Keeping Advent: December 12




32 David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David said, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Read the rest:

David was literally half Goliath’s size. So when he comes down to see his brothers and finds that no one is actually fighting, then tells his brothers that he could beat the Philistine, they’re skeptical. And who can blame them? Did I mention David was half his size? But David’s attitude is beautiful: he tells his brothers that (a) he has already beaten off lions and wolves from their family’s flocks and (b) God promised a victory. Why would anyone be afraid of Goliath if God is on his side? He goes out in Saul’s armor (which he discards when he realizes it’s a bit too big and he can’t move in it) and faces down Goliath. Then comes the smack-talk.
“Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?” Goliath taunts. “Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the easts of the field!”
David answers that Goliath may be coming at him with sword, spear, and shield, but he comes with God on his side, and he will win. “Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
As my father loved to say, that’s mighty big talk for a one-eyed fat man. (Or for a little shepherd boy.)
And David is right, of course.
Remember when we talked about God seeing the hearts of men and choosing people who don’t look fit for the job He’s given them? Sometimes, we are that person He chooses, and He asks a big job of us. When this happens to me, I often don’t feel up to the task, but if I have really discerned and figured out that God wants me to do something, I also have to trust that He will help it all work out. I have to know that the doors will open at the right time and the inspiration I need will come along just when I need it. It’s all a part of trusting God’s plan for my life.

Meditation text and images © Christine Johnson

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