1 Samuel 17:40-54

David Meets Goliath’s Challenge (17:40-54) The writer now begins his third cycle of confrontation-challenge-consternation in verse 40. Confrontation: David and Goliath Face Each Other (vv. 40-41) Goliath is arrogant, proud, and blasphemous. He challenges the Israelites to send him their best warrior, and the winner takes all. Can you imagine the shock to Goliath and his ego when David comes forth? Here is a young man with no defensive armor at all, and seemingly no offensive armor. David does carry a sling, but he has not yet placed a rock in it, so he certainly does not appear threatening. Challenge: David and Goliath Summon Each Other (vv. 42-51a) [1] I want to make several comments about this passage. First, observe how the writer allows Goliath to dominate the scene. Starting in verse 41, five times the writer specifically mentions the Philistine. Five times the writer specifies the subject with each verb – the Philistine this, the Philistine that. Second, notice how much press is given to David’s speech (vv. 45-47) as compared with the combat itself (vv. 48-49). We should not, however, underestimate David’s sling-and-stone routine. Such stones would range from two to three inches in diameter and, when flung by an accomplished warrior, could reach speeds of 100 to 150 miles per hour, all of which would make for a stunning victory. Third, David’s speech is the third major speech in the chapter, all of which are theologically loaded. David states that all the earth will know from the box score in tomorrow’s papers that there is a God, a real God, in Israel (v. 46). However, David especially stresses that Yahweh saves not by the instruments of human power but through the weakness of his servants.  This theme of “weakness” has been building throughout the chapter. All the important people regard David as weak. But he is the one Yahweh uses to deliver. Nor does David have the right equipment; but he demonstrates that Yahweh brings deliverance without the symbols of man’s strength. Practical Application — What matters is not whether you have the best weapons but whether you have the real God. In fact, your “inadequacy” may be precisely your qualification...

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Two Dozen Basic Management Principles (Pt. 3)

Chapter 2 Escape   “You’re going to see your Mom again.” “What?” Lopez nearly shouted. “Shh, not so loud,” one of his three teenage friends said. “You can’t tell anyone.” Most of the boys had settled down for the night, although one or two were up walking around. “This is our secret, okay, Lopepe.” These three older boys – angels to Lopez – chose to take this six-year old boy with them when they planned an escape. After everyone fell asleep, the group of four worked their way across the room. Once they reached the door, they stopped dead still. After what felt like an eternity, one nodded toward another. They cracked open the door. One of Lopez’ friends poked his head out of the door. The coast was clear. The guard who normally sat at the door had left his post. One after another, the four boys crawled out of the hut. For the first time in three weeks, Lopez smelled fresh air. The four boys crawled toward a chain link fence. Everywhere around them, guards smoked cigarettes, talked, and laughed. It took ten minutes to cover the distance from the hut to the chain link fence. Once they were at the fence, Lopez noticed a very small gap in the bottom of it. One of his friends crawled under the fence. Lopez couldn’t believe that the guards could not hear the clanking of the fence. Once all four were under the fence, they ran for their lives. None of the boys wore shoes. Rocks cut into the soles of their feet. They kept running. Bushes suddenly appeared in front of them slapping them in the face. They kept running. Thorns tore their legs open. They kept running. They do not know how they could run so far, so fast, and so long. They did not run with their own strength but with strength from God. Management Lesson #2 — Protect The Weak In this day of lean staffs, it is easy to leave the weak behind. Yes, we can always fire the weaker team member and replace them with a stronger team member. Or, we can coach and mentor the weaker team...

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