The familiar story of David and Goliath contains the 4th Old Testament use of the LORD of hosts and teaches some wonderful, liberating truths regarding this great Name of God. Read the entire chapter (1Samuel 17) before you study the questions and notes below. Ask the Spirit to guide you (observe and interrogate with the 5W’S and H, performing your own inductive Bible study) through this very familiar story, allowing yourself to set aside preconceived impressions, and instead reading the text as if it you were reading it for the very first time (Interpretation). Focus on the obvious (F.O.T.O) noting especially a number of interesting contrasts. Try to imagine what was going through the participants mind (imagination not visualization!). What do you learn about God and about the man who follows hard after the LORD and who trusts wholly in Jehovah Sabaoth?
WHAT IS THE CONTEXT FOR THE EVENTS IN 1 SAMUEL 17?
Here in one corner we have the “behemoth” Goliath, towering over 9 feet and weighing in at probably over 650 lbs, in turn clad in heavy armor, with 3 weapons (spear, sword, javelin) and one armor bearer, twice a day for 40 days bellowing like a man with a megaphone derisive taunts in the valley of Elah, threatening and frightening the army of Israel, the army of the “living God”, paralyzing them with fear (isn’t this the potential effect fear can have on us all? see study on Fear, How to Handle It cp studies on  Anxiety in 1Pe 5:7;  Anxious, be anxious in Php 4:6, 7;  Jesus’ solution “Do not be worried” in Mt 6:25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34). The Philistine’s champion (Lit “man in the middle”) challenged Israel to a “winner take all” duel (although if you have read the entire story you know that the Philistines were hardly men of integrity – cf 1Sa 17:9,51). And so into this setting young David comes on the scene providentially (in God’s perfect timing) bringing provisions for his older brothers.
HOW DOES SAUL’S (and HIS ARMY’S) REACTION REACTION TO GOLIATH CONTRAST WITH DAVID’S REACTION?
CONTRASTED WITH DAVID’S REACTION…
Saul and all Israel were deeply dismayed (the word in the Greek Septuagint pictures great astonishment, even to the point of “losing one’s mind”). On the other hand, David was deeply disturbed that an uncircumcised Philistine (therefore outside of a covenant relationship with the Lord, cf Ge 17:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27), would so blatantly “defy” and heap shame upon “the armies of the living God.” Goliath’s words were not just an insult directed against the Israeli forces but were also an verbal attack against the integrity and character of “the living God,” since the army was composed of members of the Lord’s covenant people. Why then was there such a difference in reactions? Saul was reacting in the flesh – walking by sight not faith. David was reacting in the Spirit – walking by faith and not by sight.
WHY IS THERE SUCH A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE IN REACTION TO GOLIATH?
1Sa 16:13, 14
God had given Israel what they wanted when they rejected Him as their king (1Sa 8:7), instead asking for a human king so that they might “be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (1Sa 8:19, 20). Yet do we see Saul going out before them and taking up Goliath’s challenge? No, instead we see this man who was a head taller than all of his brethren (see diagram at left depicting Goliath versus Saul versus the normal Israelite – clearly Saul stood the greatest chance of victory in a fight against the giant Goliath, 1Sa 9:2) and who had hidden by the baggage on the day of his coronation (!) (1Sa 10:22) now trembling in dismay and fear. What had happened to Saul of whom Scripture tells us “Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily…and be changed into another man.” (1Sa 10:6)
How tragically ironic that Israel had “rejected (abhorred, cast away, cast off, despised, disdained, refused) (their) God, Who delivers (Heb = yasha – saves, helps, gives victory, preserves, avenges) (them) from all (their) calamities and (their) distresses” (1Sa 10:19) for a human king, who chose to sacrifice rather than obey (heed, hearken to) the voice of Jehovah (1Sa 15:22, 23) and who thereby “rejected the word of the LORD” (cp what Nathan the prophet says King David did with God and His Word in his infamous sin with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah the Hittite – 2Sa 12:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14!!! Cp Nu 32:23, Pr 15:3, Josh 7:1, 18, 19, 20, 21, Eccl 12:14, Lk 12:2) Who in turn “also rejected (Saul) from being king.”
