40 days and 40 nights :: Put an end to the time of taunting

This is part of the 40 days and 40 nights series.

The Bible states that the champion of the Philistines, Goliath of Gath, taunted the Israelites, and defied the armies of the living God (1 Samuel 17:26, 36) and God himself (1 Samuel 17:45), for a period of forty days, both morning (day) and evening (night) (1 Samuel 17:16), until David, the shepherd boy, responded to the call to fight and went against him in the name of the LORD of armies (1 Samuel 17:45). David defeated the taunter and put an end to the taunting that had gone on for forty days.

Points to ponder:
There may be many taunters in our life, some of which are life’s circumstances while others  are people, that taunt us and defy the LORD of hosts, whom we worship and serve. Like David, can each one of us, who are part of God’s army, respond to the call to fight and go against our taunters in the name of the LORD. The time of taunting may seem long, but it will come to an end, when God’s people rise up against the taunting and respond in the LORD’s name. Are you and I going to get up and go in God’s name to put an end to the time of taunting?

1 Samuel 17:4-10, 16,26,36, 45, 48-51 (KJV)
4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

What kind of giant are you?

Genesis 6:4 speaks of some earthly giants in the days of Noah. The Bible describes these giants as men who became mighty and renowned. Yet these giants were the result of an unholy union between the sons of God (fallen angels) and the daughters of men and in their time each man did evil continually, except Noah.

Fast forward, many generations, and we come to the time of David, the shepherd boy turned king; the son of Jesse. David faced another giant, one named Goliath in the name of the Lord and was successful in defeating and destroying him (1 Samuel 17). He was not worried of his current circumstances nor the potential future outcome, because he did not focus on himself, but on God. In essence, while Goliath was a physical giant, David was a spiritual giant.

Points to ponder:
David knew that he was owned by God. He belonged to God for God addresses him as “my servant” (2 Samuel 7:5) and was with him (2 Samuel 7:9). He focused (renewed) his mind by keeping his eyes fixed on the Lord (1 Samuel 17:45; Isaiah 26:5; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:2) that made him one of the mightiest kings of Israel, one of great renown (even more than the then king of Israel – king Saul).
A spiritual giant is one who is mighty because the Almighty God is in and with him or her.
A spiritual giant is one who is renowned for he/she is RENewed in his/her mind and OWNED by God.

Are you a spiritual giant? What kind of giant are you? What kind of giant will you become?

Genesis 6:4 (KJV)
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Nahum 1:7 – The Good Lord is a strong hold and he knows

Nahum 1:7 reads, “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Many times, in Psalm 136, we are counseled to give thanks to the LORD for he is good (Psalm 136:1-26). Jesus said, that he is the good Shepherd and he knows his sheep (John 10:14). Sheep trust their Shepherd to keep them safe, secure and satisfied for the good Shepherd leads his sheep by still (peaceful) waters and green (productive) pastures. Sheep that wander away are lost but the good Shepherd comes seeking for the lost (Luke 15:4-7). Many a times, like sheep, we wander away from the presence of God and get lost, but because the Lord is good, and he knows who are his (2 Timothy 2:19), he instructs sinners (us) in his ways (Psalm 25:8). Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness (2 Timothy 2:19).

God is a strong hold – he is a strong foundation and his solid foundation stands firm (2 Timothy 2:19). He holds on strongly to those who trust in him amidst the tempestuous storms of troubles, that buffet against their lives. Because God is the stronghold in the times of troubles, the Lord is the Salvation to the righteous (Psalm 37:39), who trust in him and who believe in his name. When the shepherd boy David faced the giant Goliath, he went forth holding on to the name of the Lord (1 Samuel 17:45) and God held on to him as he faced the giant, giving him victory, which in human minds seemed implausible and impossible.

Points to ponder:
Jesus is the good Shepherd coming in search of you and me. Only in him, can we be safe, secure and satisfied. We who confess his name, must turn away from wickedness and hold on strongly to him. He will never leave us nor forsake us and he will hold on to us strongly, and is therefore our Salvation, no matter how gigantic our troubles may be.
O taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8), bless is the man who trusteth in God, for God knows them that trust in him. Does God know you?

Nahum 1:7 (KJV)
The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV)
19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.

Psalm 34:8 (KJV)
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

A heart of integrity

Psalm 78:70-72 in the Bible tells us that God chose David the shepherd boy to be the shepherd of his people and David fed them according to the integrity of his heart and with his skillful hands he led them. “Integrity of his heart” – what does that mean? According to Merriam -Wesbster’s, Integrity is defined as the quality or state of being complete (wholesome) or undivided.

David who slew the giant Goliath as a shepherd boy failed to slay the giant of lust within his heart as the king (shepherd) of God’s people and commited the sin of adultery with Uriah’s wife, which displeased God. So how could it be said that David had a heart of integrity? God chose David because he was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). So David started out with a heart of integrity. But when David wilfully sinned against God, his heart was divided between the matters of the Spirit of God and the flesh; no longer wholesome, no longer complete. So God sends his prophet Nathan to confront the king and David repents. In his prayer of repentance David prayed that God creates in him a clean heart (Psalm 51:10) and later affirms that God will not despise a contrite (remorseful) heart (Psalm 51:17).

