Who is this
uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? I Samuel
Your servant has killed both the lion and the
bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has
defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who
delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me
from the hand of this Philistine." I Samuel 17:36-37
It is possible that after these last few posts some of you
may be thinking that I have a problem with the news media. Actually, my purpose
is to encourage families to recognize God for who he is and raise their
children accordingly. Christians must care deeply about the reputation of God—the
glory of God—and how we add or detract from that reputation in our daily lives.
(See Ezek. 36:16-36.) On the one hand, God is certainly not in need of our
recognition. On the other hand, you and your children were designed by God to live
for his glory and bring honor to his name. That is what it means to have a
Godward orientation (chapter 3 of Shepherding
a Child’s Heart). So my focus is not primarily on the news media, but upon
parents giving their children a vision for adding to the reputation of God.
So if an act of God is attributed to someone or something
else, God has been dishonored and his people should be appropriately and
biblically jealous on God’s behalf at this misrepresentation. To describe the
powerful acts of God as random areas of low pressure (cyclones, hurricanes) and
the slippage of fault lines (earthquakes) and make no mention of the power of
God in these events is outrageous. We must care deeply about God and his honor.
If parents have this faithful consistent concern for the honor of God, their
children will have a daily example of seeing God acknowledged for who he is and
what he does. This is what we see in David as a young man, most likely a
teenager, in I Samuel 17. In his response to Goliath, David exhibits the same
passion for the honor of God that was found in his great grandparents, Boaz and
Recall the story with me. Goliath, the 9-foot tall champion
of the Philistines, is challenging the army of God to a contest. Goliath taunts
lGoliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come
out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants
of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If
he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I
overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 10 Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks
of Israel ! Give me a man and let us fight each other." 11 On
hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and
terrified. I Samuel 17:8-11
The reason Saul and his men are terrified is that Goliath is
an intimidating warrior. Israel has no one man who stands a chance against this huge killing machine. Or so
they think. When David hears the taunt of Goliath he is filled with righteous
outrage. Who is this uncircumcised
Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?
Everyone in Israel’s army was looking at the size and reputation of Goliath. David was driven by the
size and reputation of his God.
What would this attitude of David’s look like today? The
church is now the army of God. We no longer fight with swords forged in the
fires of men. We fight with swords forged by the fire of the Holy Spirit. The
word of God is the sword of the Spirit. God does not want you, his church, to
cower at the bold and blasphemous claims of men. The California Supreme Court
ruled that it is morally and legally wrong to limit marriage to a man and a
woman because this damages the reputation of same-sex couples. The ruling of this court is very much like the taunt of Goliath.
It says, in effect, “Who do Christians
think they are that they can limit marriage to a man ad a woman?”
What is needed in the church today is responses like
David’s. A response that says Who are
these unbaptized humanists who think that they can defy the will of the living
God? Brothers and sisters, God calls us to raise our children to have
David’s attitude. This attitude of caring deeply for God’s reputation can be
passed on. I can think of several young adults and teenagers who do have this
concern for the glory of God. Greg Harris, the father of Josh, Alex and Brett
has instilled this concern in his children. Josh wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye as young man. His brothers began the
movement known as the Rebelution when
they were sixteen, and at eighteen wrote Do
Hard Things. This is just one family. There are other young men and women who
are not as well known but who are making an impact for God because the
reputation of God means more to them than their own reputation does.
I fear that the Church will cower at the taunting of God by
institutions like the California Supreme Court. These institutions appear to
have power and human tradition on their side. They appear to be able to
interpret the law creatively to fit their own beliefs. They appear to be able
to take away freedom. However, those in the church must not be more concerned
about losing their freedoms than they are concerned about living and dying for
truth. The God of Israel still lives! Young Davids exist. Parents can raise their
children to live for the reputation of God.
In the next post we will look at today’s Goliath: humanism. As churches and families who serve
the Lord Jesus Christ, we need have no more fear of this Goliath than David did
of his. So you see, my concern is not primarily with the news media, but to see
you, God’s people, raising Davids. This vision is why Shepherd Press exists.
Let me know your thoughts.