Sermons

Summary:

David strapped Saul's sword over the armour and tried to walk, but he couldn't because he wasn't used to wearing them. "I can't fight with all this," he said to Saul. "I'm not used to it." So he took it all off.

1 Samuel 17:39

DAVID'S BATTLE

David, a mere shepherd boy sent to the front lines to carry food for his brothers, moves into centre in Israel. He does it with flair, with pizzazz and the assurance that God is with him.

We know the story. David slays the Philistine giant Goliath and saves the Israelite nation. He does it with a sling shot and a sharp stone which fells the mighty warrior in his tracks and enables David to slice off his head.

But before the climax of the story, there is another subplot. After David accepted Goliath's challenge, King Saul tried to make him look and act like a soldier. He tried to dress him in armour and give him a sword and shield. But David was a mere boy, a young shepherd. The sword was too big. The armour was too heavy. David could not even walk in this stuff let alone fight in it.

He took off the clumsy soldiers armour and went to the find things that were more familiar to him. "He took his shepherd's stick and then picked up five smooth stones from the stream and put them in his bag. With his sling ready, he went out to meet Goliath." (1 Sam. 12:40) The rest is history.

David was given all of the things that a soldier needed to defeat Goliath. But David wasn't a soldier. He was a shepherd. He didn't fit into soldier's clothing. They simply weren't who he was. He was a shepherd and, if he was going to win the battle, it would have to be as a shepherd. David wore what fit him and he succeeded.

There is, perhaps, a lesson here for us. Maybe it goes something like this. If we want to fulfill God's purpose for our lives, then we should wear the clothes that God provides for us. We should be the people whom God had called us to be.

CLARK'S BATTLE

Clark sits in his dressing room, alone. As much as he would like to be able to settle down, he still finds in hard to relax. The excitement of the last two hours has left him dizzy. Yet, somehow, with a lot of hard work and a great deal of prayer, he had pulled it off. It had been a wonderful experience, one that he will never forget.

All of the hours of practicing, all of the money spent on music lessons, all of the dedication and sacrifice had brought him to this point in his career - to be the guest soloist with the Toronto Symphony at Roy Thompson Hall. With knees shaking, he had walked out on stage to the polite applause of the capacity audience. With quivering hands, he had raised the polished silvery flute to his lips, all the while wondering if he would make it through or pass out right there on the spot.

Thanks be to God. All of his nerves vanished in the middle of the first note. It came out clean and clear, a long sustained high D which seemed to hang ripe in the air to be plucked and enjoyed. From then on he had lost himself in the music, barely hearing the orchestra as it played behind him.

When it was all over, the audience had erupted in applause. "Bravo! Bravo!" they had shouted. Then someone stood near the front. And another raised from her chair. Soon, there were people standing all over the concert hall. It was a moment, it was unanimous. "Bravo!" they shouted. "Encore!"

He sits in his chair in the dressing room, savouring the memory. As he sits, he also waits. His father told him that he would meet him back stage after the performance. His father. His biggest critic. His toughest fan.

This was the man who had fought him over this career. His father, a successful business operator who had worked his way up through sweat and toil to the top rungs of industry.

In his mind, Clark recalls a particular encounter between father and son. It had happened when he was a young man of nineteen years. He had stood there before his father, in his study and, for the first time, had felt fear. His father, a man who was used to getting his own way, had stared him down with fire in his eyes. The anger in the room was intense. Clark had never before seen him like this. All he could do was stare back, mouth agog, face white, his whole body shaking like a leaf.

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