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1 Samuel 17:33-18:5 1
17:33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” 45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp. 54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent. 55 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?” Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.” 56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.” 57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head. 58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him. David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.” 18:1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 5 Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

davidgoliathBackground

The book 1 of Samuel ends with one of the most amazing stories of God’s power and grace. From a simple shepherd, David kills a monster of a man, Goliath with a simple slingshot and stone. From this time forward, Saul would fear David as God continued to prepare David to be King.

Biblical Truth 2

A shepherd boy, comes the same morning from his job of keeping sheep, and has more courage than all the mighty men of Israel. Thus God often sends good words to his Israel, and does great things for them, by way of the weak and foolish things of the world. As he had answered his brother’s passion with meekness, so David answered Saul’s fear with faith. When David kept sheep, he proved himself a very competent shepherd. This reminds us of Christ, the good Shepherd, who not only ventured, but laid down his life for the sheep. Our experience ought to encourage us to trust in God, and be bold in the way of our Christian duty. God that has delivered us, does and will continue to do so. David gained permission from his job to fight the Philistine. Not being used to such armor as Saul put upon him, he was not satisfied to go in that manner. David desired that all would know victory was from the Lord and that it might more plainly appear he fought and conquered in faith. Victory would be from God who works by the feeblest and most despised means and instruments, like a simple shepherd boy. It did not matter how luxurious Saul’s coat or how strong his armor. David needed only faith, prayer, truth, and righteousness; the whole armor of God, and the same mind that would come in Christ

The security and presumption of fools destroy themselves. Nothing can excel the humility, faith, and piety which appear in David’s words. He expressed his assured expectation of success; he gloried in his enemy’s mean appearance and weapons, that the victory might be ascribed to the Lord alone.

See how frail and uncertain life is, even when a man thinks himself best fortified; how quickly, how easily, and by how small a matter, the passage may be opened for life to go out, and death to enter! Let not the strong man glory in his strength, nor the armed man in his armor. God resists the proud, and pours contempt on those who defy him and his people. No one ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. The history is recorded, that all may exert themselves for the honor of God, and the support of his cause, with bold and unshaken reliance on him. Even today, there is one conflict in which all the followers of Christ must be engaged; one enemy, more formidable than Goliath, still challenges the armies of Israel. But “resist Satan, and he will flee from you.” Go forward into battle with the faith of David, and the powers of darkness cannot stand against you. But how often is the Christian foiled through a heart of unbelief!

The friendship of David and Jonathan was the effect of Divine grace, which produces in true believers one heart and one soul, and causes them to love each other. This union of souls is from partaking in the Spirit of Christ. Where God unites hearts, carnal matters are too weak to separate them. Those who love Christ as their own souls, will be willing to join themselves to him in an everlasting covenant. It was certainly a great proof of the power of God’s grace in David, that he was able to bear all this respect and honor, remaining humble.

Items for Discussion

  • This story might be retitled, “God Wins!” – Why are people today so reluctant to reach out and accept God’s victories over their own efforts and skills?
  • Who are the Goliaths of our times?
  • If you had to compare Saul and David, how did they differ in their approach to the enemy?
  • How would you rate today’s leaders, in our country, in our businesses, in our families? More like Saul, more like David?

 

Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Background

Matthew, the Apostle, has just finished giving us examples of the Lord’s preaching, now us a specimen of our now moves to give some instances of the miracles Jesus brought to our world. Matthew’s purpose well might be to prove Christ a Teacher coming from God, and the great Healer for a diseased world. In verses 23 to 27, we see Christ’s power to even control the wind and weather.

Biblical Truth

Jesus and his disciples got into the boat and they started to go across Lake Galilee. They were part of the way across the lake when there came a fierce storm. The lake is about 700 feet (215 metres) below sea level. Winds sweep down through the valleys that lead to the lake. And these winds often cause sudden storms. This time the wind was so powerful that it caused the waves to crash against the boat. Water began to fill the boat. It seemed likely that the boat would sink. Some of these disciples were skilled sailors. But they could do nothing to save themselves and they were afraid. Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat. So, the disciples woke Jesus. In despair, they cried to Jesus to save them.

Jesus asked the disciples why they were afraid. They ought to have had more faith. Faith removes fear, and fear opposes faith. Faith is a practical trust in God. They should have trusted God to protect them. Jesus had already shown his power over demons and diseases. Now he showed his authority over the forces of the natural world. He stood up and he spoke to the wind and the waves. The wind and the waves obeyed him and they became calm.
The disciples knew that Jesus was someone special. But this display of power made them afraid. It astonished them. They wondered what kind of man Jesus was. Jesus had power over the wind and the waves. In the Psalms, God has the power to control the wind and the waves (see Psalm 107:23-32). Jesus showed that he had this same power. This event was evidence that Jesus was the Christ.

Items for Discussion

  • What can you discern about Christ from his miracle in calming the storm?
  • How do fear and faith interact when someone is afraid?
  • How can we tell in advance which one will win, fear or faith?
  • How might this story be similar to David’s story, when God used a simple slingshot to down a nation’s enemy?
  • If we were like Saul and not David, what might the story of the storm and the boat sound like?
  • What point is Matthew trying to make with regard to facing overwhelming “Storms” within one’s life?

Discussion Challenge

  • How do we assure ourselves that our faith is stronger than our fears?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=9&c=17
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