Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

The Holy Spirit – Day 3

Daring David

Bible text(s)

8But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Today our attention is drawn to the power of the Holy Spirit working mightily in the life of a key figure in the Old Testament a thousand years before Jesus came, witnessing to God’s greatness.

“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26). These were the words of a young shepherd who recognised the insult being levelled at God by Goliath, the champion of a heathen army, and he was appalled that the Israelites were afraid to stand up to him.

Although young, David had a passion for God within him and had already learnt to trust Him as he experienced His protection while tending his father’s flocks. His first bold act was to volunteer to fight the giant, and his second was choosing not to wear armour into the fight against Goliath. He assured King Saul: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

What exhilarating words of faith these are! Fired up by the Spirit, David prepared for battle by selecting stones from the river; then he went into battle against Goliath armed only with a staff, a sling and five pebbles. “ ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied’ … ‘All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands’ ” (1 Samuel 17:45,47). What faith and courage David exhibited! He recognised that the Philistine was well armed outwardly, but that inwardly he only had false gods, and therefore false courage, to rely upon; whereas his own confidence was in the only true God. What we see here is God again working in the power of His Spirit in the life of an ordinary person of faith by transforming his spirit, and working through his God-given qualities in an extraordinary way.

There are several things that stand out in David’s attitude and behaviour: his fierce sensitivity to the reverence due to God, his confidence in God’s ability to save him, and his courage and willingness to step out in faith for God’s honour. We are able to discern the Holy Spirit at work in him and he is empowered by God to witness to His greatness. When someone takes a stand, the effect is positive and powerful because it encourages and delights many as the person diminishes and God is glorified. We too can take a stand and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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