#2 To Prepare for the Battle You Must Remember the Victories From Your Past
I Samuel 17:33-37
Welcome back to our study of, “Seven Actions to Defeat Your Giant.” As we study the historical account of David battling the giant named Goliath, we see that there are seven actions he took in an effort to gain victory. The first three actions deal with preparing for the battle. The second three actions deal with how you act in the battle. The final action is how you respond as you bask in victory. Today, we will consider the second of three actions to prepare for the battle: you must remember the victories from your past.
THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
David’s verbal declaration was overheard and then reported to King Saul. How defeated the army must have been that when a youth brings hope, his words are reported immediately to the king! Normally, the boasts of a youth would be ignored. This is an indicator of how desperate the army of Israel was to fight someone … anyone … to defend its honor.
David finds himself standing before the king. Now, this is actually not without precedent for David was used to being in King Saul’s presence. We know from I Samuel 16 that after David was anointed by the prophet Samuel he was brought before the king to play his lyre. The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and he was being tormented by an evil spirit. Saul discovered that listening to music soothed his spirit and so he needed a musician to play for him.
Interestingly, David was described to Saul as, “a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” What wonderful words! Apparently, though David was not very old, already his reputation proceeded him.
Maybe the servant who introduced David knew about David’s encounters with a lion and a bear. Obviously, he knew that David was a skilled musician and well-spoken. As a result, David was enlisted into service for the king. Apparently, he went home on occasion to help tend his father’s sheep because after killing Goliath, we read that Saul prohibited David from returning to his family (I Samuel 18:2).
We can only speculate as to how well Saul and David were acquainted. It is very possible that David was seen by Saul as just another servant. It would seem very unlikely that they would talk or have a friendship on any level for David was in Saul’s presence just to play music and serve. Yet, what is possible is that when David stood before Saul in I Samuel 17 that the king recognized him as his musician and servant.
David began by telling the king that he would kill the giant. Saul replied by stating the obvious. David was a youth, the giant was a warrior, and implied that David would die. But, this provides us with the second action.
#2 To prepare for your battle you must remember the victories of the past (v. 34-37).
David remembered the victories in the past that God has given him. He told the King that he has rescued his sheep from a lion and from a bear. He stated again his perspective of the giant being an uncircumcised Philistine who defied the armies of the living God. Then, he informed King Saul that it was the Lord who brought him his victories and that the Lord would rescue him from Goliath.
Apparently, David’s speech impressed the King enough so that Saul replied, “Go, and the Lord be with you” (v. 37). David’s life and words had enough credibility with the King that he was granted the assignment to kill the giant. Let’s consider this conversation from David’s viewpoint. David was anointed by Samuel to be the next king (I Samuel 16:1-13). The Lord was with David (I Samuel 16:18). The Lord had given David victories as he battled alone a lion and a bear (I Samuel 17:34-37). David understood completely that his role as a servant and that he served the living God. So, he moved forward in complete and unashamed confidence that the Lord would bring victory. So, just as Lord empowered David as he encountered a lion and a bear, the giant who stood before him was actually just another obstacle that the Lord would overcome.
As you consider the giant before you, do not accept the temptation that you are alone or that your situation is hopeless. Remember the victories that God has brought you in your past! Thank God for those victories and use this as a force to press forward in your encounter. God was faithful in your past, God will be faithful in your present, and God will be faithful in your future!
Tell me about the time with you were experience doubt or fear. Remember how the Lord spoke to you through his Word, the Bible. Remember how He brought people into your life to journey with you in that season so that you would not be alone or isolated. Remember how He changed your circumstances around you so that you could emerge in victory. Just as the Israelites in the Old Testament built monuments to remind their children of their past, God wants you to remember what He has done for you! Cherish these moments and use them to strengthen your heart and spirit that God is on your side and that He will stand with you!
Now, you may think that the victories of the past will not help you face your present giant because you have never encountered such an undefeatable foe! But, the constant in your life story is that the Lord is on your side! “If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). I remind you God has enabled you with His Word, empowered you by His Holy Spirit, and given you friends and family who will join you in your journey.
So, rather than being intimidated by the taunts of your giant, remember the victories of the past and allow them to give you the confidence that God will again get you through this encounter and bring you victory.
The older man was forced to deal with the new reality in society and that was COVID-19, the coronavirus. It has struck fear into the hearts of countless people in his nation as the virus was infected many to the point of death. Rather than allow fear and doubt to direct his thoughts, he remembered the victories in his past that God gave him.
The man had served as a missionary with his family in East Africa years ago when the AIDS virus infected people around the world. They arrived on the continent at the point when doctors were researching how one could get AIDS. Adding to this was the fact that malaria was rampant in the country that he now called home. People wore long sleeve shirts at night and did not stay out late into the evening for fear of contracting malaria.
The fear of contracting AIDS and malaria was so strong at that time that the missionary was almost paralyzed in fear. He called on the Lord to replace the fear with peace and stability. The Lord answered and the family had a fruitful four years of service.
As the missionary encounters today’s new virus, he remembers the victories of the past that God gave him. He uses the common sense that God gave him. He follows the directives of doctors and city leaders. While he respects the gravity of the current situation, he does all he can to protect his family. But, now he has a peace and a confidence encounter today’s challenge because God was faithful in the past and God is faithful today.
David had confidence in the Lord because the Lord had been faithful in his life to bring him the victory. David had defeated a lion and a bear by God’s help. This gave him the confidence that God was with him and that God would bring him the victory.
We, too, must remember the victories that God has brought. Jesus Christ defeated sin and death at Calvary and by His resurrection. Remember those personal victories that He has given you in previous encounters. This will give you the confidence in Him to face your current giant.
YOUR ACTION RESPONSE
- List three victories that the Lord gave you in the past and share each story with a friend.
- As you consider today’s giant in your life, remember the victories that God gave you that were similar.
- Consider how the lessons you learned from your past victories can be applied to today’s battle.
- Thank the Lord for what He has done. Praise the Lord for what He is doing today.
- Thank the Lord for what He will do for you in the future.