1 Samuel 17:1-11 – Rocked By Fear

Read 1 Samuel 17:1-11

standing on a ledge, looking down at feet and to the street below

Probably the most well-known of all Bible stories we learned as children was the story of David and Goliath. All sorts of images pop up for me, from the felt board stories of my wee years to play acting the story with children with costumes and sound effects when I was Children’s Ministry Director.

We are going to take our time as we walk through this story. Maybe new messages will pop out for us. Sometimes we tend to rush through things, especially when they are familiar. I guess we want to conserve our “energy” for handling the more complex or new things we encounter each day.

What grips me in this passage of the story is the fear. The stage is being set beautifully as we are introduced to the giant, Goliath. We can almost close our eyes and have a visual picture of this menace to the Israelites. We can almost hear the taunting confidence being spewed from Goliath’s mouth.

“When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.” Saul knew that God had left him. He had to be even more scared knowing now defeat was more likely than not. Did he want to be known as the king who had turned the Israelites into slaves once again? I think not. He must have been desperate for options.

You might wonder, where did this Philistine come from? He was clearly a force to be reckoned with for years leading up to this take-charge persona. It was timing. We know God can work in mysterious ways. It makes me wonder how often we have feared something God has allowed in our lives?

What are you fearful of right now? (Take a moment or two to stop and think.)

In this moment, there is undoubtedly one, if not a whole array of things that are causing you to feel fearful, giving you a sense of dread or nagging concern. Maybe it’s simply a negative feeling or emotion that is keeping you separated from God.

We can have all sorts of excuses for why we feel this way. We try to ease our minds and give ourselves some grace when we realize our human frailty. The key here is “grace.” When we remember whose grace, we can rest in the comfort we need to get ourselves back on course.

If you are feeling more fearful than usual, take some extra time today to talk to God about it. Tell him exactly how you are feeling. He already knows, but hearing it from you can be the cleansing you need in this moment.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, forgive me for taking your grace for granted. Forgive me, too, for all those times that I am fearful of what “might” happen. Ease the sense of foreboding that sometimes clouds my joy. I thank you for the love and mercy you show me, even in my times of unbelief. Make my heart steadfast and true. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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