Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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The Power of the Word - Part 28

The cart wheels squeaked rhythmically as he traveled. His thoughts ran through his head in time with the cadence. His heart raced with excitement. Each step took him closer to his destination. In his mind’s eye, he could see the two armies gathered in the Valley of Elah. The army of God lined up on one side of the valley facing the Philistine enemy troops on the other side. He was thankful his father had tasked him with taking supplies to his brothers and their brigade. He longed to be with his brothers in the heat of the battle. If only he were old enough!

Finally, the distant outline of the Israelite camp came into view. He hoped he would be fortunate enough to watch a battle before needing to return home. As the cart wheels came to a stop, David leaped down from the wagon. He greeted the supply keeper telling him that all the supplies in the wagon were for their brigade. The supply keeper’s eyes lit up and a smile brightened the grizzled face. David ran to find his brothers leaving the wagon in capable hands.

As the brothers stood catching up about all that was happening at home and in the army camp, the conversation was interrupted by shouting coming from the battlefield.

“And the Philistine said, ‘I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.’” (1 Samuel 17:10)

David watched as “all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.” (1 Samuel 17:24)

David shook with indignation. How dare this uncircumcised Philistine mock the God of Israel! And how dare the men of Israel’s army run in fear from this Philistine instead of fighting for God’s honor!

“Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, ‘What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?’” (1 Samuel 17:26)

One of the men in the crowd said, "'it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.’” (1 Samuel 17:25)

While he was talking with the men in the crowd, David saw the expression on his oldest brother’s face out of the corner of his eye. Eliab had a temper, and he usually took it out on David. Instinctively David braced for what was coming.

“Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’” (1 Samuel 17:28)

David stood there staring at Eliab trying to push away the pain inflicted by the words flung at him. Why was Eliab angry at him when he should have been angry at the Philistine who was blaspheming God?

His thoughts were interrupted. David whirled at a tap on his shoulder to see one of King Saul’s guards. David thought, this is going from bad to worse! The soldier explained that King Saul would like to have a few words with him. David followed the soldier without turning back to the crowd. He didn’t want to see Eliab’s face.

David bowed in respect as he entered the king’s tent. King Saul asked what David’s thoughts were regarding the current military situation.

“Then David said to Saul, ‘Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.’” (1 Samuel 17:32)

The king leaned back and smiled at the eager young man standing in front of him. Oh, if only his entire army were made up of young men like this, he would surely win every battle. But even though the king admired David’s gumption, he could see that young man was not at all prepared to go into battle, much less to fight the Philistine Goliath.

“And Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.’” (1 Samuel 17:33)

David was not easily dissuaded. He straightened up to his full height, looked the king directly in the eyes, and responded.

“‘Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’ Moreover David said, ‘The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’” (1 Samuel 17:34-37)

King Saul stared at David. There was no one in his army who had the faith of this young man in the God of heaven. King Saul sat corrected. If anyone could defeat Goliath, David could.

“And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you!’” (1 Samuel 17:37)

King Saul took David to his own armor bearer and instructed him to fit David with his best suit of armor. David was dubious about this, but he submitted to the king’s instructions. After the last buckle was fastened, David stood there feeling like a child in his father’s clothing. The suit of armor was too big and too heavy. He could barely move. No, he needed speed and agility to fight Goliath. The armor would not do.

David left the king’s tent and headed toward the battlefield with only his staff in his hand. On his way, he stopped by the brook at the edge of the valley and picked up five smooth stones. He put the stones in his shepherd’s bag and wound his sling around his arm. With a prayer in his heart, he headed toward the enemy.

David watched as Goliath approached the center of the valley with his shield bearer. David watched Goliath’s face. Impressive, David thought. Goliath’s face gets even redder than Eliab’s when he’s angry. David smiled in spite of himself.

“And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. So the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!’” (1 Samuel 17:42-44)

David’s smile left his face. He could not stand another minute of this Philistine blaspheming his God.

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.’” (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

Goliath started moving toward David, sword in hand, confidence written all over his face.

“David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.” (1 Samuel 17:49-50)

David kept running until he reached the body of Goliath. David grabbed Goliath’s sword, unsheathed it, and swung it with all his might severing Goliath’s head.

The Philistines who watched the death of their champion turned and ran for the lives. The Israelites who watched finally found their wits and ran after the Philistines. At the end of the day, Israel was victorious in battle and God’s name was vindicated all because one young man stood up in confidence at what God could and would do.

This well-known story is a testament of what one person who takes God at His Word can do. Humanly speaking, there was absolutely no way that young David would have any victory over the giant Goliath. If David had listened to those around him who first told him he was crazy for thinking he could overcome Goliath and then those who tried to tell David the best way to overcome Goliath, we wouldn’t have this incredible story today. Though young, David had an arsenal of experiences with God that proved God’s Word was true. David stood in faith and met the enemy head on with God’s Word. We can do the same.

“For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (Psalm 18:28-30)

This is why Binding Broken Hearts is passionate about getting God’s Word into prisons and into the hands of inmates who so desperately need to know that through the power of the Word, they can meet any enemy head on, even a Goliath-sized enemy. Because these are men and women who need Jesus most.

Perhaps you want to help spread the power of His Word to an inmate who desperately needs its power. If so, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

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