play and defeats Goliath relying on the Lord’s strength using a slingshot. Verses 38-50 wrap up the battle for us,
“38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was, but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance.43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 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. 46 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, 47 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.”
48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.”
Okay! Just to unpack that passage a little. I want to focus on the idea that David did not have a sword. These verses begin with David trying on Saul’s armor but then decided to go without. And it concludes with the statement that David did not carry a sword. In my mind, this was one of the ways that God used David to display His glory and strength. Could David still defeat Goliath with a sword? Probably… but God’s power was far greater displayed by David’s slingshot and five smooth stones.
If I were to put myself in David’s shoes, I could not even dream up a plan like this on my own. I would be praying to the Lord for strength- for a solution to my problem- but I would have never guessed how God chose to show up in this situation. I wanted to highlight this because it is a recurring theme in the Bible that points directly to Christ’s coming. When Jesus, the Messiah, came people expected a king, Matthew 21:1-11 (haha, our focus this summer!). And that was not what God gave them. His plan was even better because He gave them a sacrifice that would save them from their sin- not what they had anticipated, but far better than their intention could have even been.
Food for thought:
1. What are some Goliaths in your life that you are currently facing? Or remember a Goliath from your past, and what was it?
2. How did God help you defeat your Goliath? Was it what you were expecting?
3. Can you imagine a time when you tried to tackle problems with your strength in your own way? How did it turn out?
4. Are you willing to surrender your Goliath to God? Do you trust that His solution to the problem will be better than yours?
I am asking us to pray fervently to the Lord about our struggles and take a step back. Please, Lord Jesus, open our minds to the ways that you are moving and working around us and help us to recognize Your plan as far superior to our own.