David Spoke Faith

No one names their child Goliath, do they? No, I don’t think so. The name has been used plenty throughout the millennia, but only as metaphor for seemingly insurmountable opposition. Sports always has its Goliaths, the perennial powerhouses that dominate year-in and year-out, and we apply the tag to “the system” and its matrixed components—political, corporate, and influential individuals. But no one names their child Goliath, for he was both an overconfident bully and an underachieving loser. He was intimidating in appearance: larger than any professional wrestler, and strong, he wore 125 pounds of armor, and the mere tip of his spear weighed 15 pounds, roughly as much as the steel ball used in shot put competition. “Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.”1 Vini, vidi, vamoose. (I came, I saw, I ran the other way.)

David saw things differently. The colossus stood before him, there was no doubt about that. But the battle against him was not David’s; it belonged to the One who, though unseen, was infinitely stronger than any Goliath His people could ever face. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,” said David, “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 the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”2 His were the words of faith—“confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”3 Then with one stone skillfully hurled from a shepherd’s sling, Israel’s menace was no more.

Not all Goliaths are external; many challenge us from within. Fear and pride in all their manifestations rise up against us in overwhelming proportions, and in times like these we must fortify our soul in words of faith. When despair advanced against David, for instance, he strengthened himself with hope, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”4 Feeling alone amid conspiracy, the king assured himself of God’s faithfulness: “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”5 Recalling God’s goodness from the past gave David peace in the present—“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”6

Paul reminded the Corinthian believers, “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak …”7 May this be our way of life, as well. Let us speak faith, as David did.

Father, I believe. Grace me to speak your greatness in the freedom of faith. Amen.

1 1 Samuel 17:24
2 1 Samuel 17:45, 46
3 Hebrews 11:1
4 Psalm 42:5 ESV
5 Psalm 62:5, 6 ESV
6 Psalm 116:7 ESV
7 2 Corinthians 4:13


Nathan Spoke Truth

“Thou art the man.”1 It was Nathan’s signature line (always best delivered in King James English). Through a veiled parable of a rich man pitilessly robbing a poor man of his sole possession—a pet lamb—the prophet had raised David’s ire to the boiling point, pouring over in condemnation of such injustice. Then Nathan proclaimed, “Thou art the man,” confronting the prosperous king for his adulterous affair with another man’s wife. Nathan spoke truth, as prophets must, and Israel’s greatest king confessed his heartless sin to God. This was not the first time Nathan sowed God’s truth into David’s soul; there had been another such moment, arguably a larger one.

Settled into his newly-built palace, David contemplated the irony: “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”2 His yen to build a more suitable structure for God’s presence was, in a way, commendable, but it was just that: David’s idea, not God’s. Uncharacteristically, Nathan replied without consulting God, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”3 There they were—Israel’s leaders presuming, without seeking, to know and pursue what they thought best for God. But “people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”4 Said God to Nathan later that night, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?’”5 It was neither the king’s place nor within his capability to decide what was best for God, whose plans have been established from before the creation of the world. Instead, God sent Nathan back to David bearing His covenantal plan—that the Messiah would come through the king’s lineage: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”6 David listened in humility and responded in submission, “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”7 adding, “Do as you promised, so that your name will be great forever.”8

Even God’s people can speak hastily without first seeking Him, so we do well to listen with discernment for God’s voice. For our God is the God of grace, and with words of strength, wisdom and truth He still speaks to and through those who hear Him, aligning us with his plans, purposes and will. We who live in Christ by faith are united in Him, and it delights God to work through each of us for the growth of all of us. So, with submitted and discerning hearts, let us speak truth, as Nathan did.

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”9

1 2 Samuel 12:7 KJV
2 2 Samuel 7:2
3 2 Samuel 7:3
4 Jeremiah 10:23
5 2 Samuel 7:5
6 2 Samuel 7:16
7 2 Samuel 7:18
8 2 Samuel 7:25, 26
9 Psalm 25:5


Abigail Spoke Wisdom

One of the things I enjoy most about prison ministry is that there is not a lot of superficial prattle, rather we talk about hopes and plans, our relationship with God, steps forward and back—real-life issues. Occasionally, the chaplain will remind the residents, “Remember, your ‘best decision’ landed you here,” meaning what seems like “a good idea at the time,” often leads us to a lesser place. Can you remember scenarios, for instance, when “getting even” led to escalation, a harsh word created distance, or lust for something more left us regretting what we lost in exchange? “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death,”1 and it was in this dead-end direction that David was careening. “Put on your swords,”2 he commanded his warriors. Though they had protected Nabal, his servants and possessions from Philistine invasion, Nabal foolishly refused them needed provision, returning insult for valor, and now David was marching toward vengeance, well-equipped, but not with wisdom. Enter, Abigail, the wife of Nabal.

She was an “intelligent and beautiful woman,”3 and Nabal’s servants knew where to find good solutions. Apprising her of their predicament, one pleaded to her, “Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”4 Abigail acted quickly, offering sustenance for David’s hungry army, then feeding wisdom to his angry soul. Shifting the blame from her foolish husband to her humbler self, she diffused David’s wrath, enabling him to divert his attention from Nabal’s short-term offense to God’s long-term plan, saying, “The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord.”5 Reminded of God’s faithfulness to him, David was able to hear Abigail’s appeal not to sin against God. “When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel,” she said, “my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself.”6

Hers was wisdom from God, and David knew it. “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me,” David replied, “May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.”7 David’s “best decision” had changed: his sword was sheathed, and his God glorified. A Biblical proverb reads, “Walk with the wise and become wise.”8 David walked with Abigail that day, and became wise. Let us learn from them. Let us speak wisdom, as Abigail did.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26 NIV)

Father, thank you for sending to me people who speak your wisdom. I hear your voice. May my life and my words speak your wisdom to others. Amen.

1 Proverbs 14:12 NIV
2 1 Samuel 25:13 NIV
3 1 Samuel 25:3 NIV
4 1 Samuel 25:17 NIV
5 1 Samuel 25:28 NIV
6 1 Samuel 25:30, 31 NIV
7 1 Samuel 25:32, 33 NIV
8 Proverbs 13:20 NIV