Monday, February 6, 2012

David and the giant with 12 fingers and 12 toes!

Have you ever heard about David and Goliath? My guess is that is sort of like asking if you have ever noticed the sky is blue. Most people, even if they don't read the Bible, have heard about this story. But let me ask you this, have you ever heard about the other giants that David and his men faced? Yes, he killed more than just Goliath. Take a look:

II Samuel 21: 15-22 - 15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. 16 And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.”

18 In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.

19 In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliat the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.

20 In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. 21 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.

22 These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.

What is interesting to me is that in I Samuel 17 all of the soldiers are scared of Goliath and are afraid to go against him yet in II Samuel 21 these soldiers are, in essence, saying step aside David, I've got this one! What happened? What caused these guys to go from chickens to champions, from cowards to conquerors? We really are not told but if we step back and look at the big picture we might be able to figure it out.

David was a lot of things. He was a shepherd, a soldier, a king, an adulterer, a murdered, a singer, a dancer, a writer, a musician, a husband, a father, and the list could go on and on but the one thing that was more obvious than all the rest is that he was a leader. Back in I Samuel 17 David showed his men that Goliath could be defeated. He showed them that sometimes you have to take a different approach to the problem. Instead of trying to defeat Goliath with a sword or spear, he approached him with a sling and stones. I think that once the men saw that the giant could be defeated they realized that they too could defeat giants, and they did.

Sometimes we face our own giants when it comes to stepping out and doing what we are called to do. We sit back and wonder if there is any way to defeat the giant. We can begin to slip into self pity or self defeat and make much a do about nothing. We have to realize that there is nothing we are called to do that someone else has not already done. There is no giant that we will face that someone else has not slayed. We need to realize that we have story after amazing story of men and women who have defeated the giants. Instead of being fearful we should feel honored that God would choose us to go to battle with him. It's time to stop whimpering like a scared soldier in I Samuel and say step aside, I've got this one.

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