Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lessions From The Old Testiment

“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”  Timothy 4:11-12 (NIV)

It was wonderful to grow up in church as a kid and learn about the great Bible characters and stories. This book, the Bible, was bigger than life and shared stories that rivaled any comic book with super heroes and potential catastrophic situations.  From such things as:

            *Noah, the Ark, and the flood

            *Joseph and his rise to power in Egypt

            *Moses and his leadership of a nation

            *Joshua and the wall of Jericho

            *Samson, his might, and his “thrill of victory and agony of defeat”

But there’s another great story that most little boys loved because they could dream of it and even act it out in their own back yard with a friend or their enemy (neighborhood bully or big brother).  It was the story of a boy named David and his faith/fight against a bully named Goliath found in I Samuel 17.

David was not your normal “super hero” or even hero to fight against a bully, and a giant at that.  He was the youngest son of Jesse, most likely a young teenager. But what he lacked in stature, he made up in faith in God and his promises/plans.  While most of his Israeli nationals cowered in fear of the enemy, Goliath, he seemed to grow stronger in faith that was ready for action.  Who was this enemy?

Goliath, the champion soldier of the Philistine army, was believed to be almost 10 ft. tall and to have great weight, size, and strength as seen by the sheer size and weight of his armor. He loved to go out to the battlefield day after day and mock Israel, its armies, and God.  His pride and ego was full to the top and no one from Israel was ready to challenge him…until David showed up on the battlefield to bring food to his brothers.  That’s when the story gets good.

On his visits between delivering food to his family and taking care of his family sheep, David continued to hear and witness the mocking by this warrior, Goliath.  One day David had finally heard enough and said: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” People, like his brothers and King Saul, attempted to slow him down and chastised him because he was young.  It didn’t work and finally King Saul told him: “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

And that’s what David did.  He took only his staff, sling, and five smooth stones as he approached the mocking Philistine.

I love this about David.  Here was a teenager who was ready to “charge hell with a water pistol”.  It wasn’t because he was a great mighty warrior, over-confident, or felt he was better than others. He had faith in His God, His armies and His purpose for their nation of Israel.  He believed what God said and was willing to put his words into action.  David knew that he couldn’t and wouldn’t defeat Goliath by the sword or spear but only through his Lord who saves.  As he said in verse 47, “for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” And that God did.  It only took the first stone that David put in his sling to strike down Goliath. David then ran over to him and drew Goliath’s very own sword and cut off his head. David had won the battle for Israel.
What can we take away from this?

First, David had a faith in God that most didn’t.  He believed what He had been taught and read about God and was willing to put his faith into action whether others did or not.  The whole army of Israel was afraid of Goliath but David had the courage to trust God for the victory because the battle belonged to the Lord.  The youngest one set the example for those who should have been modeling it for him? Do we often cower to fear instead of believing what God has done for us through Jesus Christ? Are we setting the faith course for others to follow?

Second, when we look around our society it might be easy to get cynical doubting our nation’s future due to a perception of teenagers or a reputation earned or even worse given by the media and its influences – good and bad. But I believe there is still hope and a generation of teenagers just like David who are willing to stand up in faith and face the giant’s or bullies of today in our cultural influences, government, and society. We have a responsibility as a church and Christian homes to continue to invest in our children and their children leaving a legacy of faith and influence so when the “Goliath’s” come their way they can stand up in faith and fight.

Here at North Side we have this in place through our church and family ministries.  But it is not simply carried out here during a few hours of a week. It must be done within the support and leadership of the home by Christian parents believing and modeling a similar faith.  If you are a parent or grandparent I hope you will not only consider but also come to a Parent Summit hosted by our church annually.  It is never too early or too late to get started. Our young are ready to be led and many are already doing it.  They have met Jesus and are following in faith.  They are ready and forced to do battle in our culture already.  Let’s lead in faith and they will follow.

Scripture to Claim:
Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, Deuteronomy 31:13

Submitted By Jim Garner

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