In Part 1 of “Giants, God and You,” we reflected on two ways God prepares us to meet giants in our life.
We reflected on how being a true worshiper of God prepares us to face giants, and how dependence on God trains our faith to stand before giants in our life.
Prepared by Worship
What or who we worship reveals what is at the center of our life. Everything in our life flows out from that center. If we truly worship God alone then when the giants come we automatically turn to God, rather than relying on our own strength.
- David was a true “worshiper” of God. He ascribed great value to God. David’s heart continually longed for God. His heart was focused on being close to God. This prepared his soul to trust God when trouble came.
Prepared by Dependence on God
When we believe that God is near and that he answers when we call on Him, we will be prepared to meet the giants in our lives. Every time we depend on God our faith grows stronger and we are more prepared to trust God when the giants show up.
Preparing to meet a giant is not an event of the moment, but it is a process that occurs overtime in our walk with God.
In Part 2, we will look at how God prepares us by:
– observing the character of God in nature around us;
– learning truths about God from His Word and
– learning about God through our experience with Him.
Prepared by Nature
The creation around us reveals truths about the beauty, complexity, consistency, power and faithfulness of God.
The Word of God reveals truths to us about God’s character and intent towards man. The scriptures detail how God interacts with man. We can use these truths to encourage our faith and to guide us through life.
David, as a shepherd, spent much time out among God’s creation. In the Psalms, David talks about what nature taught him about God. He sees that God is sovereign and the Creator and Sustainer of life and order. He sees God’s value for and love for man in that God has given man a special place of value and honor.
- The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done.
Ps. 19:1 (CEV)
- Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with Your majesty. Psalm 8:1 (HSB)
- When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place— what is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for him? Psalm 8:3-4
In nature, David sees God’s power and sovereign control over all. He then puts his trust in God’s power.
- The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into a heap; He puts the depths into storehouses. Let the whole earth tremble before the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
- For He spoke, and it came into being; He commanded, and it came into existence. Psalm 33:6-9 (HCSB)
By observing nature around him, David sees that God has tender compassion and care for all He has created. Therefore David can put his trust in God and know that God will take care of him.
- The LORD is good to all; His compassion rests on all He has made. Psalm 145:9
Prepared by the Word of God
David had a great love and respect for the Word of God. He allowed the scriptures to cement truths about God into his mind and heart so that in the day of trouble David drew upon these truths to give him courage and inner strength.
David found restoration and life in the Word of God. He found joy and wisdom for life in the Word of God. He gained a sense of security from the God he read about in the scriptures. Psalm 19: 7-10, reveals how David viewed that Word of God and how he valued it.
- “The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.
- The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up.
- The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.
- They are more desirable than gold—than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey, which comes from the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:7-10
David learned truths about God through observing nature around him and through reading the word of God. Knowing these truths prepared David to stand firm in faith when trouble came into his life.
Prepared by Experience
David experienced God’s help in his life during certain situations, and he experienced God’s answers to prayer. This experience prepared David to meet the giant.
David uses some of these experiences of God’s help and deliverance in his life as David explains to Saul how the Philistine giant will be defeated. David remembers how God helped him deliver the sheep from the bear and the lion, and so he trusts that God will deliver him and all of Israel from the giant and the Philistines.
- 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,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. 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. 1 Samuel 17:34-36
In addition to actually rescuing sheep from the very jaws of the lion, David had some skills with a sling. It is very probable that David’s experience as a shepherd trained him in using a sling skillfully.
(Side note: “Slingers” were an important part of Israel’s army. They could sling a rock at an enemy from 100 yards away at a speed of up to and surpassing 100 miles per hour. They were like crack snipers in the army. Judges 20:16 reports: “Among all these soldiers there were 700 select left-handers, each of whom could sling a stone at a (single) hair without missing.”)
David knew about these “slingers” in Saul’s army, 1 Chronicles 12:7. He may have even dreamed about becoming one of them. He had many opportunities to practice “slinging” as he shepherded the sheep. How many times did he use his sling to kill a wolf, a bear, a lion, or other predator?
David attributes his skill to battle the giant to God’s training of his hands and his heart.
- Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
- He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. Psalm 144:1
God Prepares You
God does not leave us alone to face difficulties of life, but in truth He is preparing us all along the way. After reading through Part 2 of this blog, reflect of the ways God has and is preparing you to handle the giants in your life.
Writing this blog has caused me to ask myself some heart questions. I post them here for your reflection also.
- What truths from the Word of God encourage my faith in God?
- What truths have helped me to overcome a giant in my life?
- Do I have a collection of truths about God from the scriptures that I can go to in time of need?
- What experiences have I had with God that build into my trust in Him and make me able to engage a giant in my life?
- What skills has God trained into me that help me stand before giants?
- What are some of the most outstanding prayers that God has answered in my life that strengthen me and cause you to step toward the line of battle to fight the giant instead of running away?
Help build into someone else’s faith by sharing one of these things with them.