“Sticks and Stones ”

1 Samuel 17

“Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?”

One of our favorite childhood stories is the story of the encounter between David and Goliath.  The Israelites tire of the ups and downs of communicating with God through judges.  They demand a king and Saul is anointed.  Saul goes to battle with the Philistines who have a seven foot giant Goliath who challenges to fight a one on one with any Israelite to determine who serves who.  David, then a shepherd boy, comes to the battle to bring food to his soldier brothers, hears the bellowing challenge of Goliath and engages with his sling, the defense device possibly made of the Y of a branch.  Goliath is insulted at being attacked by a boy.  David wins with his sticks!

45 But David said to the Philistine,

‘You come to me with sword and spear and javelin;

but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,

the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

David knew that it was not the sticks that were winning his battle.  The sticks, the pieces of the tree, were only as effective because the God who made the tree grow and who had protected his life as he guarded his father’s sheep from lions and bears was with him.

         We are taught the rhyme, “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” as children.  But we know words hurt.  We know God’s word is only as good as his strength behind it.  Think of a verse that strengthens you today and meditate on it and thank God for his faithfulness that backs that word.

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