“The Power of God and New Methods”
David got to the location where his brothers and the entire Army of Israel were camped. Their mission was to fight their fierce enemy, the Philistines; David’s mission was to bring some food to his brothers. As he greeted his brothers, he heard a loud voice and shouting, he saw the Israelite soldiers running away. As he looked up, once again he heard the defiant voice of the huge Goliath, the champion and most experienced fighter of the Philistines. When he inquired he realized that for the last 40 days Goliath had harassed the Israelite troops and just about everyone in the Israelite Camp trembled by just looking at the big man or hearing his insults.
When young David offered to fight the big guy, he was briefly dismissed by those who heard him, they must have thought he was kidding, but as King Saul realized David was for real, he did something that up to this day, baffles me.
“Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.
“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.” (I Samuel 17:38-40)
When I read this I can’t help but to imagine what must have gone through David’s head, “if Saul’s armor is so good why is that giant still standing and harassing us?” I can hear him thinking, “Why does Saul want me to use his method to defeat the giant and yet he has not been able to defeat the giant himself.” However, he was polite and did not reject the traditional method of fighting, right away. He examined it; but as he tried the armor on he realized it was too heavy, perhaps too big, he could hardly move. It was time for a new method. Saul was not too convinced, yet what could he say? We, human beings, are very resistant to change, most times we are only willing to accept it once there is no other choice.
David told the King he would use a different method, a less conventional method, a new method for this type of battle. Though David trusted his ability and his unconventional method, there was someone that David trusted more: “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (I Samuel 17:45) David trusted the power of God, he knew that his willingness, his positive attitude of faith and his new method in the hands of God could result in miracles. This is one of the greatest things about people who are not afraid to try new methods, they don’t do it just for the sake of change, they do it because they realize that something is wrong and they have the faith, the positive thinking, and the absolute belief that things can get better. New methods usually come accompanied by a new attitude, an attitude of an open mind, hope for a better present and an awesome future, and God blesses that.
Saul and the rest of his soldiers were so attached to their traditional armor; they trusted their methods so much or perhaps so little to the extend that they had totally forgotten about the power of God. Methods get obsolete and so do attitudes.
Today, I would like to ask you to examine your personal life, your family life, your performance at school and work; take a look at your church, your ministry; are those pews filled with people? Where have all the dreamers gone? Where are all the optimistic young people who were there a few years ago? If you notice that something is wrong, please stop, ask God for a change of attitude, for faith, and the will power to employ some new methods. You don’t have to do the same thing that has always been done before and continue to fail, God gives you permission to change your method and to claim His power.
If you feel like a David, keep on using your sling with the power of God. If you are a Saul, let the young men and the young women do it their way, don’t kill their new attitude, their hope, and their faith. Remember, when the giant died, the entire army, including the ones who ridiculed David, lived. Next time you see a David, pray for him and hand him or her some smooth stones.
Prayer: My God, I thank you for your power which is available to me today. I thank you for the freedom you give us through the Bible to try something new when “same old, same old” is not working. Give me the methods that work but please don’t forget about the new attitude, the hope, and the faith that I need today. I know that as long as I am close to you, the giant does not have a chance. AMEN.