Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 8, 2020

Joining the Ranks of the Faithful and Entering Your Land of Promise!

Joshua, Caleb, and David

This past Sunday we heard an excellent message by Dave Kinney, our Discipleship Pastor, on the subject of David and Goliath. It stirred my thoughts on the parallels between David, and Joshua and Caleb, who had lived many centuries earlier. In both cases they were faced with what seemed to others as insurmountable obstacles but appeared to them as achievable objectives.

I have written on the situation that faced Israel as it emerged from the wilderness, and stood on the border of the “Promise Land:” how the 12 spies were sent into the land and all but 2 spies, Joshua and Caleb, returned with a negative report of hopelessness as there were “Giants in the Land.”

David First

In David’s case, the army of Israel had been immobilized by a huge Philistine warrior named Goliath; not one soldier in the army of Israel was prepared to stand and do battle with Goliath.

Goliath had a very formidable appearance, in 1 Samuel 17:4-7 we read:

“4 Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.”

From a human perspective, Goliath would have been overpowering as a battle opponent and sadly, that just happened to be the way the army of Israel was seeing him. What is interesting to note is David’s attitude toward Goliath from the very first; Goliath’s appearance was never a factor in his thinking!

“26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?””

In effect, David was already counting his reward for slaying Goliath; the outcome had already been decided and David would kill Goliath in battle and win the reward offered by King Saul! That is a sublime example of walking by faith and not by sight; David’s confidence in the Lord is again shown in verse 48:

“48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.”

No hesitancy or trepidation there, David runs to meet Goliath in battle! Such faith helps us understand God’s affection for David!

Caleb and Joshua Second

David’s reaction to Goliath is similar in tone to the reply given by Caleb when he reacted to the negative report given by the ten spies:

“30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”

As a result of their lack of faith, the ten spies who gave the bad report were struck dead by a plague;

“36 The ten men Moses had sent to explore the land—the ones who incited rebellion against the Lord with their bad report— 37 were struck dead with a plague before the Lord. 38 Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Joshua and Caleb remained alive.”

Eventually Joshua and Caleb entered the land and led the victorious battles that won the land for Israel; but only after the word of the Lord had been fulfilled:

29 You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. 30 You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Israel wandered in the wilderness until every one of those, 20 and over who had been included in the registration, had died in the wilderness; only then did the Lord permit Israel to enter their promised land!

You and Me Third

Life can be counted on to bring the unexpected; it may not be today, or tomorrow, or even next week, but somewhere down the road, you are going to encounter the insurmountable obstacle in your life. At that point you will have the opportunity to become a kindred spirit with David, Joshua, and Caleb and countless others, or you can join the ranks of those who lack the faith to believe God.

As Christians, our eternal destiny has been assured by the sacrifice on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; what is in question is our quality of life and service as Christian men and women during the years of our mortality. As soldiers of the cross, we live out our entire lives on a spiritual battlefield; the New Testament is filled with words of caution on fighting the battle in the power of the Lord.

We simply must live a life of faith and not a life based on sight; we have a Godly helper, the Holy Spirit, to help us in this battle and should always look to him for the strength needed to prevail in this spiritual war. I have revised and will again publish the series on Giants in the Land; it will show the opportunities we have been given to join the ranks of the faithful and enter our land of promise!

For we live by believing and not by seeing. 2 Corinthians 5:7


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