“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 [of Hosts], the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head . . .
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, 46).
In my lifegroup we’ve been learning about God through studying His Hebrew names. There was one which I didn’t relate to at all–“Lord God of Hosts” [Armies].
In 1 Samuel 17, all the soldiers of Israel, including King and General, shrank from facing the giant champion, Goliath. But the young shepherd David’s faith in the Lord of Hosts was such that he went out in single combat against Goliath.
David realized that there’s no such thing as single combat for God’s people. We always have the back-up of the strongest force in the universe.
Physically, Goliath was bigger, stronger, more highly trained, more experienced in combat, and well-armed. By contrast, David was younger, smaller, untrained, inexperienced and unarmed. Everyone on the battlefield would have put their money on Goliath.
Everyone was wrong.
Spiritually, David was stronger, fitter and armed to the teeth–with courage–giving faith in the Lord God of Hosts.
Unless we have a loved one in the armed forces, soldiers and military life are remote from our daily experience–something on our TV screens, usually a long way from home. So, relating to the Lord of Armies doesn’t come naturally.
Though we often think of daily life as a struggle, we easily forget that it’s a battle in which we are combatants.
Spiritually speaking, every day of our lives, we are waging warfare on two levels: firstly against our old, sinful nature and secondly against God’s enemies, Satan and the forces of evil. Just as He fought and conquered in and through David, the Lord God of Hosts can fight and conquer in and through us.
Prayer: Lord God of Hosts, Thank you that You are the most powerful force in the universe and in all my battles You fight in and through me. Help me to remember in every struggle I face that You are the Lord of Armies. I place my trust in You. Amen.
About the author:
Melanie Hodges has chronic migraine; lives in London, England, with her husband and 2 teenage daughters; loves walking, reading, history and writing. Her writing aims are to encourage Christians living with chronic illness/pain and also to produce wholesome, good quality fiction for children. Her first children’s novel, Sirenna’s Song, for 8 – 12 year old girls, is available from lulu.com http://ow.ly/Q9irP
What Goliaths do you face today: anxiety, resentment, selfishness, despair? Can you in faith declare David’s words against your Goliath? “This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head” (1 Samuel 17: 46).
This is Mark Schultz singing “He Will Carry Me.” It is a lovely worship-style song with lyrics that remind us that even when we are just hanging on, and even though we are “walking through the valley of the shadow” God hasn’t left our sides. Life is hard, but God gives us the strength we need and carry us through. Some days it is hard to see this, to feel this, but I am going to keep trusting that it is true. -Lisa