The next time we are sorely tempted to reject the Word of the LORD, let us by His Spirit’s enablement be quick to recall to our mind Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians
Now these things happened to them (including Saul) as an example (tupos – word study) and they were written for our instruction (nouthesia – word study), upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1Cor 10:6,11, cp Ro 15:4–note).
May His Spirit write it on our hearts the truth that…
Sin will always take us farther then we want to go,
Keep us longer than we want to stay and
Cost us more than we ever intended to pay.
Sow a thought, reap an action,
Sow an action, reap a habit
Sow a habit, reap a character
Sow a character, reap a destiny.
It all begins with a thought! …so the upshot is…
Watch over (Heb = natsar – preserve, guard from danger, watch as a watchman over) your heart with all diligence (Heb = mishmar – act of guarding as a guard at a post keeping watch), (Why is watching over our heart so important?) for from it flow the springs of life. (Pr 4:23–see in depth notes)
Anything that increases the authority of the body over the mind is an evil thing.” – Susanna Wesley
Too many think lightly of sin, and therefore think lightly of the Saviour. He who has stood before his God, convicted and condemned, with the rope about his neck, is the man to weep for joy when he is pardoned, to hate the evil which has been forgiven him and to live to the honor of the Redeemer by Whose blood he has been cleansed. (Spurgeon)
I would rather pass through seven years of the most languishing sickness, than I would ever again pass through the terrible discovery of the evil of sin. (Spurgeon)
Whatever weakens your reason. Whatever impairs the tenderness of your conscious. Whatever obscures your sense of God. Whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind. Whatever takes away your relish for spiritual things, that to you is sin no matter how innocent it is in itself. (Susanna Wesley responding to Charles’ question about what is sin)
Read the following illustration of what sin will do to a sinner or a saint (saved sinner):
We need a fixed reference point: During the 1980s five men spent 80 days orbiting the Earth. There were many adjustments to make. 1) They had no way to take baths so they had to wash with a damp towel. 2) During every 24 hour period they saw 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets. 3) Eating was always a problem because you had to keep up with your food. If you started to put a bite in your mouth and paused to say something your hand and fork would stop but the food would proceed at the same rate and splatter all over your face. 4) If you tried to turn a screw you would find your whole body turning instead. 5) What they saw as the biggest frustration was their was no point of reference. They were in a cylinder and there was no way to tell which way was up. There was no fixed vertical. The men came back confused, exhausted and miserable. (Elizabeth Elliot.)
The preceding story is probably a fairly accurate description of Saul and the Israeli army during those 40 days of intimidation by the “consequences of their sin“.
Even as the Spirit of the LORD of hosts had departed from Saul (1Sa 10:6 contrasted with 1Sa 16:14) leaving him devoid of spiritual power (cp Samson – Jdg 14:6, 19–note, Jdg 15:14–note, one of the saddest verses in the Bible = Jdg 16:20–note) He in turn came mightily upon David from that day forward (1Sa 16:13). So when David walked into the scene of “dismay and great fear”, he came as a man empowered by the Spirit of the LORD of hosts. David did not shrink back in fear from the giant because he had personal experience with the presence and power of the LORD of hosts (see note below) and he understood the principle that our “Commander”
has not given us a spirit of timidity (deilia), but of power (dunamis) and love)(agape) and discipline (sophronismos) (2Ti 1:7–note).
David like Paul
did not shrink from declaring… the whole purpose of God. (Acts 20:27).
Little wonder that David would later write the encouraging words of Ps 27:1
“The LORD is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? (Goliath?) The LORD is the defense of my life. Whom shall I dread ?” (Spurgeon note 1, note 2).
Whatever or whoever your “Goliath” is today recall to your mind the truth (cp Php 4:8–note) about the LORD of the armies (hosts) remembering that…
If God is for us, who is against us? (Ro 8:31–note)
greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world(1John 4:4),
though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses”…and that…
we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2Corinthians 10:3, 4, 5–note)
and finally that…
in all these things (What things? [Remember to always interrogate with 5W’S & H] Ro 8:35, 36–note) we overwhelmingly conquer (hupernikao-word study) through Him (see study on the phrase “through Him” = Christ) Who loved us.”(Ro 8:37–note, Spurgeon’s note)
HOW DOES THIS TRUTH PARALLEL THE TRUTH IN ZECHARIAH 4:6-7?
