Our First Reading this week is 1 Samuel 17:41-49.
Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
The story of David and Goliath is one many of us heard first as children. It was part of my early Old Testament learning from a Children’s Bible I received as a Christmas present. While it is a beloved lesson to me, I often find I can’t get past my child-like view of its meaning and it disappoints me that I don’t dig deeper.
However, I look at what God has done for me through that story. It told me of His power and love, that by faith we can stand against tremendous odds. It helped me want to know more of His Word. Even though I don’t have a seminary level understanding of this and many scriptures, God used this passage to speak into my life.
Perhaps we put too much pressure on ourselves to fully understand the meaning of scripture. This doesn’t mean we should stop trying, but maybe instead of struggling with deep lessons, we should simply listen for God’s voice and hear what He needs us to know today. God never stops teaching us and we continue to learn and grow through these faithful accounts.
Patient God, we are thankful that You send us lessons through scripture that we may better know You and each other. Help us to hear the message and apply it in our lives. Amen.