The ruddy psalmist descends into the Valley of Elah with nothing but a sling. Confident, focused and with his eyes on the Heart of God, a young David arrays himself to back up some big talk:
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that dares to defy the armies of the Living God?”
Epic. I mean absolutely, monumentally epic; far more-so than the battle itself. In fact, David famously picks up FIVE smooth stones and bonks freak of nature Goliath with the first one.
The bread I wanna share here is David’s attitude. You don’t have to be a bible student to know the story or have heard the sermon. But allow me to reacquaint you with another passage from an all too familiar Psalm 23.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
El Christian Classico offers an almost bizarre text: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Isn’t that weird, to be eating some slappin’ baby back ribs in the presence of your haters, like for what? so they can marvel and be jealous? Wouldn’t that be petty of God?
I think Psalm 84 captures most beautifully the nature of this feast.
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fills the pools”
I love God because every situation becomes His show & tell, if you let Him
The once ominous descent into the valley of yesteryear has become the spring from which I bow to take a drink.
When Saul doubts David’s ability the shepherd boy shares his valley experience, the pools from which he sips.
32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
What it must have been to stand before the lion and the bear? When you know your past, and dig into your experiences, remember the oceans God parted, the deliverance, the redemption.. who else is going to overcome this giant but the seeker of God’s Heart? The very same God whose mighty hands carved the mountains and whose Word leads the flow of reality.
There’s a Word Jesus shared with Peter when ol’ Pietro was the first to divine that Jesus IS the Son of the Living God. Jesus said something along the lines “I’ve got these keys.. they’re awesome, and they’re also yours. Oh and hell? don’t even sweat it.”
On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
That’s a promise brother, keep that close to heart. In the Book of Kings, the prophet Elisha and his servant are beset on all sides by a military force, and when his servant was panic stricken the prophet does him this favor:
And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. [2 Kings 6:17-20]
Now I cannot grant you that kind of clairvoyance right now, but I can pray that you receive a measure of faith that recognizes just exactly what David is talking about when he says “the armies of the Living God.”
I have a Friend in Jesus, He’s a Seven-Star General.
Faith mustered breeds confidence; the audacity to trust that the Lord will prepare a table in the presence of your enemies. Before the face of the giants in your lives, take a seat and practice your good table manners because the Lord is about to break bread with you. Prepare to receive communion and be co-heir with He whose is the victory.
Bon Appétit family.
One day we will look upon our past grievances and delight in the salvation of the Lord, the tears will have dried and our sorrows will be substituted for rejoicing. Amen.