Keep the context in mind, noting that the events in Zechariah take place after 50,000 Jews had returned from Babylonian exile and had begun rebuilding the LORD’s Temple some 15 years earlier, only to cease the project because of external opposition and internal apathy toward the LORD’s work. In this passage note Who is personally encouraging Zerubbabel with the truth that he has the “supplies” necessary to finish the Temple:
Then he (
Angel of the LORD cp Zech 3:6, 4:1, 4, 5) said to me (Zechariah), “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. 7 ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace (Hebrew = chen – 02580; Septuagint =LXX = Greek word charis – see word study) to it!”‘
So clearly the LORD’s work will be accomplished in the LORD’s power — by His Spirit not by the arm of flesh. As we have discussed above, David had been clothed mightily with the Spirit (1Sa 16:13). Here in Zechariah 4 the LORD of hosts reminded Zerubbabel (and all believers of all ages) that when faced with impossible odds and intense resistance, we need to remember that the “mountain” will be made into a plain not by our MIGHT nor by our POWER, but by the Spirit of the LORD of hosts. David had come to understand this empowering truth while pasturing sheep and protecting them from predators. David recognized His source of strength – yes, David personally had killed the lion and bear (Man’s Responsibility) but he understood that His deliverance was by the hand of the LORD of hosts (God’s sovereignty). And we too must learn this same lesson in our private battles with predators, be they tempting thoughts or ruthless enemies. Then we will be prepared to experience victory in the public arena in the power of the Spirit of the LORD of hosts.
Spurgeon rightly reminds every believer that…
Unless the Spirit of God be upon us (cp Jn 15:5, Ep 5:18–note, Gal 5:16–note), we have no might from within and no means from without to rely upon. Wait upon the Lord (Ed: Have you ever done a study on “waiting” on Jehovah? – take a moment and make a list of truths associated with such a glorious wait — Ps 25:3, 21–notes, Ps 27:14–notes, Ps 37:7, 8, 9, 34–notes; Ps 52:9–notes, Ps 62:5–notes, Ps 69:6–notes; of Israel redeemed from Egypt = Ps 106:13–notes; Ps 119:43–notes; Ps 119:74–notes; Ps 119:81–notes; Ps 119:114–notes; Ps 119:147–notes; Ps 130:5–notes; Ps 147:11–notes; Isa 8:17, 40:31), beloved, and seek strength from Him alone (cp Ep 3:16–note, Ep 6:10–note). There cannot come out of you what has not been put into you. You must receive and then give out.
Martin Luther said it well…
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing;
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
(Play hymn – A Mighty Fortress is Our God)
HOW DOES DAVID RESPOND TO GOLIATH’S CHALLENGE?
…”Let no man’s heart fail on account of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
WHAT OPPOSITION DOES DAVID ENCOUNTER? WHERE DOES OPPOSITION EMANATE FROM MOST OFTEN?
Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.”
Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”
While David is trying to encourage the army, his own brother Eliab (who incidentally had been passed over by God for anointing by Samuel in 1Sa16:6, 7) slandered his character and wrongly judged his motives, trying to discourage him (1Sa 17:28). Note that David proves himself to be a man after God’s own heart (1Sa 13:14, Acts 13:22), bearing the rebuke meekly.
