Then said David to the Philistine, … I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 1 Samuel 17:45.
Goliath railed upon David and cursed him by his gods. He felt that it was an insult upon his dignity to have a mere stripling, without so much as an armor, come to meet him…. David did not become irritated because he was looked upon as so inferior, neither did he tremble at his terrible threats, but replied: “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 speech, given in a clear, musical voice, rang out on the air, and was distinctly heard by the listening thousands marshaled for war. The anger of Goliath was roused to the very highest heat. In his rage he pushed up the helmet that protected his forehead and rushed forward to wreak vengeance upon his opponent. The son of Jesse was preparing for his foe. “And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in the forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.”
Amazement spread along the lines of the two armies. They had been confident that David would be slain; but when the stone went whizzing through the air, straight to the mark, they saw the mighty warrior tremble, and reach forth his hands, as if he were struck with sudden blindness. The giant reeled, and staggered, and like a smitten oak, fell to the ground. David did not wait an instant. He sprang upon the prostrate form of the Philistine, and with both hands laid hold of Goliath’s heavy sword. A moment before, the giant had boasted that with it he would sever the youth’s head from his shoulders and give his body to the fowls of the air. Now it was lifted in the air, and then the head of the boaster rolled from his trunk, and a shout of exultation went up from the camp of Israel.
Conflict and Courage p. 164
—–Today is election day. Please pray that there will be no violence. A
—–We have an important decision to make. Please pray for us. B
When we lived in Washington State, I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at Camp Mivoden for a Vacation Bible School workshop. A friend had been asked to teach the music to the delegates who had come from the various churches to learn how to better conduct Vacation Bible Schools. She asked me to play the piano for her. I was thrilled at the prospect of spending the weekend at such a beautiful place.
Finally, the looked-forward-to day was here. Ron and the children drove me to Idaho , where Camp Mivoden is located. After we arrived, we spent some time walking around the grounds and enjoying the beauty of the place. When it was time for them to leave me there, Esther Marie , who was about seven at the time, clung to me, sobbing. She had known that she would have to leave me there for the weekend, but when the moment came, she could not bear it. I felt so sorry for her as I felt her little arms and legs wrapped tightly around my body.
We tried to console her by telling her that I would be back on Sunday night, but still the tears flowed freely. Suddenly, I wished that I had not told my friend that I would help her, but there was nothing I could do about it then. I was committed to fulfill my obligation. Finally, we were able to pry Esther Marie off from me, and the last thing I saw as they were driving away was her outstretched arms and tearful face.
Just as Esther Marie was grieved because we would be separated for a weekend, so our Loving Father in Heaven grieves when we separate ourselves from Him. How He longs to hold us back with His Nail-scarred Hands from the fleeting pleasures of this world. How often His Great Heart of Love yearns over us, longing for us to come back to His Welcoming Arms. With tears, He cries, “How can I give you up?” As He said to Israel of old, so He says to us today, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” Isa 30:15 “And ye would not:” what sorrowful words. How lonely our Great Creator is for our companionship and love. He pleads with us, “As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11 “Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” Mal 3:7 “I will heal [your] backsliding, I will love [you] freely.” Hosea 14:4 “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:25,26
Think of it! Our Great Creator longs to have closer fellowship with us than a loving mother has with her well-beloved child. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.” Isa 49:15,16 Our Dear Saviour pleads, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev 3:20 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isa 57:15-17 What a wonderful God!
May we cling to our Loving Saviour just as tightly as Esther Marie clung to me, when we were going to be separated for a few days. May we, throughout our life, walk in the assurance of His matchless love and grace is my prayer.