All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

9 February 2021 – 1 Samuel 17:31-40

When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”

Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. – 1 Samuel 17:31-40 (ESV)

Richard Phillips writes:

If the battle is the LORD’s, what are the weapons with which God would have His people step forward into battle? The apostle Paul answered, pointing to the Word of God: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every loft opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Coupled with God’s Word is the power of prayer. Paul writes of spiritual warfare: “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:17-18).

This is precisely how God’s champions have shaken the world and cast down strongholds in generations past. John Calvin stood in Geneva’s pulpit with a Bible alone, and God raised up a new Jerusalem for the Reformation. John Knox prayed, and Mary, Queen of Scots, trembled. William Wilberforce stood fast on biblical truth before the assembled powers of political calculations and commerce, and God used him to beak the slave trade in England. Like the heroes who have gone before us, and like David departing from Saul to face giant Goliath, our great need today is simply faith: faith in God’s Word, faith in God’s grace to answer prayer, faith in God’s power to uphold His people and preserve the honor of His name, and faith that the battle belongs to the Lord and must be fought with His weapons.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 56
Q. 56. What is the reason annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the third commandment is that however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment.