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Understanding Covenant

"David asked the men standing near him, '...Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?'" -1 Samuel 17:26

Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. But what we may not know is the reason behind David's courage.

David was young, probably around 17. The Israelites were all afraid of Goliath because he was so big. No one had yet had the courage to challenge him, and when the Israelites saw him, "They all fled in great fear." (v.24)

"Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, 'Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.'" (1 Sam 17:8-9) It's interesting to note that Goliath thought the Israelites were just serving their leader, Saul. But David had a different perspective.

"David said to the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel" (v.45-46). And so, David used a stone in a slingshot, and killed him.

Often the story of David and Goliath is taught with reference to having courage in God. But, it was because David understood God's covenant with the Israelites that he had courage. As in marriage, a covenant is a promise broken only by death, whereas in a contract, the obligations of that contract must be met by both parties for the contract to remain in effect. In David's day, covenants were very serious matters.

No one wanted to break a covenant, even if the other party didn't fulfill their end of the bargain. Though David was very courageous, he also understood covenant.

When we serve God, we have His protection. Have you recognized the power in God's covenant with his sons and daughters? May it be a reminder and an encouragement that we can overcome anything that comes in our path, because we are sons and daughters of the living God.

Related resource: The Ancient Paths, by Craig Hill

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