…Psalm 23: Killing the Giant — Peace & Restoration

Many, if not most people are engulfed with fear and anxiety. How does God want us to respond to anxiety?  Psalm 23, gives a pattern that honors God—that begins with trust.  The Lord God is the good and faithful Shepherd.  If we allow Him to lead us, He will lead by providing in us a trust in him that we will know He is working for our good. [Romans 8:28]   As He did for David, He is the One who is in control of all the details and circumstances.

1. Trust in God as the Good and Faithful Shepherd – God is a personal Shepherd

2. His provision is perfect – He is a faithful Shepherd who gives us what is excellent according to His own purpose.   Can we trust Him for that?

3. His provision renews and satisfies – the green pastures and quiet waters… provided by a caring a shepherd are for the nourishment and caring of the sheep. The shepherd renews the life of the sheep under his care.  Ultimately it strengthens our trust in God and makes alive our spiritual sensitivities toward Him. It satisfies our longings to receive from His hand.

4.  To Protect You – David says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me.  He allows what in His wisdom is ultimately good for you and will never allow permanent separation to come between you and Him.

5.  Rejoice in God’s grace – David is confident such grace and fellowship with God will continue throughout all his days.

Psalm 23
1     The Lord is my shepherd, I shall never be in want.
2     He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters—
3     He restores my soul.  He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4     Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil—
    For You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5     You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, 
     You anoint my head with oil,  my cup runs over.
6     Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
     And I will dwell in the house of the Lord—  Forever.
A blessing that comes from the Lord’s leading is spiritual restoration. He will lead us to calm water for rest and cleansing.  The Lord provides forgiveness and peace for those who follow Him.   The blessing that comes from the Lord’s leading is guidance in the right way (paths of righteousness).  A good shepherd knows the right paths on which to bring the sheep home safely.

David and Goliath   1 Samuel 17:40-54

And he took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.  Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him.  When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance.  And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.   The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”  Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and 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 taunted.  “This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,   and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands. “

 Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.  And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.  Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.  Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.  And the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron.  And the sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps.  Then David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent.

david_with_slingPassage:  The irony of David’s lack of armor seemed to “disarm” Goliath. Here is a man who was set out in front of the Philistine army with a large ego as well as a man of large build. His arrogance proved to be his downfall as Goliath spoke curses against the God of Israel.  David took aim and hurled a stone, and his aim was perfect.  What an insult to the Philistines that a young boy was sent to do battle with no armor and a stick.  Goliath was astounded and he intended to kill David and feed him to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. David returns the threat.  Read Deuteronomy 28:25-26,

“The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them, but you shall flee seven ways before them, and you shall be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 “And your carcasses shall be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away”

It is not David’s carcass that become bird food that day, but Goliath’s. David makes it clear that his contest with Goliath was not a personal matter – David is fighting Goliath for the glory of God, and on behalf of the nation Israel. The victory is a lesson that the “battle is the Lord’s.”