With only 5 smooth stones…
There is so much grist for the mill in Samuel 17 after we are introduced to one of the most written about, fascinating and complex figures in all bible history, in chapter 16. Do you think its coincidence that my Tuesday morning reads of Pat Buchanan’s “What’s behind our world on fire?”, followed directly by Oswald Chambers’ The Victorious Voice for God, inspiring our Prayer & Fast Wednesday focus on Samuel 17:40-47, brought me to a roomful of twenty men on Thursday evening, as our Fathered by God discussion leader opened with the exact same bible book, chapter, and verse? Serendipitous?
Even more amazing…Thursday marked the end of our study of the second stage of manhood…the Cowboy. There is no study next Thursday because of Thanksgiving. But we return the following Thursday to explore the Warrior. The same God who seeks to father us, has blessed us with Pastor Craig, and provided us with leaders Matt and Kevin, now with perfect timing, He brings back the perfect teacher to fill the gap and instill in us our Warrior heart…He brings back David. And I mean that 100% literally. When Kevin, Matt, Pastor Craig, Tim, Chad, Neil, Jim, Jeff, Brian, Bruce, Chip, Robert, Matt, Alan, Andrew, Jason, Steve, Ed, Matt, and Cabot reconvene on December 5th, David will be right there with us.
The first thing that strikes me in Samuel 17, is how hopeless it seemed for the Israelis. Fearful to a man, they were defeated before they started. The second thing, related to the first, that struck me was the faithlessness of God’s army. The enemy is always bigger than he appears without our faith in God. The third thing that struck me like a smooth stone to my own forehead, was the fact that there was only one man in all of Israel in that moment who loved God enough to risk it all, with faith enough to stand up, without shield or spear, but stones alone. He alone took Goliath’s and the Philistine’s defiance of God personally, as if they had attacked his own father…because of course, they had!
This brings us to the Buchanan article and the young men pictured above, because…
It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by ~ Dooley Wilson
But first must come the warrior…its Ecclesiastes, “Nothing new under the sun.” The ignorant youth pictured above are the direct product and consequence of our having abandoned the second half of Ephesians 5:11. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” It’s one thing to defy God, we all do in the modern world. But its another thing entirely, to mock Him. The young fools are the misguided puppets of the much darker force behind the “multiplicity of causes igniting and fueling the protests and riots sweeping capital cities across our world.” Reading Buchanan and Chambers together made the tumblers click. The young men above do not believe “the spirit of the whole human race incarnated in the Savior of the world” because the Globalist cause behind the multiplicity of causes needed them to disbelieve, and made it so. In the greatest battle of our lives, in the ultimate battle-space of principalities and powers, we are gathered again at Socoh. Uninitiated and unfinished men trembling in fear of an army that seems far too big to imagine, and way too powerful to defeat.
BUT- We are all fathered by the same God. As Eldredge writes, “He encounters evil face-to-face, and learns to defeat it. The young warrior learns the rigors of discipline—especially that inner discipline and resolution you see in Jesus, who ‘set his face like flint’ (Isa.50:7 NIV) and could not be deterred from his mission. He might join the marines, or he might become a math teacher in the inner city, battling for the hearts of young people. That he gets a mission is crucial, and that he learns to battle the kingdom of darkness is even more crucial. Passivity and masculinity are mutually exclusive, fundamentally at odds with one another. To be a man he must learn to live with courage, take action, go into battle.”
Its been four years and two months since my James 4:8 conversion in Esterbrook, and I have never been more certain that it will be in us as it was with David who said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with 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 defied. ~ Samuel 17:45