Posts Tagged Goliath

Forgive & Forget

Jeremiah 31: 34

I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

The entire topic about forgiveness fills volumes. There is God forgiving us and us forgiving others. However, there is another aspect of this topic that is interesting. Let’s call it forgive and forget. Is it truly forgiveness if we retain the memory of the transgression? Do we forgive someone only to later resurrect that offense in times of anger or self-victimization?

God not only forgives our sins but He puts them behind Him, literally. Isaiah 38: 17 says that he casts our sins behind His back. They are behind Him where He can no longer see them. He isn’t holding onto our sin, mistakes, misdeeds, errors or even plain stupidness. The God’s Word translation of today’s verse reads, “I will forgive their wickedness and I will no longer hold their sins against them.” To God, forgiveness means that He has erased it and put it out of His mind. Whew! That is what I call “Good News.”

Now with people, it can be a different thing. We like to retain the sin of others. “Forget my sin, Father, but I will never forget what that person did to me.” We even retain the sins of people who do not directly affect us. There is no better example of this than David. We are first introduced to David in 1st Samuel. He was a shepherd boy who the great prophet, Samuel, anointed to be king. After his calling and anointing, though, he returned to tending sheep, which is so often the case. The next big thing we hear of David is of him slaying the giant, Goliath. David eventually went on to live in the palace of King Saul and served him faithfully. He became a mighty warrior but in his madness, Saul chased him off. Eventually though, David does become the king of Israel. In fact, The Complete Book of Who’s Who in the Bible by Philip Comfort and Walter A. Elwell, says that he was Israel’s most important king. But the great king fell. He lusted after Bathsheba, contrived to have her husband killed, and then took her for himself. Later he repented, God forgave him and his life prospered. We wrote most of the Psalms and through the Psalms we get the most clear picture of a close relationship, a true loving connection between a person and God.

I am always amazed when out of all of the Psalms, 1st Samuel, 2nd Samuel, 1st Chronicles, and the slaying of Goliath the one thing people choose to bring up about David is that he sinned. Really? Jesus made it quite evident that we have all sinned when he said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone” (John 8: 7). Paul just came right out and said it in Romans 3: 23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But then Paul, knowing God and His forgiveness, went on to write, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (v. 24). In other words, although we have all sinned and as such fall short of the glory of God, God, by His grace, extends mercy and forgiveness to us as a free gift. We haven’t earned forgiveness. We don’t deserve it but that is what grace is, a free, undeserved gift. Yea!

Likewise, it was God’s grace that forgave David. Psalm 51 is a clear picture of a contrite and repentant heart. David knew that he sinned against God and even against himself but he also knew God’s loving-kindness better than any human that had walked the earth. He believed in the kindness of God and he repented. Do you know what God had to say about David? The bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13: 14). God’s opinion of David isn’t of David as a sinner but as a beloved child. He loved that, although David messed up, he sought God’s heart.

What does it say about us if our recollection of David is of his sin with Bathsheba? How many sins have we committed? In fact, Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7: 1) and yet we sit in judgment of David as if we are any better. That is sin. If God has forgiven David, why do we insist on holding on to his sin? If God remembers his sin no more, why do we post it on our bulletin boards? Is this an attempt to make us feel better about our sin and inadequacies? I am thankful God forgave David. I praise God that He has put David’s sin behind Him because I need that same grace. I want Yahweh to forget all the times that I have messed up too.

Jesus died for my sin and yours. The grace that was big enough to pardon David is more than able to cleanse us of our iniquity. The blood of Jesus is more potent than any sin or any sinner. Whoever puts themselves under the blood is cleansed, praise God, so we must ask ourselves what relationship we are to have with another person’s sin. Secondly, Father God chooses to forgive your sin (even your sin of judgment) and remember it no more. So, why should you retain the memory of it along with all of the accompanying emotions if God has put it behind him?

I encourage you to take your sin to the loving Father and lay it at His feet. Speak with Him with an open and contrite heart. When, however, you leave the throne room, leave that sin there along with the memory of it. Bury your sin and stop digging it up. Dad doesn’t want to be reminded of it. He has put it behind him. Now, can you?

From Sling to King

1 Samuel 17: 45

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.”

Imagine being on the sidelines the day that David entered the battlefield against the giant, Goliath. As you look upon the mammoth Goliath not only would you be impressed by his towering physique but also his armor and weaponry which must have been quite impressive. He was armed with a sword, a spear and a javelin. I strongly suspect that all three were exquisite as far as weapons go. As if that was not enough, Goliath also had someone trailing him who carried his shield.

You turn your attention to the other end of the field where enters a youth, just a boy, who is clothed in shepherd’s garb. He has neither fancy armor nor fine weapons. Suspended from the cord tied around his waist you see a pouch and a sling; in his hand, a stick. In vain you continue to search for a viable opponent who will separate himself to fight Goliath. No, the only one moving forward is the boy.

The giant is insulted that Israel would send a runt armed with a stick to face the mighty Philistine warrior and so he hurls insults and taunts at the young defender of Israel’s pride. It is surprising, is it not, that King Saul and the strong, brave commanders of the Israelite army would even allow a young boy to face the champion of Philistia but no one other than the youth seems to respond to the insults of the Philistine. David boldly answered Goliath saying, “This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you” (v. 46). Goliath must have been amused and perhaps even the soldiers of Israel thought David’s statements ludicrous because no one was taking into account David’s real weapon. He declared it from the beginning mocking Goliath as he did so. “You,” he said, “come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts. ” 

More powerful than any weapon ever forged is the name of the Lord. More devastating even than modern armament is the glorious name of our Lord. David knew this. He wasn’t just hoping. His was not just an empty boast. He knew that our God is awesome and a mighty force who is always on our side and able to overcome any adversity. So convinced was this diminutive warrior that when Goliath drew up to the battle line he actually ran quickly to meet his adversary (v. 48). David was not afraid. Wow! He was bold, courageous and convinced of God’s potent assistance. So, I ask you, who really was the giant that day? I suggest that the little Israelite shepherd boy was a great giant of faith.

What are the giants in your life? Of what are you afraid? Are there things in your life that threaten to overcome you, even annihilate you? You need to take a page out of David’s book. There is a reason he would later write so many psalms about the Lord being a refuge and a strong tower and about trusting the Lord. He witnessed time and time again the saving power of our God. He proclaimed in the face of his adversary the outcome declaring boldly that God will win the day. His confession preceded his victory because he steadfastly believed in our God. 

I, therefore, encourage you today. The same God is standing beside you. You have as much right to the name of the Lord as did David. As a matter of fact, your covenant with the Almighty is actually better than David’s but he understood his and he relied on it. He became the greatest king of Israel, his throne enduring throughout eternity because he knew how to trust God. It wasn’t the rock that killed Goliath. It was faith in the name of our Lord. It was the mighty hand of the Lord that delivered Goliath into the David’s hands and God will do the same to your giants too. David was not focused on his might and his ability with a sling. Instead he relied on his God and he prevailed against overwhelming odds. You can too.