Samuel, Day 18: The Name of the Lord

1samuelRead 1 Samuel 16 & 17

I spoke about the anointing of David in my message on Sunday. You can read about it in chapter 16. Today I’ll look at the classic story of David and Goliath.

This story is very much like the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer (Chapter 14). Both of these stories are inspiring because these two young men were unblinkingly convinced that they, plus God, were a majority. Most people would run from even the idea of taking on a challenge like this. But their personality, plus the call of God, gave them everything they needed to face the impossible.

The heart of this story comes in what David spoke to Goliath:

David said to the Philistine, “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. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 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.” Vss. 46,47

Reading through 1 Samuel you have to brace yourself for the gruesomeness of the realities of war. So, I’m sorry for the imagery here if you are eating breakfast as you read this! But count the number of times David uses the word “will” here. It’s telling of his confident attitude.

Not only was David convinced that God would do this, but it would happen TODAY and it would not be an isolated victory but total. Part of the reason for David’s faith was that God had shown up for him at other times when he faced animals as he defended his sheep.

One note to keep in mind, before God sends you to face a giant, he usually sends you to face smaller foes first. These tests help build your confidence to face even bigger ones.

David’s faith is the same faith that the Spirit of God within you wants to give you. He wants everyone to see God with this same confidence. How can I be so sure? Because God is the one who gets the credit when we think like this. There is no explanation other than that God showed up.

The Name of the Lord

A key to David’s confidence was the name of the Lord. To come “in the name of” someone at the time was to come in the full power and authority of the person you represent. So David didn’t just see himself as a follower of God in this moment; he saw himself as God’s designated representative. He wasn’t functioning in his power but with the power of God’s authority. That changed everything.

It’s worth a word study on the phrase. Here are two times David used this phrase in the Psalms:

Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7

When you leave your house today to face the challenges of your life, will you go in your power or “in the name of the Lord?” It makes a difference.

Prayer: Father, I want to be like David. I want to not just face the challenges that come my way with more confidence. I want to take on challenges that advance your kingdom here on earth. I want to be used by you to help change lives for good. Fill me with your Spirit and change my way of thinking. Might I not be overcome by the challenges of life but be one who overcomes them in the name of the Lord. Amen.