31st January 2024
'The Sling and Stone -
1 Samuel 17
We might subtitle this chapter "Small Man with a Giant Faith!'
The combat of David with Goliath stands forth most prominently, and our attention may be directed to some of the circumstances of that great deed.
Although we do not, with some, think that "these things are an allegory," or that this great combat was a type of our Lord's victory over Satan, or even of man's combat with the enemy of his soul - it is impossible for the experienced Christian to read it without being reminded of eventful passages in his own spiritual history.
The reader will remember the feelings with which the son of Jesse undertook this combat.
It is with precisely the same feeling that we should advance to the contest with the enemy of our souls.
He is far more powerful than we; and those who do not have faith with which to oppose him, waver and tremble as he advances.
But the experienced Christian, whose faith is unshaken, does not share their fear.
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God." (2Cor 3:5+)
With this sufficiency we can do everything required of us.
But we must remember, that from the moment we renounce His strength and rely upon our own, we are rather like the simple unguarded youth which David would have been, had he acted on no other confidence than his own.
Yet we must use such weapons as we have - that we know how to use.
The power and courage which David possessed would have availed him little without his sling and his stone.
The powers of resistance which God has graciously given us, will be equally useless unless we apply them through prayer, watchfulness, and resistance to sin.
The gifts of God avail us nothing without the will to use them, and this disposition is also his gift, which will not be refused to any that diligently seek it.
So God gives the sun, the rain, the soil, the seed - but man must till the field and sow the ground, or else there will be no harvest.
It is God that gives the increase; but yet Paul must plant and Apollos water.
The grace of God is an invincible weapon; but we must employ it, or it will rust - will no more fight our spiritual battle, than a sword will defend us while we delay to draw it.
Again, the sling and the stone would both have been useless, had not the Spirit of God, guided the hand of David; and in like manner must the Christian be convinced that that all our strength is from above.
There may, again, be some who, like Saul, will tell us that we are too weak to contend with all the difficulties which lie before us - and they will offer us, as Saul offered David his armour.
Our answer must be, we "cannot go with these."
We must go in the might of the Lord, and in that alone we shall go forth conquering and to conquer the enemies of our peace.
This is an edited version.
The full article and Bible references are avaiable on request
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