1 Samuel 17:45-47 “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.”
Sometimes we hear of a great leader and imagine how they would appear. Take Samson for instance. Many of the renditions we see depict him with bulging muscles, tall and walking with a swagger. Yet, if that be true, many might think it was by his own hand that he won those battles when in fact, it was the Lord.
Leadership is not always about great character, commanding presence, overpowering strength or unmatched intelligence. True leadership has just as much to do with what you are fighting for, as it does with who is doing the leading. A good leader can cast a vision to those following and incite passion, patriotism and commitment such as would cause a man to be willing to ultimately sacrifice his life.
David is one of the most prominent characters of the Word of God. Yet, he possessed character traits that could not be readily seen. When we first hear of David, Saul had come to anoint a new king to replace Saul. He went to the house of Jess to sacrifice and saw many of Jesse’s sons who looked like they could lead a nation. We are told:
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
To lead in God’s eyes, it has more to do with the heart as it does with how a man looks. God chose David out of all the other brothers. He came into the room and we hear God say:
1 Samuel 16:12 “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”
Ruddy is not a word we use today. It means:
RUD’DY def: Of a red color; of a lively flesh color, or the color of the human skin in high health. Thus we say, reddy cheeks, ruddy lips, a reddy face or skin, a ruddy youth; and in poetic language, ruddy fruit. But the word is chiefly applied to the human skin. (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
We are then brought to the battlefield where the Israelites are face to face with a giant of a man; Goliath. The biblical description puts him anywhere between 9 1/2 to 10 feet tall, wearing armour that weighs about 125 pounds; carrying a 2X2 beam with a spearhead totalling about 15-17 pounds. Saul’s description to David that Goliath was a man of war from his youth. His story was known to many. Indeed, he was a formidable foe.
Yet, when David came upon his brothers that day; and upon hearing the taunts of this man that had the audacity to defy the armies of God, David’s love for God rose in anger to defend what he knew in his heart to be true: God is more powerful than any man – no matter how big he is.
David took up the cause of God to fight because he had seen God deliver in other areas of his life. He slew a lion and a bear. If God can use him to do those things, he surely can deliver him from the giant. When a leader rise up, there are always naysayers who will; out of their own fear, deride the one leading because it exposes their weakness.
David’s courage flew in the face of his brother’s fear when they rebuked him:
1 Samuel 17:28 “And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.”
David reminded him that there was something bigger than the both of them that they were facing. It was not just the immediacy of the battle at hand, it was the testimony of God and His people at stake. Legendary stories were told through the generations of the God of the Israelites who delivered His people through the Red Sea by parting the waters. They told of Jericho’s walls that fell and of the many battles fought and lost to the Israelites because their God was more powerful than any other god they knew.
He is the same God today as He was in David’s day. Today, you and I have an even clearer picture of who God is, His power, His strength, His might, His sovereignty, His promises and His commands.
Many will step forward to champion the cause of the veteran, the victims, the abused, the addicted, those taken with cancer, the fatherless, the widows and those to whom no one else will reach out. But have we, God’s children, championed what is closest to His heart? The souls of men?
Each one who names the name of Christ was once on someone’s prayer list, a burden to pray for and lost soul in need of salvation. Now saved, we must take up the cause for those who need to hear just as we did. Everyone must do their part. Every activity we do here on earth can be done more perfectly in Heaven – except one: leading someone to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to save their soul from Hell.
The bible says:
Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Isaiah 5:14 “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”
As the church falls in apathy and apostasy, hell must enlarge herself to accommodate those we have neglected to tell. The responsibility is singular and solely upon each and every saved child of God to go and tell.
The cause is real.
Hell is real.
The time is short…