David asked the soldiers standing nearby, "What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?" 1 Samuel 17:26
Are you a glass half full person or a half glass empty? I used to think I was an optimist. I used to believe that I was a glass half full person. I have recently realized, however, that I have been a pessimist without even realizing it. I have a feeling I am not alone. However, God has been working to change my pessimism. He is showing me that, often, difficult times offer opportunities that would never have arisen without the trials we face. Knowing this, when I encounter difficulties and giants in my life, I am starting to look for opportunities God might provide through these difficulties.
Our story today picks up beginning in 1 Samuel 17:12. In this chapter, we find again that the Israel army was terrified of the Philistine army, particularly a man in the army, a giant named Goliath. While the Israelite army hid and trembled in fright, the Philistine army taunted the people of Israel every day. During this time, David, a shepherd and the youngest of all of his brothers, showed up to check on his brothers, who were part of the Israelite army. When he arrived, he heard about the Philistine army and Goliath. He heard about the threats and taunts they were making to Israel and their God. Hearing this, David had two options. He could choose to join in the Israelite army's fear and negativity, or he could choose positivity, knowing that God was with him. With these two options available to him, David chose the latter. He saw an opportunity and asked a question, "What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine, anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God" (verse 26)? In other words, David was ready to stand up to Goliath and the Philistine army because he was positive that God would protect his people, the Israelites, from their enemies. Where the rest of the army saw their doom, David saw that the victory was possible with God's help.
As you think about this story, who can you relate to more, David or the Israelite army? Do you see your giants and immediately assume the worst, or do you see your giants as an opportunity to trust God and watch Him work? The perspective we have makes all the difference in the world. I do not know about you, but I want to be marked by positivity and optimism. I want to look for opportunities to watch God work in my life, even when the greatest giant is opposing me. Let's choose optimism today.
In a notebook or journal, take time to think about the hardship, difficulty, or challenge that you are facing and name it. Next, consider how the hardship you are facing might offer you new opportunities. End your journal with a prayer, asking God for boldness to walk in those opportunities today.
Read 1 Samuel 17:12-31 (NLT)
Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. Jesse was an old man at that time, and he had eight sons. Jesse’s three oldest sons—Eliab, Abinadab, and Shimea—had already joined Saul’s army to fight the Philistines. David was the youngest son. David’s three oldest brothers stayed with Saul’s army, but David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.
For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.
One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.” David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.
So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries. Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army. David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel.
As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes!”
David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that is the reward for killing him.”
But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!”
“What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question!” He walked over to some others and asked them the same thing and received the same answer. Then David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him.