So we learn that a heart of integrity is one that is complete (undivided/wholesome); one after God’s own heart. A heart of integrity is also one that has been washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, in response to a penitent prayer that comes from a contrite (remorseful) heart.

Points to ponder:
Jesus answered that the greatest commandment over all is to love the Lord your God, with your WHOLE heart, soul, mind and strength. In other words, we must love God with our COMPLETE heart; with a heart of integrity. Do you/I? A heart of integrity is one that is not only COMPLETE in its allegiance to God, but one that has been CLEANED by Jesus Christ. The cleaning of our heart comes when we believe in him and repent of our wicked ways with a CONTRITE heart, for that is one that God will not despise.

Today if you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart! (Hebrews 3:8). God is willing to take our heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19); one that is COMPLETE in its devotion to Christ Jesus and CLEANED – one of integrity. Is your/my heart, one of integrity?

Psalm 78: 70-72 (KJV)
70 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
71 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

God of the mighty

While learning the song, Agnus Dei, instead of singing “for the Lord God Almighty reigns”, our beloved 5 year old son, Reuben, kept singing “for the God of the mighty reigns.” My loving wife, Sangeetha attempted to correct him, but while she was doing so, it dawned on me that my son, without realizing was proclaiming another truth from the Holy Bible. God, the Most High is not just the Lord God Almighty, but He is also the God of the mighty.

The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word, “mighty” as someone who is possessing “power.” As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are not just a peculiar people, but we are a powerful people, for God did not give unto us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Just as David, a shepherd boy towered over the mighty trained soldier Goliath, with God in us (not just on our side), we are stronger than the strongest and mightier than the mightiest that the world can raise. We are a mighty people and the Most High, who reigns, is our God. For indeed the Lord God Almighty reigns; For indeed the God of the mighty reigns.

1 John 4:4 (KJV)
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

The Armor David Wore :: Powerful Prayer

Though King David is known to have been to be a great warrior and giant killer, he was an even greater warrior of a different kind. He was a prayer warrior. In fact, the Bible has in it various kinds of prayers that David prayed; some of which are the prayer of praises and adoration (1 Chronicles 29:10-13), the prayer of petition (Psalm 70), the prayer of deliverance (Psalm 25), the fasting prayer of intercession (2 Samuel 12:16), and the well known prayer of earnest repentance (Psalm 51).

Though it is not explicitly stated that David prayed before facing the giant Goliath, we can be certain that David faced Goliath not on his own strengths, skills and savvy, but in the name of the Lord, with whom he had an intimate relationship. Such a relationship is only possible when one spends time (and may I say in communication/prayer) with the Lord. David’s one desire was that he would dwell in the house of the Lord and gaze on the beauty of the Lord all the days of his life and to enquire (pray/talk with/seek) Him in His temple (Psalm 27:4). We share the deepest of our feelings and plans with those whom we love and spend time with. It is certainly not far fetched to recognize that David spent so much time with the Lord, talking with Him (in prayer), that God shared his deepest feelings and plans with David, so much so that God was able to testify that David was a man after God’s own heart.

Ephesians 6:11-18 teaches us about the items that make the Armor of God, and often many of us stop with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, but the Scripture continues to inform us that we must continuously (unceasingly) “Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;“. For us to be victorious in spiritual warfare, we must fight on our knees with ceaseless prayer from our hearts and lips. One thing the devil and his demons dread is to see a sinner on his knees praying for the Salvation of his/her soul or a saint on his/her knees in prayer and supplication in the Spirit for themselves and other saints.

When the disciples asked Jesus as to why they were unable to cast a demon out of a possessed boy, Jesus’ response was that such a kind can be cast out only by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:14-21). Without prayer (and fasting), some of the demonic strongholds cannot be broken. To hold the sword of the Spirit (word of God) and not be in prayer is akin to having a sheathed sword; it would not be optimal in spiritual battle (against demonic strongholds). The breaking of chains and the bringing down of giants is possible by prayer (communion with God).

Are/Am you/I a prayer warrior? In fact, to pray is to engage in battle.

Ephesians 6:18 (KJV)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The Armor David Wore :: Helmet of Salvation

The Bible records that David, the shepherd boy chose not to wear the armor of a soldier, that King Saul armed him with, when he averred to fight the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:38-39). But David did wear another kind of armor, an armor that was more effective than the physical armor that he chose not to wear, against an armored foe. It was a spiritual armor that He wore.

The helmet is part of an armor that protects the head literally and figuratively the mind. The Bible says that He [God] will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [fixed] on Him [God] (Isaiah 26:3). The Psalmist (David) avers that the Lord is my light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1). Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are assured of Salvation and they can be in perfect peace without any fear. They are assured of eternal life and even death cannot drive fear into their hearts and mind. David recognized that he had no reason to fear the giant Goliath, because he knew that the Lord was his Salvation. He in fact states that boldly to the giant that it will be the Lord who would deliver the giant into his hands; in other words, it will be the Lord who will save him.  He had armed himself with the helmet of Salvation and there was nothing for him to fear.

Do you/I have perfect peace as did David? Are you/I armed with the helmet of Salvation that drives out fear?

Psalm 27:1 (KJV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?