Monday Morning Devotional

Week of June 18, 2018

“Jesse said to his son David, ‘Take for your brothers and ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them.’” --- 1 Samuel 17:17-18

The story of David and Goliath is one of the most, if not the most, familiar narratives in the Old Testament. One reason is due to the way in which the characters are referenced frequently in the world of sports. The internet abounds with stories and lists of the greatest upsets in sports history. In football, who can forget the Appalachian State Mountaineers defeating the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines at the Big House? That same year, the Gardner-Webb University Men’s Basketball Team travelled to Kentucky where the Bulldogs defeated the No. 23 Wildcats, 84-68, at historic Rupp Arena. And while we are considering Gardner-Webb athletics, I should mention that on March 13 of this year, my good friend Rusty Stroupe coached the Gardner-Webb University baseball team to an inspiring 1-0 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels, the only ACC team headed to the College World Series.

However, the David and Goliath story from the world of sports that seems to top most every list is the United States hockey team defeating the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Jeff Chase of describes it like this: “The Soviets were the favorites heading into this game, as they were a team full of tradition and experience. The Americans, on the other hand, were made up of a bunch of random players, most of whom were college players or nobodies. Still, somehow, they were able to take Lake Placid by storm and take down the mighty Soviets in what will go down as the greatest sports upset of all time” (“The 50 Biggest Upsets in Sports History”).

The biblical narrative of David and Goliath is so much more than a story of an underdog defeating a highly favored champion. One important truth to glean from today’s passage is that of being faithful in doing what we are called to do, even when it means doing the ordinary. David did not go to the battlefield looking for a giant to kill. He was not even in the army. Instead, David looked after the flock while his older brothers went to the battlefield. The reason David even made it to the battlefield where he ultimately defeated Goliath was due to his obedience to his father who sent him to deliver bread to his brothers and cheese to their commander.

Think about it. Even though he had been anointed the next king over Israel, David remained faithful to the work his father had given him. He was obedient in the small things and continued to listen and wait for God to show him what was next. When David heard Goliath “defy the armies of the living God” (v. 26), he recalled how God had saved him from lions and bears and he trusted God to save him from the hand of Goliath. With this confidence in God, David responded to the taunting of Goliath. “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand…so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel…for the battle is the Lord’s (vv. 45-47).

Prayer: Lord, help us to be confident in you and faithful to you in the ordinary and the extraordinary things you call us to do.