1 Samuel 17:12-39

David Witnesses Goliath’s Challenge (1 Samuel 17:12-39)   Goliath challenges Israel. In this passage, David witnesses this challenge and the writer begins his second cycle of confrontation-challenge-consternation.   Confrontation: Philistines and Israelites Face Each Other (vv. 12-22) Goliath, the Philistine champion, is described in verses 4-11 in terms of his towering physical stature and his impressive defensive and offensive armor. David, Goliath’s opponent-to-be, is introduced in verses 12-15 by a very different description. Nothing is said here about David’s stature, his strength, or his weapons. We are simply told that he is the youngest of eight sons of Jesse, the Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah.   Why this “family” emphasis in describing David when Goliath is described in terms of his awesome looks, weapons, and aggressiveness? There are several reasons. First, it is not David’s appearance which causes God to choose him, but his heart, his character. Second, in order for David to be recognized as the one whose offspring will someday be the Messiah, he must be of the tribe of Judah (see Genesis 49:8-12), and he must be a Bethlehemite (see Micah 5:2). Third, his being the youngest in the family explains why he is assigned to care for the sheep, and also why his aged father sends him to deliver food to his brothers and bring back a report about their welfare.  [4]   Practical Application — In the midst of what seems to be rather mundane background information, one can miss a providential chain. The use of “now David”, “so David”, and “then David” follows David step by step until he is at the front lines and hears the brute from Gath – speak one time too many. Had he arrived a few minutes later, things might have been very different. He would have found his brothers still at their camp, where he could have simply handed them the supplies Jesse sent, asked about their well-being, and then set out for home before his three brothers go to the battle line. Had Jesse only known how much would rest on the parched grain, bread, and cheese David was lugging to his brothers. Had he only known how critical David’s mission would...

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Two Dozen Basic Management Principles (Pt. 2)

  Part One 1991 – 2001 Chapter One Kimotong (Sudan)   In 1991, Lopez had his eyes closed in prayer when the trucks pulled up. He heard them before he saw them. The soldiers poured into the small outdoor Catholic church yelling: “Everybody down! Now!”  Lopez knew that Sudan was at war but he never expected to see soldiers invade a church service.   The priest tried to reason with them. The leader of the soldiers ignored them. “We’re taking the children!” he screamed. Lopez did not know it at the time, but his childhood had just ended. He was only six years old.   Lopez was placed into a hot, dirty, metal truck covered by a green canopy on the top and the sides. For the next four hours, he endured his very first truck ride. The summer sun beat down on top of the truck turning the dirt in the truck bed into mud from the sweat pouring off too many bodies in too little of a space.   When the truck stopped, the children had hoods placed over their heads. The hooded children placed hands on the person in front of them and were herded for several miles. The end of the journey was a shove into a one-room hut. This one-room hut became home to eighty children.   For the next several weeks, Lopez lived in this single, one-room hut. He had no mat to sleep on. He had to endure the hot summer days and cold summer nights. He had to learn how to eat sorghum while avoiding the sand that had been mixed in to stretch the porridge. He had to learn how to accept the stench of children doing their “business” in the hut because they were beaten if they asked to do it outside. He saw children not waking up and quickly learned that they had died right in front of him.   The older boys were taken out for hours at a time to be trained in how to become soldiers. The younger boys were just left to die. They were simply not strong enough to carry rifles and become soldiers. The transformation of the...

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Two Dozen Basic Management Principles (Pt. 1)

Introduction   The farmer opened the door with a suspicious look on his face. He looked at the group up and down. “Okay ,” he said, “you can come in but don’t touch anything. And don’t sit on my furniture.”  He opened the door wider and then said, “It will cost you five shillings apiece.”   Lopez’ heart sank. The other boys all pulled out their money without a moment’s hesitation. Lopez reached into his pocket and felt that wonderful coin – the first coin he had possessed in months. He had such plans for it. Lopez started to tell the man, “Forget it,” and leave, but he did not want to walk the five miles back to his tent all by himself. And he really wanted to find out what made this thing called the Olympics so special that these boys would hand over their hard-earned money so quickly.   Locals filled the farmer’s living room. Every piece of furniture had someone on it. Lopez looked around the living room. The Olympics was not what he had expected. Apparently it consisted of a box with wires running out the back of it. The wires were connected to a car battery. This is the Olympics? What is so special about this?   The farmer walked over and flipped a switch on the front of the box. Black, white, and gray images flickered to life. The box was not the Olympics. It was something that was on the screen.   The boys all cheered. Lopez cheered with them. Unfortunately, soccer players did not run out onto the screen – the only sport Lopez really understood. Instead, the athletes stayed outside the big field in the middle, on a little road with white lines drawn on it. They took their places behind a white line. A man held up a gun. It fired. The guys on the screen took off running. Thousands upon thousands of people filled the stands around the track. As the men ran, the people screamed and carried on. When the winner crossed the finish line, the crowd cheered even louder.   Watching people run on television was a revelation for Lopez. Never...

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