David’s 400 Men

“Many people joined David. There were men who were in some kind of trouble, men who owed a lot of money, and men who were just not satisfied with life. All kinds of people joined David, and he became their leader. He had about 400 men with him.” (1Sam. 22:2 EASY TO READ VERSION).

These are the sort of people that followed David all through his life as a fugitive — men who themselves had lost hope — men in some kind of trouble, men in debt and even men who were simply not satisfied with life!

Is it not an irony that someone who himself was an outlaw, would find hope in another outlaw to the point of committing his entire life to him? No doubt, these out laws numbering 400 men must have seen something unique in David who himself was an outlaw. They must have seen hope, and found confidence and assurance of life in him. They must have seen a leadership attribute in David, which compelled 400 men to commit their lives into his hands. Most of all, they must have seen God in David.

Yes! Even in his difficulties, David trusted God enough and manifested every bit of this to the point where his life became an attractive aroma, which compelled men to him.

This is instructive; God allows us to go through life difficulties, which serve as vehicles to draw men to Him. I have no doubt that some of those 400 men must have encountered God in one way or the other during their time with David. Thus, we should pray not really asking God to take away difficult times when they come, but pray God to strengthen us to go through them for His glory.

Our attitude in difficult times also matter. David showed himself a great leader under even life threatening circumstances. He never cursed God or asked God, “why me?” He went through all challenges courageously by the strength of the Holy Spirit. This great leadership attitude encouraged men who had lost hope in life to see David as one who could give them life and hope. They simply said, “If David could make it, I can make it.” So they joined his company that formed a formidable military might.

Examine yourself: does your attitude to life attract people to you and God or repels people from you and God?

David’s 400 Men

“Many people joined David. There were men who were in some kind of trouble, men who owed a lot of money, and men who were just not satisfied with life. All kinds of people joined David, and he became their leader. He had about 400 men with him.” (1Sam. 22:2 EASY TO READ VERSION).

These are the sort of people that followed David all through his life as a fugitive — men who themselves had lost hope — men in some kind of trouble, men in debt and even men who were simply not satisfied with life!

Is it not an irony that someone who himself was an outlaw, would find hope in another outlaw to the point of committing his entire life to him? No doubt, these out laws numbering 400 men must have seen something unique in David who himself was an outlaw. They must have seen hope, and found confidence and assurance of life in him. They must have seen a leadership attribute in David, which compelled 400 men to commit their lives into his hands. Most of all, they must have seen God in David.

Yes! Even in his difficulties, David trusted God enough and manifested every bit of this to the point where his life became an attractive aroma, which compelled men to him.

This is instructive; God allows us to go through life difficulties, which serve as vehicles to draw men to Him. I have no doubt that some of those 400 men must have encountered God in one way or the other during their time with David. Thus, we should pray not really asking God to take away difficult times when they come, but pray God to strengthen us to go through them for His glory.

Our attitude in difficult times also matter. David showed himself a great leader under even life threatening circumstances. He never cursed God or asked God, “why me?” He went through all challenges courageously by the strength of the Holy Spirit. This great leadership attitude encouraged men who had lost hope in life to see David as one who could give them life and hope. They simply said, “If David could make it, I can make it.” So they joined his company that formed a formidable military might.

Examine yourself: does your attitude to life attract people to you and God or repels people from you and God?

Conquering Life Troubles.

“A righteous person will have many troubles, but the LORD will deliver him from them all.” Psalm 34:19

There is no better way to say this other than as it is written that as God’s children we must face afflictions. This means that afflictions (troubles) must come to a child of God in one way or the other, period.

To my mind, I believe this is the first step to conquering all troubles of life, which is knowing that they (those troubles) must come. With this knowledge, I will be better prepared to handle any when they come because I was forewarned. But how sad it will be to be caught by surprise—those troubles coming unannounced like a thief in the night!

So God made it clear and we in turn must admit that life troubles or challenges must come, we have no choice, so better be prepared because they are coming. But people still blame God for their problems! They say God is not fair, as Christians, they believe afflictions shouldn’t come their way.

Who is man to blame His maker? As long as we remain in this world of sin, afflictions must come. The earlier we come to terms with God’s definite word as written in this verse the better. Otherwise, rather than overcoming your life afflictions, you will continue querying God till you are completely overcome by them.

