"Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel. ‘Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul.'"
1Samuel 17: 8, Amplified Bible
"Who's Your Boss?"
"The steadfast nature of the Lord is like an anchor that never pulls off the bottom. It stabilizes the ship in the midst of the storm. It is because God loves us that we know He is faithful."
Lloyd John Ogilvie
Who do I believe is in control of my life?
Are there times in my life when I've forgotten that God is my boss and instead thought I could run things just fine on my own?
What or who is the Goliath that is trying to intimidate me?
"Almighty God is on our team. He is our faithful Sustainer. When everybody else abandons us, we can count on Him. When nobody else is willing to endure with us, He is there. He is trustworthy, reliable, and consistent. We can depend upon Him."
Charles Stanley, How To Listen To God
"Here in the maddening maze of times when tossed by storm and flood, to one fixed ground my spirit clings; I know that God is good."
Louis O. Caldwell, Another Tassel Is Moved
You'll have to forgive me, but I couldn't help myself. I want to spend a few days looking at a Bible story I've heard since I was a child. And since it was at my Grandma's knee that I first heard about the shepherd boy who stood up to the Philistine giant, Goliath, I thought it appropriate that we who are mothers, aunts, grandmothers, daughters and sisters take a closer look at what happens when we encounter "Goliath" - whoever or whatever he is in our own lives.
While I've read this Bible story more times than I can count, as I've done too frequently when I've studied the Bible in the past, I skimmed over the verses and caught the highlights while ignoring and completely missing some of the most vital lessons.
Today's text is one verse in I Samuel 17 that contains a phrase of critical importance.
We find the self-confident, even arrogant Goliath, coming out and threatening God's children with this bold assertion: "I'm a Philistine and you, well, you are nothing but the servants of Saul!" It seems that by demanding a king, the Israelites sent a message to the surrounding nations: "Our God isn't good enough, we want more." Sadly, as apparent from the words of Goliath, he thought that being a Philistine made him a hot-shot. He was a big-wig. He was the boss! And the little Israelites were only the servants of King Saul. They were hired hands, out doing the bidding of a king who had gone so far as to reject the God of Israel.
What a power shift and what makes this story so sad is that the surrounding nations lost respect for Israel when they abandoned the power of heaven and decided they'd adopt the earthly standard of power - the external trappings of money, looks, and charm. What a terrible mistake in two ways. First, God's children degraded their own value in their own eyes. They didn't respect themselves. Second, this led those whom they associated with to look down upon them, too. Just like Goliath who thought they were no better than servants.
But here's where Goliath made a huge mistake. He assumed God had rejected His children, when instead, God was doing everything possible to call His wayward children back to Him. Just as we found in the life of Samson, when he returned to his Father and called out for help, God restored to him the strength that had left him.
Goliath thought he was a big deal because of his size and his ties. He was a Philistine. He was on the side of might. He was the boss, an invincible boss at that! So when young David arrived on the scene of action, this small-fry appeared no match against Goliath's power. That is except for the fact that David wasn't a servant of Saul as Goliath called him. He was a servant of the God of heaven who was the "boss" of David's life, just as He is the "boss" of your life and mine if we'll let Him be.
What a mistake we make when we forget who the real "Boss" is in this world. When we hear the threats of Goliath in our lives and see him charging at us calling us the servants of some earthly addiction or problem, Goliath overestimates his power and underestimates the power of a child of God who is not the servant of any earthly king but the undisputed heir of the King of heaven and earth.
What a fact for us to remember when Goliath gets in our face and tries to demean us into believing we're nothing but the servants of Saul. He couldn't have gotten it more wrong! Obviously, Goliath didn't know who his real opponent was!
"Not What, But Whom!"
"Not what, but whom do I believe!
That in my darkest hour of need,
Hath comfort that no mortal creed
To mortal man may give.
Not what, but Whom!
For Christ is more than all the creeds
And His full life of gentle deeds
Shall all the creeds outlie.
Not what, but Whom!
Who walks beside me in the gloom?
Who shares the burden wearisome?
Who all the dim way doth illume?
And bids me look beyond the
tomb the larger life to live?
Not what I do believe, but Whom!
Not what, But Whom!"
"How easy for me to live with You, O Lord!
How easy for me to believe in You!
When my mind parts in bewilderment or falters,
Then the most intelligent people see no further than this day's
end and do not know what must be done tomorrow.
You grant me the serene certitude that You exist and
that You will take care that not all the paths of good be closed.
Atop the ridge of earthly fame,
I look back in wonder at the path which I alone could
never have found, a wondrous path through despair
to this point from which I, too, could transmit to mankind
a reflection of Your rays."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at discount for your Women's Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please call: 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.