1 Samuel 17* Goliath's challenge. (1-11) David comes to the camp. (12-30)David undertakes to fight Goliath. (31-39) and goes to meet him.(40-47) He kills Goliath. (48-58)1-11 Men so entirely depend upon God in all things, that whenhe withdraws his help, the most valiant and resolute cannot findtheir hearts or hands, as daily experience shows. 12-30 Jesse little thought of sending his son to the army atthat critical juncture; but the wise God orders actions andaffairs, so as to serve his designs. In times of generalformality and lukewarmness, every degree of zeal which impliesreadiness to go further, or to venture more in the cause of Godthan others, will be blamed as pride and ambition, and by nonemore than by near relations, like Eliab, or negligent superiors.It was a trial of David's meekness, patience, and constancy. Hehad right and reason on his side, and did not render railing forrailing; with a soft answer he turned away his brother's wrath.This conquest of his own passion was more honourable than thatof Goliath. Those who undertake great and public services, mustnot think it strange if they are spoken ill of, and opposed bythose from whom they expect support and assistance. They musthumbly go on with their work, in the face not only of enemies'threats, but of friends' slights and suspicions. 31-39 A shepherd lad, come the same morning from keeping sheep,had more courage than all the mighty men of Israel. Thus Godoften sends good words to his Israel, and does great things forthem, by the weak and foolish things of the world. As he hadanswered his brother's passion with meekness, so David answeredSaul's fear with faith. When David kept sheep, he proved himselfvery careful and tender of his flock. This reminds us of Christ,the good Shepherd, who not only ventured, but laid down his lifefor the sheep. Our experience ought to encourage us to trust inGod, and be bold in the way of duty. He that has delivered, doesand will continue to do so. David gained leave to fight thePhilistine. Not being used to such armour as Saul put upon him,he was not satisfied to go in that manner; this was from theLord, that it might more plainly appear he fought and conqueredin faith, and that the victory was from Him who works by thefeeblest and most despised means and instruments. It is not tobe inquired how excellent any thing is, but how proper. LetSaul's coat be ever so rich, and his armour ever so strong, whatis David the better if they fit him not? But faith, prayer,truth, and righteousness; the whole armour of God, and the mindthat was in Christ; are equally needful for all the servants ofthe Lord, whatever may be their work. 40-47 The security and presumption of fools destroy them.Nothing can excel the humility, faith, and piety which appear inDavid's words. He expressed his assured expectation of success;he gloried in his mean appearance and arms, that the victorymight be ascribed to the Lord alone. 48-58 See how frail and uncertain life is, even when a manthinks himself best fortified; how quickly, how easily, and byhow small a matter, the passage may be opened for life to goout, and death to enter! Let not the strong man glory in hisstrength, nor the armed man in his armour. God resists theproud, and pours contempt on those who defy him and his people.No one ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. Thehistory is recorded, that all may exert themselves for thehonour of God, and the support of his cause, with bold andunshaken reliance on him. There is one conflict in which all thefollowers of the Lamb are, and must be engaged; one enemy, moreformidable than Goliath, still challenges the armies of Israel.But "resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Go forth tobattle with the faith of David, and the powers of darkness shallnot stand against you. But how often is the Christian foiledthrough an evil heart of unbelief!
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