“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.’”
1 Samuel 17: 45 (NIV)
David and Goliath—this, of course, is the story that most of us ‘cut our teeth on’ as far as the Bible is concerned. And it is a wonderful display of faith and confidence by little David, the shepherd boy. Just about everyone in the army of Israel, including King Saul, was terrified by this brash and boastful giant, who scorned and despised not only Israel’s army, but also their God. But most of all he poured out his ire upon David and cursed him by his gods. Yet still this stripling ran towards him with nothing but a shepherd’s sling and a smooth stone! Verse 48 says, “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” (Italics mine). No fear here!
But let’s get back to the title, which is a quote from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ask; “What’s in a name?” A great deal I think, especially the Name of the Lord Almighty which David evoked and called forth to battle—it proved to be mightier than the sword, spear and javelin of a fearsome warrior. This mighty Name brought about a great salvation for Israel that day when it was used as a battle cry by a teenage boy.
If we go back to 1 Samuel 17:8 (NLT), we find that Goliath, because he was the Philistine champion, was asking for Israel’s champion to meet him in single combat to settle this stalemate situation. Goliath stood and, in effect, shouted across to the Israelites, ‘Do you need a whole army to settle this? Choose someone to fight for you, and I will represent the Philistines.’ The trouble was, he hadn’t a clue just who he was asking to fight—God was Israel’s Champion and David evoked His Name just so that this Philistine would know who he was taking on! But it wasn’t really a fight; the giant just got stoned! (Sorry!)
This mighty Name is still as powerful today—it defeats giants, it pulls down walls of separation; it forgives, heals and brings salvation! Paul writes: “For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.” (Romans 10:13 Amplified Bible Classic Edition).
David is a special example for us of courage and total faith in the Powerful Name of the Lord Almighty. In later life he asks the question, “Who is the King of Glory?” And answers, “The Lord Almighty—He is the King of Glory!” (Notice: Psalm 24:10 NLT).
Our Great God, we lift your mighty Name on high and praise you for the opportunities that we have of invoking it and unleashing its power as we face our own personal giants day by day.
Study by Cliff Neill
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
LUTON LU1 5JE
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