Friday, April 6, 2012

Taking On Goliath

When my husband and I were first married we had a small black dog named Lacey Jean. She was a spaniel mix and weighed around 25 lbs when she was full grown. My parents lived on the same street as we did and had a small mixed breed dog of their own named Muffin. She was around 20 lbs and was a few years older than Lacey Jean. 

When we first brought Lacey Jean home, Muffin was not impressed. She didn't like having a puppy pulling on her ears and nipping at her heals and basically being a puppy. But after awhile she not only bonded with her but she took her over as her own. Whenever Lacey Jean needed correcting, it was Muffin who would do it and Lacey Jean listened to her. She became a surrogate mother to the new puppy. 

Mom and Dad's house was on the same side of the street as our house and was four houses further down the road. Oftentimes the dogs would run to each other's house to visit or to get a dog treat. We never had to tie them up because they stayed on the pathway which ran behind all the houses at the edge of the treeline. There was only one dog between our two houses, besides our own. It was a young golden retriever that was always penned up. It would bark a lot when our dogs passed by but that was the only interaction they had until one fateful day.

I was in our back yard working in the garden when I heard terrible screams and yelps coming from the side yard. I started running, knowing that Lacey Jean was in horrible trouble. As I came around the side of the house I saw the golden retriever had Lacey Jean pinned on the ground and it was biting her belly. I could instantly see that the dog had drawn blood. I started yelling at the dog to get off of Lacey Jean when out of the corner of my eye I saw a streak of brown charging at the two dogs. It was little Muffin! She had heard the cries of 'her baby' and was coming to her rescue. 

Muffin lunged at the larger dog, latched onto its neck and wouldn't let go. Lacey Jean was able to run to safety because Muffin risked her life for her. The big dog shook its head back and forth trying to break free of Muffin, but Muffin wouldn't let go. Even though the other dog outweighed her by at least 70 lbs she bravely fought to protect Lacey Jean. Eventually the golden retriever was able to shake Muffin loose and ran for home. 

We were so proud of little Muffin and what she did. We cleaned Lacey Jean up and found that her cuts weren't deep and we praised Muffin and gave her extra treats that day. She was a hero. She gave no thought for her own life but bravely faced a Goliath of a dog to protect another.

This true story reminded me of how brave David was when he faced the giant, Goliath. The entire army of Israel was afraid to go out and face Goliath of Gath, yet David, a simple shepherd boy, dared to do what an army of seasoned fighting men could not. King Saul offered David his own personal armor but David chose not to wear it because it was too big and he had never worn armor before. David was comfortable with his simple slingshot, a weapon he was skilled at using. 

When you are facing a giant in your life, don't worry, God will use the unique skills He's already placed in your hands. Don't try to do things like others do them.  Just be yourself and use the gifts and talents God has given you. He will work miracles through you.

 The Israelite army saw a giant but David's faith in God caused him to look at Goliath differently. David knew that Goliath was only a mortal man defying the One and only true God. David looked at the battle from God's point of view. If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God's perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us. When we put things in proper perspective, we see more clearly and we can fight more effectively.
When the giant criticized, insulted and threatened, David didn't stop or back down. Everyone else shook with fear, but David ran to the battle. He knew that something had to be done. David did the right thing in spite of the insults and threats Goliath threw his way. Only God's opinion mattered to David. David knew that Goliath's words were only that: words and he couldn't be killed with mere words.
Sometimes when we are facing a problem we allow fear to dictate what we do; how we handle it. But instead of cowering in fear we need to be more like David, more like little Muffin and run out to meet the battle. We need to remember that we have the Lord on our side and we cannot be defeated. 
 45 David said to the Philistine, “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, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47
"For the Lord your God is going with you!
He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’"
Deuteronomy 20:4

"Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”
Joshua 10:8 
We can face our Goliaths because we have the Lord with us. He has promised in Scripture that He will fight for us and He will give us victory. Trust in the Lord! Don't be afraid He is with you and will be always! You don't fight alone. You can stand up to the enemy with confidence that he has already been defeated. 

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