November 4th 2018: Norman Rees

Norman Rees-May18‘The Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s.
1 Samuel 17:47

Before us we have this great battle. The giant Goliath, standing at 9 foot 4 against David, the little shepherd boy, who was probably a teenager. This physical battle has spiritual overtones. The battle we face is spiritual. When we are faced with oppositional difficulties, the Captain of our Salvation is still in control. The battle is the Lord’s. This battle rages on. It started in heaven with Lucifer who was cast out of heaven into the earth.

In this chapter we read of the battle between the Philistines camped in Israelite land, who are facing each other on either side of a valley. The giant Goliath came out for forty days to challenge the Israelites. All the men of Israel were afraid and fled.

David was a choice servant in Saul’s company; he played for Saul for the spirit of depression to move from Saul. David was also a shepherd. He had a position of looking after his father’s sheep. David’s father, Jesse, sent him to the battlefield with provisions for his brothers and the commander of the army. Whilst he was there, Goliath came out once again to challenge the Israelites. David, hearing the giant’s challenge, asked why everyone was afraid of Goliath, who was not a man of God. He told the people he was not afraid of Goliath. He wanted to show God could defeat this enemy.

This giant, this one man, held the nation to ransom. David said there was a reason for this. God had allowed it and planned it. We are all here today for a reason. Where you are placed, in your situation, God has planned.

Saul, King of Israel, sent for David. He told him he couldn’t fight because he was a youth. David argued from past experience; he had fought a lion and a bear. Perhaps we might face situations where the devil casts us down and we ask how the Lord can deliver us. We may forget the past where God had delivered us. The devil is far too strong for us, but God delivers us. If you have difficulties and the devil is mocking you, turn to God. The devil is loose to attack. He is like a roaring lion. Look back and see how the Lord has helped you. David looked back and said the Lord helped him then and the Lord will help him now. The Lord has already silence the devil on the cross, in those three long hours of darkness. We cannot tell what He suffered, the spiritual darkness He suffered because of our sins. But on the third day He rose again. Praise God!

David lived a life of a believer in God. He’d experienced hard things in his life. The gospel needs to be preached to bring light. The devil is angry with people who are saved. David is one who is standing for the Lord. The Father keeps us day by day. Some attacks we will never know that we have been saved from as the evil one has been kept at bay. We are living in dark days, it’s nothing new. We face an enemy opposing the gospel.

This giant was not only 9 foot 4, but he was armed with a coat of mail of 125 pounds. He was confident in his armour and weapons – a formidable enemy. But with God, nothing is impossible. We have the challenge, we have the combat. The devil will attack when we are low. Sometimes we quote the Word of God and the devil laughs. But remember, the battle is the Lord’s. We are foot soldiers. We do battle for the Lord.

David shows how keen he is to fight the enemy. Satan, through Goliath, rises up. God has never lost and never will lose. David ran to meet the foe. Resist the devil. How easy it is to succumb to the devil. It’s not easy to resist. The devil is strong but God is stronger.

David slung one stone at Goliath and it was guided by God’s hand. Goliath fell by one stone. We can kill the devil’s attacks with the stone of prayer. The Bible is full of experiences of men who have faced the enemy head on but, in the name of the Lord, have triumphed. We go in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of our Salvation.

David makes sure the enemy knows it is God who will deliver him. We are surrounded by enemies, people who despise us because we’re Christians. Jesus said ‘don’t be surprised by this. They hated me before they hated you.’ He will guide us and protect us.

The skirmish down here on earth is nothing compared to the glory of heaven. God has won the victory. Oh that God would slay the enemy before us this day. We need to have our eyes open to see God is glorious (Elisha) Do not fear. We are surrounded by enemies but God is with us. We are more than conquerors.

God has been with us in the past and He will always be with us. The weapons of our warfare are spiritual: prayer, the Word of God, seeking the face of our God (Colossians 2). Jesus, when He died upon the cross for our sins, triumphed over the devil. God delivers sinners from satan’s grasp. The battle is the Lord’s. Praise God! It is not ours, it’s the Lord’s. He gives us the victory.

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