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.
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: 1Sam. 2:18 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Observation:
Little Samuel was being raised in the presence of Eli’s wicked sons. They were doing things wrong, and stealing food from the sacrifices they were supposed to be making on behalf of the people. In their midst was a precious little boy whose mother was influencing him to do everything right. She brought him a new robe every year so that it would fit properly and he wore the linen ephod, a priestly garment, over the top. This was what he should have been doing and he did it right, when Eli’s sons took short-cuts in everything that they were doing.
Hannah came back year after year to check in her son and give him a new garment. One can imagine that she encouraged him to do the right things and to serve God faithfully. Surely, day after day, whi…