My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Not As They Appear
Ruins in Rome. Even the great Empire fell.
The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him.
(1 Sam. 17:41 NRSV)
We come to the high point of the story of David and Goliath. They stand, facing one another, prepared to do battle. Goliath is participating in the usual theatrics, calling out jeers and taunting the young shepherd who stands before him. Dressed in the finest armor of the day, it’s believed that Goliath had relationships with foreign countries, as the description of his gear would indicate. Not only was he a skilled warrior, but he was armed with mass weaponry and defenses.
Part of Goliath’s defensive armor was his shield-bearer. This man provided an extra layer of defense as he provided a barrier between Goliath and the one he would fight. This would leave Goliath free to use his arms in battle.
This is the vision of the enemy who stood before the simple shepherd. David appeared to have no weaponry, nor defensive armor. He had no shield-bearer and instead, came armed with all that he knew. David was armed with the knowledge of God and the inspiration to use the skills God had given him. God doesn’t waste anything, and the lions and bears that David had faced in the past were simply times in which to hone his skills for the real battle. He was fully prepared, only no one could see it.
Again we have to see the application of the role of David to that of the Messiah. Just a week ago we remembered Jesus’ death and crucifixion. He faced the enemy of the Roman government and the religious officials. They were armed to the hilt with the weapons of their day. Jesus was nailed to a cross, suffering the most horrific form of execution in the day. There he was, on the cross, looking as if he had no weapons. The enemy taunted our Savior, thinking he had nothing to offer.
But then God let loose his mighty power and the stone hit home! Or, in Jesus’ case, the stone was rolled away. In that moment, David experienced a victory that no one anticipated, and Jesus became victorious over sin and death.
As a little footnote, I find the shield-bearer an interesting character in this story. I think he’s probably often overlooked. However, with all of Goliath’s height and weaponry, why in the world did he think he needed a shield-bearer when facing David? It seems that Goliath was pretty stuck in his way of thinking and used the traditional modes of fighting. However, the shield-bearer must have been there the whole time. What was he doing when David went over and cut off Goliath’s head? Did he just stand there in awe and watch? Did he run away? Why didn’t he do something? Maybe it’s because so much of what Goliath had was just for looks. There was no real power there, only the ability to scare people. The enemy is still employing the same tactics today.
Look around! Things are not as they appear. When we focus on the things of this world and the ways in which they can affect our lives, we forget that we are servants of the most high God. David trusted entirely in the weaponry that God had given him and believed that it could be more powerful than anything the world could throw at him.
Lord, please help me to listen to you and follow your direction. Give me patience with all those whom you place into my life and pathway. May the love of Christ overflow in all that we do. Amen.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain. Observation:
There is a foundation to the house of this life, and that must be the Lord. Application:
I think it started this week when we got off the plane in Boise. A flood of memories began to overwhelm me as I reminisced about the way that things used to be. Many years ago, when we were living in Russia, we would come back home to the United States on furlough, and that always meant coming to Boise, Idaho. My parents were living here and had built a home with two guest rooms that we would call “home” for three months. Exiting the security area at the airport, my parents were always there, waiting with expectant smiles, for us to finally arrive. I can see my mom, clapping her hands, with a grin from ear to ear, just waiting to wrap her arms around every one of us. This week, I glanced at the waiting area as we exited the security …
Scripture: Proverbs 21:17Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want; whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich. Observation:
Some have said that this verse speaks of the dangers of an Epicurean life-style. What does that mean? Generally we have attributed this to the teaching of Epicurus, a philosopher who was born in 341 BC. He encouraged people to find a static state of pleasure where one was satiated — or full. When the pleasures have been completely, or entirely satisfied, then one feels full. Later Epicurean societies adopted a motto: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo ("I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”). In contemporary society this phrase has been adopted to be used at humanist funerals, or to be carved as an epitaph on a headstone.
The problem is that they don’t understand what Wisdom was trying to say. Pleasure alone would ultimately leave one wanting. The Epicurean life of rich foods and drink, as well as the investment in oils and cosmetics could not be sustained. T…
Proverbs 15:17Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. Observation:
The guests are invited to dinner but the host is concerned that there is little to offer. Without the financial resources of the wealthy, they are unable to kill a fatted ox and can only serve vegetables. While some may be discouraged by this, wisdom tells us that the satisfaction depends upon the appetite of the guest. If the guests who are invited are hungry, then even a small meal will be enjoyed and received with gratitude. They will experience the love of the host who was willing to share all he had with his guests. Application:
I was born in Germany where my parents served as missionaries. It seems that our financial resources were often limited, and yet, there was an endless supply of guests at our table. Not only did we have our dear German friends gathering with us at the table, but also many visitors from other countries who would stop by, wanting to see “t…