Formations lesson for Sept. 4: The Adolescent David - Waging Battles of Giant Proportions : Friday,
August 12 2005 by Haven Parrott

Formations lesson for Sept. 4: The Adolescent David - Waging Battles of Giant Proportions : Friday, Aug. 12, 2005
Friday, Aug. 12, 2005

Formations lesson for Sept. 4: The Adolescent David - Waging Battles of Giant Proportions

By Haven Parrott
Focal passage: 1 Samuel 17:42-49

Youthful Confidence

I'm looking at a photograph of my oldest son, Dane, taken at the beginning of his senior year in high school, and what I see is the very picture of youthful zest and confidence, a fresh-faced reminder of everything exciting about being on the edge of seventeen: big dreams and no doubts.

It's a close-up of cool. Dane's smile is easy and self-assured as he leans nonchalantly against a tree, arms crossed, chin tilted up, head slightly cocked. His blue eyes gleam with a certain "I've-got-life-by-the-tail" look, and it doesn't hurt that he's awfully handsome, to boot.

Giant? What Giant?

The picture of Dane at 17 that hangs on my wall informs the picture of David at about the same age that hangs in my mind. I imagine a similar air of can-do confidence emanated from the freshly anointed, eager-for-action adolescent who strode calmly into the line of battle and wondered aloud why no one had stepped up to shut up the giant who taunted the armies of the living God and scornfully mocked the name of the Lord of Hosts.

Contemporary athletes are not the first to engage in "talking trash," trying to intimidate, upset or distract their opponent with a flying tongue. Goliath was a master trash talker, but he met his match in young David.

To David, Goliath's words were fightin' words, plain and simple. David's youthful na�vet� afforded him the wisdom of disregarding the apparent danger in favor of the greater reality: God's power to deliver and His zeal for His name is stronger than any evil giant or any giant evil.

David's uncomplicated trust in that straightforward truth gave him the guts to engage the heavily-protected warrior in mortal combat and enabled him to see what the jaded, more experienced Israelite soldiers had missed: the gaping hole in Goliath's armor.

What I love most is that David appears to have considered no other option than immediate action and no other outcome than absolute victory.

Foolishness or Faithfulness?

Sometimes faithfulness looks like foolishness, right up to the moment the giant is felled.

Older and Bolder

The story of David's by-faith defeat of Goliath beckons me to remember the simple, excuse-shattering truth that God is huge and powerful and alive and active, regardless of what circumstances may suggest to the contrary.

The story also reminds me that authentic faith sometimes requires more than taking a stand. Authentic faith in the Lord of Hosts requires me to break the stalemate by storming into the fight and audaciously attacking the enemy with brazen, in-your-face confidence, wielding the weapon of God's living and active word with the same degree of skill David exhibited when he slung the sling that shot the giant-felling stone.

Getting older should mean getting bolder in the faith. Too often I find myself just getting jaded. And so I wince even as I welcome the challenge to complacency this familiar Sunday School story offers: fearless, bring-it-on, looks-like-foolishness faith in God in the face of giant obstacles always (eventually if not immediately) results in our victory and His glory.

8/12/2005 12:00:00 AM by Haven Parrott | with 0 comments

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