Day 18: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 18: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

In our last devotional, we saw that David courageously revealed spiritual truth to Goliath, and to the Philistine, and the Israelite armies. He boldly defended the Lord’s character publicly. Then he faced Goliath, who rejected David’s appeal to truth, though Goliath knew the reality of Jehovah God (1 Sam. 5, 6).  Goliath’s pride melted his reason.

Their fight was anti-climatic, since it lasted about 30 seconds.  Goliath never got a swing in, he just got clobbered. When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. (1 Sam. 17:48).  David was fearless.  Goliath lumbered forward, David made a beeline right toward the thug.

One wonders what transpired in Goliath’s mind as he saw the daring of this young man.  David was like a missile.  Such bravado must have gotten Goliath’s attention, he must have some nagging doubt. This was quite different than what he was used to.  Hint, hint –something’s not right here!

But too late.  Before he comprehended his susceptibility – wham!!

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18)

And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. (17:49).  Sweet dreams.  All the lights are off in Goliath’s mind.

But the end is still to come.  David didn’t have a sword, and he told Goliath:  I will strike you down and cut off your head. (17:46).  Combat is not clean and precise, it is downright gruesome and nasty.  Those who have experienced it will attest that it is not for the squeamish.  David is ruthless.  He finishes the job.

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. (17:51). Killing and dying are downsides to the cost of warfare, even for the survivors. Combat necessitates that death is the currency for winning.  It is the last resort.

Unfortunately, for many survivors there are after-effects.  David will experience symptoms of PTSD.  This is a common phenomenon throughout history.  For him it will be a delayed onset, and impact him many years later.  He will have to deal with it, and he does with a measure of healthy recovery.  The Lord has answers for PTSD.

Goliath’s death turned the Israelite army into brave warriors and they lambasted the Philistines (17:51 – 53).  There was a great and total victory by Israel, initiated by the courage of one young shepherd, who trusted in the Lord.

Well there was great celebration and promotions for David.  He was honored, and given prestigious positions: And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. (18:5).  Life was good!  There was quite a glorious high.

Songs were written about the great fight: And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (18:7).  Freedom from Philistine oppression, and impressive victories made the people feel great!

David had bested three adversaries: first, his oldest brother Eliab, who insulted him publicly (17:28); second, King Saul who: said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, (17:33); third, Goliath.  Of these three, who was the most dangerous?  The mildest of the adversaries. Saul.

Eliab, later became one of David’s renegade militia: David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. (22:1).  Goliath, of course was deceased.  But Saul…

And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” (18:8). Saul is mad, a little jealous, and worried. And Saul eyed David from that day on. (18:9).

If you believed that Goliath was David’s greatest obstacle…read the next verse.

The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, (18:10).  This is a tough verse.  Make a place in your theology for this concept.  God sometimes uses evil to punish evil.  Saul’s unnatural hatred, envy and fear, was going to be punished. The Lord lets Saul experience some of his own medicine.  Saul acts evilly, so he earns the same.

How does a demon energized person act toward God’s chosen?

While David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice. (1 Sam. 18:10, 11).

Goliath never got a shot off at David.  Saul has turned into a demented monster, throwing two javelins, trying to kill David.  Beware, your giant may not be your greatest enemy.

Satan enters the drama. He targets David, because coming from his lineage, will be the Messiah, who is the Promised One, that squashes Satan (Gen. 3:15).  Jesus is the real target, in this exchange.  David is targeted for extermination, so the Messiah cannot be born.  Will Satan succeed?

Does David pull a javelin out of the wall and hit Saul between the running lights?  No.  Why was he not being ruthless with Saul, like he was with Goliath? We’ll find out.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:10-12).

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father.  Help me discern when to be ruthless and when to be merciful.  Don’t let anger or fear rule my decisions, rather let Godly wisdom be the measure of my actions.  Don’t let impulsiveness rule my mind, but let careful, thoughtful considerations be the landmark of my thinking. And, give me a courageous, warrior’s heart.

Let wisdom rule my heart, and if I am the target of antagonism, may you guard my heart, so pride does not take control of my behavior.  Let humility be my garment, and let it be a banner, so others get a glimpse of you and your patience with us.  Help me to represent you with dignity that surpasses my emotional self.  Prohibit me from dishonorable actions and put into my heart a desire to make your character be known to a fallen world.  Let noble behaviors become my legacy. And, let my warrior brothers, agree with this, for their lives.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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