Whenever you step out by faith, others will often put obstacles in your way. Our adversary the devil, always has somebody to tell us “it can’t be done.” Saul also tried to dissuade David saying “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” (1Sa17:33). In a sense Saul (unknowingly) was correct for David, in himself, was not able, but in the power of the Spirit of the LORD of Sabaoth he was equipped to overcome even the most formidable foe. (Phil 4:13–note; Eph 3:20, 21–note). David unlike his brother Eliab and his king Saul was walking “by faith, not by sight” (2Cor 5:7)
David believed what could not be proven at that moment, a beautiful OT example of “the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1–note) as he walked by faith, not sight (2Co 5:7). He may have sounded foolish to the skeptics (those who manifested attitudes of doubt or dispositions toward incredulity to David’s words) around him, but he knew that the LORD of Hosts Whom he served would show Himself to be the true and living God, the mighty Warrior on behalf of His covenant people. (Ex 15:3, cp Ps 20:7–note)
Some boast in chariots, and some in horses; but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God. (Ps 20:7–note; cp Dt 17:16, 20:1, speaking of Sennacherib of mighty Assyria = 2Chr 32:8, 21, 22, 23; 2Chr 20:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Ps 33:16, 17; 20, 21–note; Ps 147:10, 11–note; Pr 21:31; Eccl 9:11, Isa 31:1, Jer 17:5, 6, 7, 8)
Where do you run for help? When you are in trouble, what is you first instinct? Do you run to others or to God? Is it usually the counsel of another rather than the counsel found in waiting upon God in prayer? Why is this? Why do we run to man before we run to our all sufficient God (Isa 50:2, 59:1)? Could it be because we don’t really KNOW our God? Could it be said of most believers in the America today “I boast in the Name of the Lord my God and not in chariots or horses (or my 401K, or my advanced learning degree, or my excellent job, etc)”?
To boast in something ultimately reflects our confidence in that in which we boast. It is the idea of placing one’s trust in another, in this case in Jehovah of the Armies! To boast in God’s name then means to have confidence in His name. Remember that in Biblical times a name represented a person’s character. Thus God’s name represents His character, His attributes, His ways. And to know His name is to know Him. To boast in His name is to have confidence in Who He says He is and what He promises to do on behalf of those who by grace through faith are in His family (Jn 1:12, 13). In the day of trouble (Ps 20:1–note, Ps 27:5–note, Ps 41:1–note, Ps 50:15–note, Nahum 1:7) or need, we are to run to our God, to put our trust in Him. In the day of trouble or need, we are to run into the strong tower of the Name of our God, putting our trust in Him (Pr 18:10–note). Is your heart troubled right now? Is fear lurking in the shadows of your consciousness? Do you feel insecure about anything in this turbulent, tumultuous world? Take these thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, specifically to the Name of the LORD of hosts, your God Who Alone is the One who is able to set you securely on high. Then boast in His name. David had a great name, but the name of the Lord is much greater. Some people have names that cannot be trusted, but God’s name has never failed one of His saints. Your days of trouble can become days of triumph if you trust in the name of the Lord.
Immediately before the encounter with the Philistine (David) fought a battle which cost him far more thought, prudence, and patience. The word-battle in which he had to engage with his brothers and with king Saul, was a more trying ordeal to him than going forth in the strength of the Lord to smite the uncircumcised boaster. Many a man meets with more trouble from his friends than from his enemies; and when he has learned to overcome the depressing influence of prudent friends, he makes short work of the opposition of avowed adversaries.
David Guzik echoes Spurgeon’s thoughts:
When David was misunderstood and rebuked, publicly, by his own brother, probably amid the laughs of the other soldiers, he could have blown it. But he showed the strength of the armor of God in his life, and replied rightly. He didn’t care about his glory or success, but only for the glory and success of the Lord’s cause. Goliath was a dead man right then! This is where the battle was won! If Eliab’s hurtful words can get David in the flesh, and out of the flow of the Spirit of the Lord, then David’s strength is gone. But when David ruled his spirit (see Pr 16:32, 25:28, 1Co 9:24, 25, 26, 27) and answered softly, he was more in step with the Spirit of the Lord than ever. You could start digging Goliath’s grave right then!
HOW DID DAVID CONVINCE SAUL THAT HE WAS WILLING and ABLE TO FIGHT GOLIATH?
“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” 37 and David said, “THE LORD WHO DELIVERED ME from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, HE WILL DELIVER ME from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go and may the LORD be with you.”
Saul tried to fit David with armor, but since he had not tested it, David refused (1Sa 17:38, 39). Saul reasoned that if David was going to beat Goliath who was massively armed and defended (1Sa 17:5, 6, 7), he would need the best armor in Israel – the armor of the king. Saul saw the battle with eyes of flesh while David saw the battle with eyes of faith. David did not face Goliath unarmed. To the natural man (1Cor 2:14, 2Cor 4:18) it of course looked that way. However to those enabled to see with eyes of faith (2Co 5:7, Ep 1:18, 19–note) David had much better armor than the king of Israel for he possessed the supernatural armor of the King of kings (Re 17:14–note, Re 19:16–note) available to every child of the King! Saul had a bronze helmet, but David had “the helmet of salvation” (Eph 6:17–note). Saul had armor, but David had a “breastplate of righteousness” (Eph 6:14–note). Saul had a spear, but David had the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph 6:17–note). Indeed, David had the “full armor” of God! (Eph 6:11–note). That same armor was available to Saul and at one time he had it. But now, Saul only trusted in man’s armor and that is why David is going out to face Goliath, and Saul is on the sideline.
