Wednesday, July 15th 1 Samuel 17:12-18

“Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. The three eldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle; the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest; the three eldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. Jesse said to his son David, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them.” 1 Samuel 17:12-18

Twice a day, for forty days, Goliath beat his chest. Forty days in a wilderness. Forty, a time of trial, testing and temptation.

Enter the calvary? John Wayne leading the reinforcements? Rambo in the wilderness? No, God sends David. The youngest son of a shepherd. Born in Bethlehem. Bringing lunch to his brothers in Saul’s army. An errand boy.

Jews can’t read this story without seeing the majesty of God being worked out through his lowly and unlikely hero, David. Christians can’t read this story without seeing all of the details which point to Jesus, the one who also discovered God’s providential care in the wilderness, the Good Shepherd.

But for now it is just David running lunch out to the boys. Little did he know what he would find once he got there.

Goliath-sized challenges are like that. We seldom anticipate them let alone plan for them. They are what happens when we are on the way to something else. Perhaps that is why they seem to be so much larger than life…they shock us as we round the next hill of life and suddenly hear their roar. There we stand, with nothing to fight back with but our lunch.

It is only Wednesday. The rest of the story awaits us. For now, please understand that this isn’t a story about Goliath. It isn’t a story about Saul and the army of Israel. It isn’t even a story about David. It is really a story about God – the God who uses Goliath-sized problems to redirect our lives and return us to himself.

For now, leave this story with the image of a young man surprised to see a giant roaring in the valley. A young man sent on one mission only to discover a far different one awaiting him. Like us – a young man seemingly, just seemingly, unprepared and ill equipped and inadequate.

Goliath isn’t going to just go away. And God isn’t going to forget.

Let us pray: Dear Jesus, our shepherd, our guide, our protector, so often we feel exposed like lost sheep. We’ve run off on our own, surrounded by enemies, confused and afraid while Goliath roars in our ears. Still our hearts and silence our fears. Remember us, that we might remember you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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