The Battle Is the Lord’s
Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of November 23, 2014
1 Samuel 17:38-52
When David requested permission to represent Israel in the battle with Goliath, Saul gave David his permission, his blessing, and his armor. David tried on Saul’s armor and sword. He gracefully declined to use them: “I cannot go in these...because I am not used to them” (1 Sam. 17:39). Because Saul was unusually tall, his armor must have been much too large for David.
David was much more comfortable with his shepherd’s staff and his sling, for which he “chose five smooth stones from the stream” (v. 40). As David approached him, Goliath despised and ridiculed David, “cursed David by his gods” (v. 43), and threatened to give his “flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” (v. 44) David fearlessly out-threatened Goliath by announcing he would “give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth [so that] the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel...for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands” (vv. 46-47).
Though David was depending on the Lord and not on weapons, it should be noted that the sling was a formidable weapon in ancient warfare. For example, a fighting unit of 700 Benjamite slingmen “could sling a stone at a hair and not miss” (Jud. 20:16). As David approached Goliath, swinging the stone in his sling faster and faster, he released one string of the sling, causing the stone to hurl at great velocity directly at Goliath’s unprotected forehead. As David next decapitated the fallen Philistine with his own sword, the aroused Israelite army routed the Philistine army.
It’s a fact: “The battle is the Lord’s” is equally true in spiritual warfare, for we must “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Eph. 6:10) to overcome the spiritual Goliaths under the command of Satan.