“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and 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 taunted.’” 1 Samuel 17:45
Our culture has become more and more contentious. A battle for traditional Christian values is at the core of many conflicts. The God-defying giants of our day are increasing in both size and number. Too often, we fail to see the spiritual battle and try to fight for a righteous cause in the flesh. In today’s passage, David shows us that giant slayers see the spiritual battlefield.
On the surface, 1 Samuel 17 looks like Israel versus the Philistines; David versus Goliath; a slingshot versus a sword, a spear, and a javelin. Saul and Israel’s army hadn’t engaged because they were intimidated by an earthly enemy and earthly weapons. David, however, recognized the spiritual battle in front of him.
First, he knew the purpose for the battle, “that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (v46). Now, the Lord is perfectly capable of defending His name. Although He could have opened the ground to swallow the entire Philistine army, God had a purpose for David’s righteous anger. As word of the shepherd boy defeating the Philistine giant spread, so did the name of Israel’s God.
Secondly, David knew this battle was actually God versus Goliath, “the battle is the Lord’s” (v47). So, he relied on the power of the Lord’s name. In Psalm 124:8, David wrote, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” David was confident that the same God whose power created the heavens and the earth, would put the power in his sling to defeat this God-defying giant. He stepped out “in the name of the LORD of hosts” (NASB), “the LORD Almighty” (NIV), and “the LORD of Heaven’s Armies” (NLT).
What stirs your righteous anger? Before you act, call on the name of the Lord. Fully submit your thoughts and attitudes to the Holy Spirit. In order to defeat the God-defying giants in our culture we have to resist the temptation to fight in the flesh. Ask God to show you how to step out in faith and take a stand for Him. The God who put the power in David’s sling still rules the hosts of Heaven. So remember, our help is “in the name of the LORD” – the battle is His.