Focal Passages: 1
Samuel 17:8-11, 32-39, 45-47
One of my all-time,
best-loved movies is The Wizard of Oz. My favorite character in that movie is
the Cowardly Lion.
And my absolute
favorite scene in the movie (that I quote word for word every time I watch it)
begins with the Lion asking this question: “What makes a king out of a slave?”
To which he answers
quite emphatically, “Courage!”
The Wizard of Oz is a
fictional tale dreamed up in the mind of author L. Frank Baum.
First Samuel 17, on the
other hand, is a true story about the power of godly courage.
To some, it may sound
like a movie shot on location somewhere in the hills of Hollywood.
But this is not a movie
The story is real.
The characters are
The story begins as we
are told of an impending battle between the armies of Israel and Philistia.
The three main
characters — Saul, Goliath, and David — paint a picture of what courage looks
like — and what courage does not look like.
First, the Philistine
army had “a champion named Goliath” who “was over nine feet tall” (v. 4, NIV).
To the casual observer,
the odds looked pretty good for this “uncircumcised Philistine” who defied “the
armies of the living God” (v. 26).
From Goliath’s own
perspective, victory was a done deal.
His courage was based
on his physical attributes — he was bigger than everybody else!
Next, we have Saul, the
ruling king of Israel.
“On hearing the
Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified”
Instead of looking to
God for help in his time of need, Saul focused solely on the problem and was
overwhelmed by his circumstances.
Finally, David arrives
on the scene.
Upon hearing Goliath’s
threats, David responds: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,
but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies
of Israel”(v. 45).
David didn’t focus on
himself or the problem. David kept his eyes on the Lord.
He knew the battle was
not between Goliath and him — he knew “the battle is the Lord’s” (v. 47).
And therein lies the
key to the power of courage.
We don’t have to fight
The battle is the
The next time you’re in
a tough situation and you feel like the odds are stacked against you, remember
these three promises from God’s infallible word: Joshua 1:9; Romans 8:15; and 2