Interestingly, while God is clear about troubles coming our way, He is even more definite with an assurance that we shall overcome, come what may. Yes, afflictions will come, so have faith, do not get fixated at those challenges but know that in the midst of it all, God has promised deliverance, safety, an escape, etc. So just have faith.

David, the author of this wonderful verse spent a great deal of his time in the wilderness fighting for his dear life first against a sitting King (Saul) who desperately needed to kill him to keep his throne. Secondly, David also had to contend against wild animals in the wilderness. With all the reality of death steering at him daily, he must have recognised that though afflictions (troubles) came his way just as they did, God delivered him from them ALL, as God did.

Therefore, David was in a perfect position to declare: “Good people might have many problems, but the LORD will take them all away.”(Easy to Read Version). This is our assurance; though troubles may come, the LORD will provide a way of escape!

Paul in defending his Apostleship, chose rather to boast (glory or rejoice) in his sufferings (troubles) for the sake of the Gospel (2Cor.11:22-30). Note that he did not get fixated at his life troubles and give up. He counted them all joy and refused to be distracted by them.

Even when those challenges began to overwhelm him and he sought God concerning them, God simply asked him to have faith, and never to get bugged down by them:“…’My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.’ I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me.’ “ (2Cor.12:9 Good News Bible).

If we must overcome challenges of life, we must adopt Paul’s attitude to life problems and truly get adapted to it. It is by doing this that we (and the entire world) will see God’s protection over us.

Also note that life challenges draw us closer to God’s purpose for our lives — all things work out for our good, (Rom.8:28).

While life troubles for certainty must come, greater is the assurance that God will deliver from then all. So keep moving and don’t look back.

Overcoming Your fears.

“So he asked the LORD, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines?’. ‘Yes,’ the LORD answered. ‘Attack them and save Keilah.’ “ 1 Sam. 23:2

Young David had spent a great portion of his life in the wild for fear of King Saul who sought to kill him. News got to him that the Philistines were attacking Keilah, a city in Judah. The normal thing any one would to do especially a warrior, is to gather his men and immediately go out to war. But this was not the case with young David as he never allowed his warrior status or exploits get into him. Rather than count on his exploit and his private army, he sought the face of God for directions.

After David had received a clear approval from God to advance against the Philistines, his men gave him a reason not to. Needless to say, this reason was genuine. They said, “…Look, even here in Judah we’re afraid of the Philistines. We will be terrified if we try to fight them at Keilah.” (verse 3 CEV). Obviously, fear of the Philistines had overwhelmed David’s army and this was a bad sign as no commander can risk taking a discouraged or fainthearted soldiers to a war front. So, what was David to do?

David did not start worrying over his fearful, discouraged or even fainthearted soldiers. Rather, he took his case back to God the second time simply to know His will. Again, God gave him His seal of approval. Not only did he get an approval, he got an assurance of victory and so it happened (verse 4-5).

David had every reason to count on his exploits to go to war instead of trusting in the LORD. He even had more reasons to sit back and allow the people of Keilah to be destroyed by the Philistines.

But in the midst of all options, possibilities or excuses opened to him, he chose to seek God’s face. And as God directed, he obeyed.

His men feared the Philistines so much that they won’t dare go out to war against them. But how come David’s ill equipped and poorly motivated army went out to war against a superior force and returned victorious?

By simple obedience of one man, unusual strength came upon a fearful group of men and an entire city was delivered.

Like David’s army, we are fearful of realities of life steering us in our faces. But for God’s will to be effected, we must seek His face to get directives from Him as David did. And as we obey, our fears shall be vanquished as the Philistines were.

The Sling and the Stone faith.

“…who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1Sam. 17:26b ISV

Yesterday, I wrote extensively on this story but on a different theme: How do you fight a battle? The Sling and the Stone faith, which is today’s subject is simply an extract from the previous.

David a young and inexperienced shepherd boy was to face Goliath, a giant standing at 9 feet and a national champion. This was a confrontation no one expected David to come but his views and faith in God marked the difference

Firstly he was grieved that Goliath made mockery of the armies of the living God, (verse 26). Thus, Goliath was actually mocked God. David’s position demonstrated his concern for the honour, reputation and respect for God. So he vowed to do everything to protect this honour and reputation.

