As I was reading the Word this morning, my mind was glued to an expression I’ve heard in the past, but wasn’t quite sure what it meant. Maybe you know it… have heard it… or even used it yourself. Here’s the expression – “caught between a rock and a hard place.” Or maybe you know this one, “between the devil and the deep blue sea.” Or maybe this one, “… an offer you can’t refuse.”
Those expressions are used when a person is faced with making a choice between two unsatisfactory options. Yup, that’s what I thought of as I read 1 Samuel 17. It’s the whole account of the Israelites up against the Philistines and their champion, Goliath. Evidently, he was undefeated. He was a terrifying mammoth that brought fear and trepidation wherever he went. It wasn’t that he just had a big body, he had a big voice – one that froze the army of Israel.
Here’s the verse that caught my eye…
“And the Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them.” 1 Samuel 17:3
Here’s the dilemma. Do you go and fight him?
On the one hand, you’re a soldier trained for battle. On the other hand, you’ve never fought against anyone like this before.
On the one hand, you might win and be the hero. On the other hand, you might lose your life.
On the one hand, you’d feel so much better if someone else – someone a little braver… a little stronger… you know, one of the leaders, would actually commit to fighting the giant. On the other hand, you know no one’s going to do it.
So all the while, you stand on your side of the valley, listening to the taunts of the merciless enemy. He’s not whispering in your ear. No, he’s shouting in your face that you’ve lost even before you started. He’s telling you your bird food… your carnage. He’s mocking you… intimidating you… bullying you so you won’t do anything.
But I want you to hear this today… this battle, the one you’re living out right now, is not yours. God is going before you. God is your Deliverer. God will bring you out victorious. Here’s what David knew and said…
“… for the battle is the LORD’s and He will give you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Quit standing on your side of the valley, listening to the mindless, endless chatter of the enemy, paralyzing you with fear. Go, get your five smooth stones… grab your sling… run out onto the battlefield and meet the giant. Don’t give him one more precious moment of your time. Get in his face and reassure him you did not come here to lose today! Why? Because this battle is the LORD’S.
Go before me as I step out in faith today. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen