Summary: A sermon to encourage people to believe in and use what they have.
Borrowed Swords and Proven Slings
1 Samuel 17:17-51 (32-40)
Of all Bible classics, this particular story would fall near the top of the list. This story comprised of a boy killing a giant is here forever canonized in scripture. David is only a small insignificant Shepard boy on meals on wheels delivery to his older brothers who are entrenched in battle against the Philistines. Goliath on the other hand, is a champion among all men; an oversized killing machine. He has blatantly defied the armies of Israel and their God for forty days, twice daily. He stands on this particular day on his eightieth time defying the armies of the Living God. He is approximately nine feet 10 inches tall, has a coat of steel weighing 139 pounds, and a spear head that weighs 17 pounds.
It seems quite strange that the King of Israel, who himself stood head and shoulders above all men and was an acclaimed hero of battle would accept the gift of a small shepherd boy to fight a giant in his stead. The thoughtful and benevolent kind did at least offer the use of his personal Armour to the lad. What an honor it would have been to have used the kings Armour to slay the national enemy. This particular Armour had been worn by King Saul in many successful campaigns against credible enemies such as the Ammonites, the Amelikites, and the Philistines. Saul’s Armour was a proven Armour.
David carefully assays (or values the worth and usability of) the Armour and decides against using it; for he stated “I have not proved it”. With no regard for the possibility of national fame, fortune, or personal safety he decides to use a proven sling instead of a borrowed sword.
I am not so full of myself as to think that I am always right. Greater men than I believe differently on some points than I do. However, when it comes to the truths of Christ and the Word I am not open for discussion. I cannot say my organization possess all truth and every other is 100% wrong. I cannot say other men's methods will never work. I just maintain as David did I have not proven them. I cannot afford to go to battle against Satan with a borrowed sword/Armour. I must rely on a proven sling to battle with.
Was the sling superior to the sword? Absolutely not. Was David's Armour of more value than King Saul's? Absolutely not. David would have been heralded as far more of a man wearing the King's Armour into battle. It would have made a great impression on those looking on. The impression is not our goal; it is the end result of victory that we strive for. There may have been a number of slighting remarks made about David as he went into battle; but nothing but honor was his lot as he returned from the battle victorious over the giant. The Holiness movement cannot compete with other organizations financially or in many other ways. We may be spoke slighting of now; but wait until the battle's over!!
Psalms 11:1 In the Lord I put my trust: how say ye to my soul. Flee as a bird to my mountain?
Many Christians stumble in living a victorious life because they are trying to fight with borrowed swords. No more than David could use Saul's Armour could Lot use Abraham's sacrifice. Though Lot's clothes may have smelled of smoke from his Uncle Abraham’s sacrificial fire and he may have learned the technique to sacrifice by looking on as Abraham made sacrifice to God; he himself drew no benefit from it. An experience in God cannot be borrowed. A relationship with Christ cannot be willed, transferred, loaned, or borrowed.