David had been tested and prepared for this task by God with his private victories over the lion and bear while caring for his sheep and these made possible the public victories (1Sa 17:34, 35, 36, 37) to the glory of God. If we are faithful in our private battles, God will see us through the public testing. Too often we faint at the smallest test that comes our way, little realizing that the “little tests” are but preparation for the bigger battles that are sure to come (see Jer 12:5). In 1Samuel 17 we see that a seemingly trivial errand to provide provision for his brothers led to a challenging situation that brought glory to God and recognition to David. The point is that all believers should adhere to the Boy Scout motto — BE PREPARED.
As Paul exhorted young Timothy
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2Ti 2:21–note).
We never know when our opportunity might come. If God has called you to a task, He’ll equip you for the completion. Use what He has given you, and you’ll see what He can do with little things. The Lord uses small tools to perform large tasks.
Use now what God has given you,
Count not its worth as small;
God does not ask of you great things,
Just faithfulness–that’s all! — Bosch
WHERE WAS DAVID’S CONFIDENCE?
David focused on the LORD of hosts (cp He 12:2–note), Who had delivered him in the past and Who he confidently affirms “will deliver me.” Do we really believe that the LORD of hosts will deliver us when “Goliath-like” adversity or adversaries confront us? (see 1Co 10:13–notes) God will deliver us. He has promised to bring us to our destination because
He who began a good work in you will perfect (accomplish, complete) it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Php 1:6–note). cp Ro 8:28–note, Ro 8:29 –note = notice the ultimate purpose = conformity to the image of His Son)
God may choose to deliver us FROM our trial or to deliver us IN the midst of trial, but He will deliver us! (cp the testimony of Shadrach, et al, when faced with fiery trial Daniel 3:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
The LORD of hosts to Whom David entrusted himself in his hour of great need is the same yesterday, today and yes tomorrow (Heb13:8–note). Let us run confidently into the immutable (see God’s Attribute = unchangeable) Strong Tower of Jehovah Sabaoth and we will be safe (Pr 18:10–note)
HOW WOULD YOU CONTRAST SAUL’S SOLUTION TO THE GIANT WITH DAVID’S SOLUTION?
Did you notice that even after giving David a blessing (or prayer) in the Name of the LORD, Saul still had to rely on human wisdom, reasoning that if David were adequately equipped, he would have a better chance for victory. David however as discussed above had already been clothed with the Spirit and thus he had the full armor of the LORD. All David needed was the 5 “S’s” – Stick, Stones, Shepherd’s bag, Sling and Spirit, for he was looking not at what could be seen but what was unseen (cf 2Co 4:18 Spurgeon), the LORD of hosts. As an aside, it is interesting to note that Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, the tribe specifically mentioned in (Judges 20:16–note)
Out of all these people 700 choice men (Benjaminites) were left-handed each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss. (Hebrew for “miss” = chata translated elsewhere in Scripture as “sin” meaning to “miss the mark”!)
This fact adds a touch of irony to David’s use of the slingshot as his weapon of choice to fell Goliath. Had Saul, a Benjaminite, been trained to use this weapon?
