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David, the Underdog?
by Cate Russell-Cole
3/28/2016 / Christian Living
Updated January 2017: This article has been affected by a coding glitch. My only other option is to re-upload, but that will affect long-standing embedded links to it. Please accept my apologies for the big gaps.
One of the lessons that I struggle the most to learn is who I am in the Lord, and how valuable I am to Him. I can get so stuck in my problems, that I forget that the One who built and maintains the Universe, loves me and is on my side. When I think like that, I defeat myself, by letting circumstances defeat me. I become the underdog, fighting to survive against a world which is bigger than I can cope with. I forget that God is bigger than my problems. I know I am not alone in this struggle to feel secure and treasured; many of us grapple with the same issue.
One of the things that intrigues me about the story of David and Goliath, is that even though we know how it ends, (spoiler alert: *God wins through David's courage,) we call David the underdog. In reality, David cannot help but win, because of God's massive love for His people. I scratch my head and wonder why we label David like this, when we know the value that Isra'el has to the Lord.
Isra'el had a very special position on the Earth:
“Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Isra'el.” Exodus 19:5-6
"I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear." Leviticus 26:6
Even with promises like these, and the many testimonies of what God had done for Isra'el since Abraham's time, Isra'el still forgot that they were a treasure to God, just as we do. [Ref. Genesis 22:15-18] By the time Goliath was threatening the nation, God's beloved people were so displaced from their faith, that they had forgotten that God was there to help fight their battles. Knowing that, David could not possibly have lost unless he was acting in disobedience to the Lord.
"David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you... and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues His people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and He will give you to us!” 1 Samuel 17:45-47
If David knew what the outcome had to be, why, three thousand years later, haven't we caught up with his thinking? It appears that we have this compulsion to label threats big and God as smaller than He is. We are no different than Isra'el, in that we let fear take over. God is poised and willing to fight for us, but we have to be reminded of that, in order to wrestle our fleshly minds back off their disaster-focussed auto-pilot.
If we place God first in all our circumstances, then we will never be an underdog. There is simply no way that can happen. Why? We are as great a treasure to the Lord as the nation if Isra'el, and God will never stop fighting for us.
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:3-5 "... all belong to God, whether Jew or Gentile and we are all partakers of the same divine inheritance through grace. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13
So the next time something towers above you, making you quake in fear, let your Heavenly Father deal with it. You're not an underdog. There is no way you can't win.
I am going to finish by joining Paul in saying,
"I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, Who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:16-21
*Please note that I have said God wins, not that David wins, as all victories for Isra'el were won by God and the glory does not belong to any man. David agrees with me. In 2 Samuel 22:1-4 David wrote these words on the day the LORD rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul.
"The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my Saviour;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
He is my refuge, my saviour,
the one who saves me from violence.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and He saved me from my enemies."
Battles the Lord won / engineered for Isra'el.
- Crossing the Red Sea - Exodus 14
- Victory over the Amalekites - Exodus 17:8-16
- Promise to fight for the people - Exodus 23:27-31 and Deuteronomy 7:7-8
- Jordan River dry crossing - Joshua 3:15-16
- Fall of Jericho - Joshua 6:20-21
- Ai - Joshua 8
- Amonites - Joshua 10:11
- North captured for Isra'el - Joshua 11:16-20, especially verse 23
- South captured for Isra'el - Joshua 10:40-42
- Deborah and Barak - Judges 4:14-15
- Gideon - Judges 7
- Samson - Judges 16, especially verse 30
- Ark of the Covenant against the Philistines - 1 Samuel 7
- Jonathan against the Philistines - 1 Samuel 14
- David and Eleazar son of Dodai - 2 Samuel 23
- David and Shammah son of Agee - 2 Samuel 23
Battles Won for Judah
- God defeated the army of Jeroboam as Abijah and his army trusted God. 2 Chronicles 13
- God saves King Jehoshaphat in battle - 2 Chronicles 18
- Battle with Ammon, Moab, and some of the Meunites - 2 Chronicles 20
- God helped Uzziah in his wars against the Philistines - 2 Chronicles 26
- Rescue of Judah under the leadership of the righteous King Hezekiah - 2 Kings 19
For more information on King David, please have a meander through the King David Project Facebook page, our web site and our blog, Masada Rain. The blog houses many useful resources on studying, David plus bits and pieces of information which don't neatly fit into article form. Please ignore dates and use the search feature to find what you want. The web site has resources on David's family tree, life and the Psalms. All content is creative commons and non-profit. Sharing of the project's work would be deeply appreciated.
~ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fromdespairtodeliverance
~ Masada Rain Blog: https://masadarain.wordpress.com
~ The project web site: http://cateartios.wix.com/kingdavidproject
This article by Cate Russell-Cole is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Written in Australian English.
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