Facing Those Challenges

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 17:20-23 (NIV)
Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.

1 Samuel 17:20-23 (MSG)
David was up at the crack of dawn and, having arranged for someone to tend his flock, took the food and was on his way just as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the army was moving into battle formation, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines moved into position, facing each other, battle-ready. David left his bundles of food in the care of a sentry, ran to the troops who were deployed, and greeted his brothers. While they were talking together, the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, stepped out from the front lines of the Philistines, and gave his usual challenge. David heard him.
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“So David got up early in the morning, left the flock with a keeper, picked up the provisions and went just as Jesse had directed him. And he came to the encampment as the army was going out in battle formation shouting the battle cry. Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle formation, army against army. Then David left his provisions in the care of the supply keeper, and ran to the ranks and came and greeted his brothers. As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words again; and David heard him.” -AMPLIFIED

David had been at home while the first confrontations between Israel and the Philistines had been happening. There he had been taking of his dad’s sheep. One day Dad calls him in and asks him to do him a favor. “Take this sack of cracked wheat and these ten loaves of bread and run them down to your brothers in the camp. And take these ten wedges of cheese to the captain of their division. Check in on your brothers to see whether they are getting along all right, and let me know how they’re doing—Saul and your brothers, and all the Israelites in their war with the Philistines in the Oak Valley.” -1 Samuel 17:17-19 (MSG)

Obediently David did as his father had instructed him to do and took some food up to where the battle was taking place. It was never his intention to get into the mix of things. He only went there in obedience to his father’s instructions, but when he arrived he was met with quite the welcome. David reached the camp as the two armies were lining up and shouting war cries at one another. Both sides were prepared to fight against each other. (This was war!)

David put down the provisions that he had brought along and went to talk with his brothers. As they were greeting one another and in the middle of catching up, the big hulk of a giant, Goliath came out to issue his daily challenge. And we are told that David heard him; quite clearly too.

Once again when all the men of Israel saw Goliath and heard what he had to say they began to shake in their shoes. This man was terrifying! They began to talk among themselves, “Have you ever seen anything like this, this man openly and defiantly challenging Israel? The man who kills the giant will have it made. The king will give him a huge reward, offer his daughter as a bride, and give his entire family a free ride.” -1 Samuel 17:25 (MSG)

Remember, it was never David’s intention to come down and face this giant in battle. He did not even know about the giant till now. His intention was only to obey his father, bring some food for his brothers and catch up on the news. There are times though when challenges confront us and there is nothing we can do but meet those giants face on. This was one of those times for David.

We all face challenges. Don’t panic; you are not alone. The Bible is full of people who faced various challenges and those who relied on God came through them victoriously. We need to remember these words of Jesus, “In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.” -John 16:33b (VOICE)

Peter tells us in his epistle, “Dear ones, don’t be surprised when you experience your trial by fire. It is not something strange and unusual, but it is something you should rejoice in. In it you share the Anointed’s sufferings, and you will be that much more joyful when His glory is revealed.” -1 Peter 4:12-13 (VOICE)

Do not be surprised; the challenges will come. They are part of the growing experience for each of us. Press into God when those challenges arrive and rely on Him and His strength, wisdom and protection to bring you through victorious to the other side! “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)

Tomorrow we will look at how David faced his challenge. Today, remember that you may face challenges too; whether you want to or not. Take comfort in knowing that God is right there with you; protecting, providing, and giving you strength. Trust Him to bring you through to the other side victorious!

Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.” ~George Mueller

My Prayer:
Lord, be my strength, protector and provider, my ever present help, when I face the challenges of this life. Help me to boldly face them; not run and hide or shake and tremble. You are bigger than any problem I have. You are greater than any challenge that I face. And you have promised that if I am obedient you will bring me through every situation victorious. Help me not to fear what I see, but instead trust the God who is ABLE!

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