pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Call Out

Reading: 1 Samuel 17: 1-11

Verses ten and eleven: “This day I defy the ranks of Israel… Saul and all the Israelites we’re dismayed and terrified”.

Today’s passage is the beginning of a familiar story. The Philistines and Israelites, long-time enemies, are drawn up for battle. In our lives, those one or two sins that always seem to pop up are like these two armies – always just about ready to do battle. In this occasion though, the Philistines have a “champion”. In reality, this is someone who you think can whip anyone the other side sends out. In hockey, this would be the enforcer – the big guy you have to deal with if you get a little too rough with the other team’s star. In our childhood days, this was that really big kid you wanted to pick for your team. Unless the other side got to pick first – then he was called a bully or worse.

What is your persistent sin? What are the two or three things that you always wrestle with? Is it pride or ego or the need to be in control? Those are mine. Is it the tendency to judge or to compare yourself with others? Mine too. Is it something else? We all have these sins that bully us, that seem to always be right there on the front line, ready to do battle with our inner compass, the Holy Spirit.

Goliath steps up to the battle line and says, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel… Saul and all the Israelites we’re dismayed and terrified”. The people of God, the atmy of the chosen people, hear this challenge and stare at the ground. Instead of calling on God and going out to face this bully, they cower. We sometimes act the same way with our sins. Instead of turning to scripture or going to God in prayer at first temptation, we look away. We pretend the sin isn’t lurking. But the temptation is still there. It calls out over and over and eventually we give in, we sin.

If there is a giant calling out to you today, may you call on the name of the Lord, trusting in the One who can defeat anything. Call out! When you do, Satan will flee. May it be so today. Amen.


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Perfect Creations

Bullying has many forms.  It can be blatant or subtle and can lead us to act differently.  The act of bullying occurs at all levels of life and in all places.  It can happen at work, at school, at home, and even at church.  A bully’s main desire is to be on top.  In modern times, social media has taken bullying in a whole new direction.  You no longer have to be present to bully someone.

Goliath is a classic bully – physically intimidating, hurls insults with his words, seeks to be the alpha male.  We’ve all faced this type of bully.  Saul’s bullying is a little more disguised.  He wants David to wear his armor, to don his tunic.  In short, he wants David to be like him.

David counters both.  Against Goliath David calls on God’s name to defeat his enemy.  David knows he cannot face the giant alone so he calls on the one, true source of our strength – God.  Against Saul he says this is not who I am.  David goes out to face the giant just as God created him and using the skills with which God has gifted him.  He knows how God created him and David trusts this.  We find great examples here in David.

When faced with a challenge, we too need to turn to the source of all we have and are – God.  He promised to be with us and to strengthen and encourage us.  And we also must remember that God created us just as we are and that we are perfect in His sight.  We must not bend or break but must remain true to who God created us to be.  We are each His perfect creation, a child of God.  If we live each day and face the challenges that life brings as a child ofn the one, true king, life cannot defeat us.  God is on our side.

Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 17: 32-49