HOW DID GOLIATH DISDAIN DAVID?
|1Samuel 17:41Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer, in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained (Heb = bazah – regarded w/ contempt, despised, consider worthless) him for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”|
In essence Goliath was not just cursing David but David’s God, emphasizing that although this was a battle between two men, in another sense it was clearly a spiritual battle “for our struggle (Gk = pale – wrestling – a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other and which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down w/ his hand upon his neck) is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12–note) and we too like David need to daily “therefore take up (Gk = aorist imperative = command to do this now, signifying the necessity and urgency of the action commanded) the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist (Gk – anthistemi – set one’s self against, oppose, withstand, cf Jas 4:7) in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Eph 6:13–note)
WHAT WAS DAVID’S STRATEGY? DAVID’S PROPHECY? DAVID’S ULTIMATE PURPOSE?
|1Samuel 17:45, 46, 47
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the Name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 “This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, (cf Dt 20:1, 2, 3, 4) and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”
The terms of conflict were not at all as they appeared. David perceived the battle to be between blasphemous mortal man on one side and the power of the Lord of hosts on the other. Goliath was outclassed but being a natural man, he did “not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they (were) foolishness to him and he (could not) understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1Co 2:14).
David’s ultimate purpose was to bring glory to God throughout “all the world”. To give glory means to give a proper opinion of God and throughout the ages all the world has heard about David’s improbable victory because of his Almighty God. Not only would the world know about God but Israel would also understand that God’s ways are transcendent and are not like man’s ways. God’s deliverance is never by the “arm of flesh” (“sword or spear”) but by the arm of the LORD of hosts, a mighty Warrior Who is over all the armies of heaven and earth. The Battle belongs to the LORD.
F. B. Meyer in his devotional exposition on David lists characteristics of those who do battle in the Name of the LORD:
(1) Their motives are pure — Though David was accused of having evil motives, his motives were in fact pure. He was motivated by a true love for the LORD, and for the glory and honor of the Lord.
(2) They are willing to let the Lord lead the battle. David did this at the prompting of God, not his own flesh.
(3) They place no confidence in the flesh. David would not wear Saul’s armor.
(4) They are willing to stand alone. David was willing to fight all alone.
When the soldiers of Israel saw Goliath, they thought to themselves, “He is so big that we can never kill him.” When David saw Goliath, he thought to himself, “He is so big that I cannot miss him.” David maintained a proper perspective because he focused on the Person of His trustworthy covenant keeping LORD rather than upon the “problem” of the taunting Philistine. Though Goliath was naturally equipped with impressive size to which was added military attire, David was supernaturally armed with “the name of the LORD of Hosts”. As we have seen so often in the Names of God series, the name of a person represents the totality of that individual’s being. And so it was clear to David, that the LORD over all the armies of heaven and earth dwarfed the giant of flesh on earth (1Sa 17:26, 36). By walking out in faith that the Lord of Hosts was his strength and sufficiency, David was clarifying that Goliath was not just confronting David but the Living God Himself (1Sa 17:47).
LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD:
We need to ask God to search our heart…
How big is the giant in my life? How big is God in my life?
Whose arm am I trusting in?…the arm of flesh? …or the arm of the LORD of hosts
Where is my focus in the battle? …on the “giants” or on the LORD of hosts?
What is my perspective on the “giants” in my life?
Am I like Saul? …It’s too big – there is no hope of victory.
Am I like David? …It’s too big – I can’t miss!
Am I remaining faithful in the private struggles that I might be fruitful in the public battles?…that all may know there is a God?
Both Hannah and David called upon the Lord of hosts and found deliverance through His marvelous Name, Jehovah Sabaoth.. Deliverance is there for us as well – whatever our extremity. Every extremity is another opportunity to practice living in the light of the truth that sets us free and sets us apart, making us more like Jesus. But note that this name (or any of the other “Strong Towers” in this study) cannot be used as an amulet or talisman around one’s neck and it cannot be spoken out as if it were a magical incantation. It is absolutely crucial to remember that it is the RIGHTEOUS who run into this Name and are kept safe (Proverbs 18:10).
Study the other occurrence of the LORD of hosts in 1 Samuel 4 below for insights into who can expect deliverance in the Strong Tower of the LORD of hosts. This is crucial for every saint to understand if we would truly bask in the experiential truth that we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Ro 8:37–note, Spurgeon’s note).
To aim the dreadful blow,
When he Goliath fought,
And laid the Gittite low?
No sword nor spear the stripling took,
But chose a pebble from the brook.
‘Twas Israel’s God and king,
Who sent him to the fight;
Who gave him strength to fling,
And skill to aim aright.
Ye feeble saints your strength endures,
Because young David’s God is yours.–From Jehovah Nissi, the LORD My Banner –by William Cowper
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