Bible Studies for Life Lesson for July 11- The Power of Courage
June 29 2010 by Phyllis Elvington, speaker, author, member of Tabor City Baptist Church

Focal Passages: 1 Samuel 17:8-11, 32-39, 45-47

One of my all-time, best-loved movies is The Wizard of Oz. My favorite character in that movie is the Cowardly Lion.

And my absolute favorite scene in the movie (that I quote word for word every time I watch it) begins with the Lion asking this question: “What makes a king out of a slave?”

To which he answers quite emphatically, “Courage!”

The Wizard of Oz is a fictional tale dreamed up in the mind of author L. Frank Baum.

First Samuel 17, on the other hand, is a true story about the power of godly courage. To some, it may sound like a movie shot on location somewhere in the hills of Hollywood.

But this is not a movie script.

The story is real.

The characters are real.

The story begins as we are told of an impending battle between the armies of Israel and Philistia.

The three main characters — Saul, Goliath, and David — paint a picture of what courage looks like — and what courage does not look like.

First, the Philistine army had “a champion named Goliath” who “was over nine feet tall” (v. 4, NIV).

To the casual observer, the odds looked pretty good for this “uncircumcised Philistine” who defied “the armies of the living God” (v. 26).

From Goliath’s own perspective, victory was a done deal.

His courage was based on his physical attributes — he was bigger than everybody else! Next, we have Saul, the ruling king of Israel.

“On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified” (v. 11).

Instead of looking to God for help in his time of need, Saul focused solely on the problem and was overwhelmed by his circumstances.

Finally, David arrives on the scene.

Upon hearing Goliath’s threats, David responds: “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”(v. 45).

David didn’t focus on himself or the problem. David kept his eyes on the Lord.

He knew the battle was not between Goliath and him — he knew “the battle is the Lord’s” (v. 47). And therein lies the key to the power of courage.

We don’t have to fight the battle.

The battle is the Lord’s.

The next time you’re in a tough situation and you feel like the odds are stacked against you, remember these three promises from God’s infallible word: Joshua 1:9; Romans 8:15; and 2 Timothy 1:7.  
6/29/2010 6:23:00 AM by Phyllis Elvington, speaker, author, member of Tabor City Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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