Also note that David expressed confidence in God to save him and not in his military experience, (verse 37). With uncompromising trust in God, he fearlessly removed Saul’s armour and went out to war against giant Goliath with mere stones and a sling (verse 39).

From verse 43 you will notice some striking differences between faith in God and confidence in the arm of flesh. While Goliath mocked David’s crude military ware and boasted (as some of us do) about his abilities or strength and how he would simply break David down and give his flesh to the birds to eat, David expressed his confidence in God to save and deliver. He never relied on his abilities for a moment, (verse 45).

David also established something, which the whole of Israel including the King himself never realised;Goliath saw himself as his national champion, the only one who could deliver his people. But David saw it differently, he saw it as the LORD’s battle and declared that God alone could save.

I must saw that this battle was fought and won in the spiritual realm, words were spoken (exchange of words between Goliath and David). Though Goliath spoke, the words he spoke lacked power because they were based on the flesh. However, David’s words had power because they were God’s words.

When David described Goliath as uncircumcised, he was simply telling Goliath in person that he had no portion in God, thus, Goliath could do nothing. At the same time, he was reminding the whole of Israel of their covenant relationship with God as in Genesis 17 (please read it).

All of David’s actions were expressions of confidence in God and His word. Thus, when he released the stone in the sling, what he actually released were God’s words which he had spoken or confessed. Therefore, it was God’s words as expressed by David that slew Goliath, though we saw a physical stone. Simply put, God’s word empowered a physical stone to make it effective. David’s stone alone without the word of God would have been like Goliath’s spare and javelin without God’s word.

Our challenges in life can only be overcome by not just knowing the word of God but expressing confidence by speaking every bit of God’s word into our situations, (Mark 11:23).

One more thing; David was so jealous for God that he would do all including laying his life to protect God’s honour and reputation. Are you jealous for God? Examine yourself.

How do you fight a battle?

Victory comes from God and not man.

“Then David said to the Philistines, ‘You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiied.’ ” 1 Sam. 17:45 English Standard Version.

Israel was again at war, but against the Philistines. For a period of forty days, Goliath the champion of the Philistines made fun of the army of Israel saying, “Today I stand and make fun of the army of Israel . I dare you to send me one of your men and let us fight.” (Verse 10 Easy – Read Version). This brought fear to the camp of Israel as there was none amongst the army of Israel who could withstand Goliath the giant at 9 feet.

But one day a little boy called David the son of Jesse who was on the father’s errand encountered the scorning of Goliath and made enquiry. But what moved this little David was not so much in the reward promised to anyone who could kill Goliath. He was moved by the fact that Goliath, a man who had no place in God’s covenant made mockery of God and the army of Israel (Verse 26).

All attempt to stop him from standing against the undisputed giant failed. On the set day of the battle, rather than being dressed in full battle regalia, he picked five stones for his locally made catapult. This obviously is not the kind of weapon anyone should take to war at any time. But he was fully persuaded about victory: “…Goliath will die because he made fun of the living God.” (Verse 36b).

And the stage for the great battle was set; Goliath in his full military regalia and standing at 9 feet went against a small and inexperienced shepherd boy holding just five stones and his catapult. Who would you expect to win the battle? The answer is obvious. But not so, Goliath went out against Israel in physical strength, but this was not the case with David: “Today the LORD will let me defeat you… All the people gathered here will know that the LORD doesn’t need swords or spares to save people. The battle belongs to the LORD, and he will help us defeat all of you.” (Verse 46-47). And so with his crude war tools Goliath was defeated and Israel was again delivered.

No one can overcome life challenges in his strength. David knew that by his strength he could not prevail. So he trusted the LORD recognising that life challenges could only be overcome in the LORD.

Like David, we must learn to hand our battles over to the LORD. Your experience, wealth and the people whom you think can help you do not matter. God alone matters as He will never forsake you or leave you. Your strength, experience, wealth, friends, etc may fail you in times of need, but know that God never will.

If you have been fighting that battle thinking you can prevail, it’s high time you handed it over to the LORD because the battle is His; He’ll fight for you.