1 Samuel 17:45,46,47—Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.
Goliath hurried to meet David. When he saw he was just a boy, he mocked him and made boasting threats. David responded with the facts. Goliath had physical weapons upon which he relied. David declared that he fought as a representative of LORD of the armies of heaven and the armies of Israel. “The outcome of the battle,” he declared, “will show that there is a God in Israel.” David fought that the world might know God. He declared one more reason that God would bring the victory, that everyone gathered would know that the LORD does not save by sword or spear. He is the One who determines the outcome of the battle. It is His battle. “He is about to give you, Goliath, into my hands,” David was saying. What faith David had in his God! He was so certain that he ran to meet Goliath. For David, it was a chance to proclaim the greatness of his God. Saul needed to be reminded the battle was not about physical weapons. The fearful army of Israel needed that reminder. We do too. Though it is not a physical war we fight, we often try to solve our spiritual wars through natural solutions like man-made reasoning, instead of prayer and faith. Are you declaring that the outcome of your battle will show God is alive and well? Do you know it is not up to man to win it, for it is the Lord’s battle?
1 Samuel 17:36-37—Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
David had been going back and forth from playing music for the king to tending his Father’s flock. His Father asked him to take some food to his older brothers and get their promise that they would share the spoils of war. When he delivered the food, he saw the enemy army send out one giant man who asked for a one on one to determine the outcome of the battle without the two armies clashing. Whoever lost would be servants of the other nation. David inquired about the reward for fighting Goliath and spoke boldly that someone needed to kill this heathen. It was reported to King Saul who had David brought before him. David told the king not to worry. He volunteered to fight the giant. The king told David that a boy did not have a chance against a seasoned veteran like Goliath. Then David relayed his experiences of killing a bear and a lion in the protection of his flock. David had confidence in God because of past victories. He had faith that God would win this battle because this giant was defying the armies of the living God. Experience and faith told David that this lion that threatened God’s sheep would be like the lion he had slain defending his father’s sheep. You have been given victories in your past to help you have confidence in what God can do today. Mix the experience from your past victories with faith in God’s heart and take on the giants of life today.
1 Samuel 16:23—And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
The Spirit of God departed from Saul and an evil spirit was sent by God to trouble him. Evil spirits are always waiting to trouble us, but they need permission to attack those who belong to God. A spirit was given permission to oppress Saul. It would put him in a foul mood. Saul invited this spirit through his disobedience and pride. Nevertheless, he did not like the effect the spirit had upon him. Someone in his court suggested that music would cause the spirit to leave him. David was called in to play the harp. The man who has been anointed the next king was called to help Saul deal with the consequences of his choices. It worked. Music seemed to bring the king relief. It works for us too. You’ll find that when you are in a foul mood if you will listen to praise music, you will be uplifted, and your mind will pull out of the rut it seems to be stuck in. If by faith, you can sing, you’ll feel much better. I have even made up songs to deal with certain attacks of the enemy. God allows this to strengthen and test us or wake us up to our sin. In many cities, you can turn on Christian radio and get instant help through the songs of praise. Why was David’s music so effective? The Spirit of the LORD had come upon David in power. (1 Samuel 16:13) A worshipping saint causes the enemy to cringe and flee. There are many stories of the wonders that praise music has done in asylums. It is a powerful tool. Use it for the glory of God.
1 Samuel 16:7—But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
The LORD sent Samuel to anoint a new king from the house of Jesse. When the oldest was presented, a strong, tall warrior, Samuel thought surely this was the man. The Lord responded with our verse for today. From these ancient roots, we have the expression, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We are so governed by what our senses tell us. Man makes associations with things he has been through in the past. We all have prejudices of one kind or another, but God sees straight into the heart. The sharpest looking man among us with the warmest smile and most pleasant manners may be the vilest person we ever met. The street person in dirty clothes and not a penny to his name may have a heart totally given to God. That is why the LORD tells us not to judge by outward appearances. Jesus told us to judge by the fruit produced from the life. (Matthew 7:20) If we must make a quick decision without a chance to see the fruit of the life, then we must listen to the One who sees the heart. Only the LORD can look in and give us direction. Man is quick to make judgment calls about another’s motivations or heart attitudes. That is God’s area of expertise, not man’s. I have seen the most discerning make the worst judgment calls at times. All men are fallible, but God sees the heart. He sees ours too. We don’t fool God with our outward appearance. We would be better off to be the poor dirty fellow in the street with a heart after God than Mr. Slick that has everyone but God fooled.