Know Who You Are

Posted on 16. Jul, 2015 by in Faith, Identity, Sonship, Thursday Thoughts

I love the story of David and Goliath. In fact, in the last year my love for the Old Testament has grown tremendously, as my more recent readings in Genesis, Exodus and 1 Samuel have given me so much insight into the greatness of the God that I serve, and so much understanding of His character and His purpose. Specifically, the story of David and Goliath has really spoken to me recently, and I wanted to share what I have gleaned. We all know the background of this story. Goliath, measuring in at 9 feet and “a span”, has been taunting the armies of Israel for 40 days, trying to coax a soldier of Israel to fight him one on one. To the victor go the spoils. Of course no one responds, except to run away at his taunts and challenges. Finally, in walks David, who immediately assesses the situation and says the following:

David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”” (1 Samuel 17:32, NASB95)

The simplicity of David’s belief in God amazes me. Whereas all the soldiers around him, including the King of Israel, are frozen with fear, David steps up and volunteers to fight. He goes on to say:

“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:36–37, NASB95) (emphasis mine)

In my initial reading, the phrase “armies of the living God” stuck out to me. I was not really sure why initially. He repeats this thought further down, when addressing Goliath:

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. “This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”” (1 Samuel 17:45–47, NASB95)

Again, the confidence in David’s speech is amazing. There is not a fiber in his being that fears Goliath. For David it is as simple as 2+2=4: Goliath is taunting God, God has protected David in the past, and therefore God will deliver Goliath into David’s hand. Not even a smidgen of doubt. Wow. That is inspiring to me.

The day after I initially read this I was driving to work, reflecting on the phrase “armies of the living God”. As I did I finally made a connection to a concept that the Lord has been building in me for the last year or so, an idea that I blogged about previously in a post entitled Sonship vs. Servanthood. The concept of identity. You see, David knew who he was. He knew what it meant to be an Israelite. He knew what it meant to be in the army of the living God. He understood the relationship between God and His people. Again, David KNEW WHO HE WAS!!!

In this respect David stands in stark contrast to the rest of Israel present on the battlefield that day. Even Saul, the King of Israel, didn’t understand this relationship, didn’t understand who he was in the context of God’s kingdom, as manifested at that time by Israel, the chosen race. Because Saul failed to understand who he was he was therefore unable to walk in faith. On the contrary, because David DID know who he was, and who God was with him, it was EASY for him to walk in faith, and the result is astounding.

In our lives we must learn who we are, in the context of God’s Kingdom, as currently manifested by the global body of Christ. You see, God is no different now, in our lives, then He was then in David’s life. The definition of the Kingdom has changed, the identity and scope of the chosen people has changed, but the favored relationship between God and His people is the same now as it was then. We have been brought into covenant relationship with Almighty God, and have been given the keys to the kingdom, so to speak. But if we don’t apprehend our identity in Christ then we will forever live like Saul, taunted, sad and defeated. If, however, we DO apprehend our identity, or can even BEGIN to catch a glimpse of what it means to be His son or daughter, then we can begin the process of maturing into full-grown children in the Kingdom. And as maturing sons and daughters in the Kingdom we will understand who He is, who we are IN HIM, and the giants that once looked so big and scary will begin to look small in the light of His awesome splendor, power and faithfulness.

The last key to this passage that I will mention briefly is David’s understanding of who was actually fighting the battle. David understood that it wasn’t up to him to defeat Goliath. All he had to do was be obedient and trust, and God would do the rest. We must understand the same thing. The battle is, and always has been, the Lord’s. When the circumstances of life come against us we have to know who is fighting for us, and be willing to be obedient to His leading.

One last thought. I made reference to “covenant relationship” and it reminded me of a book I read recently, that has greatly increased my understanding of the Old Testament, in regards to the covenants and customs of Israel. The book is called “The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament”, by Sandra L. Richter. I highly recommend this book, and will likely blog about some of the interesting points in the future. 


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