1 Samuel 17:12:51a (Part 2) – Whose Plan Are You Going to Follow?

Posted: February 19, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel

1 Samuel 17:12-51a
David Kills Goliath

I don’t know why this came to mind this morning and, man, I had not even thought about this event in my life in years and most likely have not written about it in this space ever. Back when I was a rising junior at Travelers Rest High School (TRHS) at the tail end of my sophomore, it was time for the class officer elections. You know, right at the end of the current school year you vote on next year’s class officers. One of the most popular kids at school from my class was a guy by the name of Robin Griffith. He was a shortish guy. I was actually about maybe an inch taller than he and there’s not too many guys that I am taller than.

He was kind of like Bill Clinton as a politician though. He was good looking. Had a way with words. Had a way with the girls. Said all the right things. Did all the popular things. But there was no plan. One of the things that the junior class president was in charge of each year was to manage the fund raising process for the junior-senior prom. That was the one big thing that you did as the junior class president. Success or failure of the prom road on your shoulders as junior class president. It is the junior class that pays for the prom as a way to honor the seniors. So, it’s kind of big deal. The whole school will be watching how your class pulls this off. It will be remembered long after graduation.

But Robin was kind of like Donald Trump with regard to the junior class elections. He ran because he wanted to win the race. He wanted to see how popular he was. He wanted to get the ego massage that was the election. He had no plan of what he was going to do with the office after he got it. Well, you know me, I am a sucker for a challenge. Although I had only been living in Travelers for two school years by the end of my sophomore year in high school, I had become mildly popular myself. A lot of people knew who I was, just not as many as knew lifelong TR resident, Robin Griffith. I had friends, particularly the previous junior class president, who said I should run against Robin because that previous president knew Robin’s style and knew he would screw up the prom. So, after encouragement from others in addition to the previous junior class president, I signed up to run for junior class president.

There were several weeks of campaigning with 8 ½ by 11 posters (all that was allowed) plastered at key walking intersections in the buildings of TRHS. Talking to people. Shaking hands (late 70’s style). Kissin’ babies…no, there was no baby kissin’! All the usual candidate stuff. It all led up to the day before the class elections when we had the assembly for class officer candidate speeches. Of course, my speech was very meticulous and I had a plan of how we were going to more than raise enough funds to finance the junior-senior prom. Then, Robin gets up mocks me for being so meticulous and him being the great off the cuff speaker he was proceeded to whip the crowd up with great promises but no plan. He has no plan but yet he mocked me for having one.

I would like to tell you that I won that election. But the outgoing junior class president (each outgoing class officers were responsible for counting the votes for their replacements) told me later than in this two candidate race, I lost the election by 6 votes. Since there were only two candidates, there would be no run-off election. He won. I lost. That was it.

With that idea of me having a plan and being mocked for it in mind, Let’s read this passage, 1 Samuel 17:12-51a, one more time, now:

12 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. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons—Eliab, Abinadab, and Shimea[a]—had already joined Saul’s army to fight the Philistines. 14 David was the youngest son. David’s three oldest brothers stayed with Saul’s army, 15 but David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.

16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.

17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket[b] of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. 18 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.[c]” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.

20 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. 21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers. 23 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.

24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “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!”

26 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?”

27 And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that is the reward for killing him.”

28 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!”

29 “What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question!” 30 He walked over to some others and asked them the same thing and received the same answer. 31 Then David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him.
32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”

38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.

“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.

41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.

45 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. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 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!”

48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.

In this passage, we see that criticism could not stop David. While the rest of the army stood around, he knew the importance of taking action. With God to fight for him, there was no reason to wait. David older brother criticized him for asking questions as to why no one was taking any action even though there was a reward. People may try to discourage you with negative comments or mockery, but continue to do what you know is right, you will be pleasing God, and it is His opinion that matters most.

And then when you look back at my junior class president candidacy, Robin and his cronies mocked me up one side and down the other because they wanted to portray me as some uptight dude that was no fun. And that he was the fun candidate. And that was what played well with the electorate of 15-16 year olds in high school. Do you want a candidate that is fun and stands for nothing or do you want a guy that maybe a little anal but has a plan for what he wants to accomplish?

And of course you know what happened, yes? You are right. With Robin at the helm. Fund raising was a haphazard and not very good. Sure, he was the fun candidate but he was a horrible junior class president. The previous two proms before the one we had to put on as a class were two of the best proms the school had ever scene. With the 1979 prom was the worst. We had the prom in the old ballroom the then closed down and ready to be condemned Poinsett Hotel. It was once a grand hotel and a wonderful place to have galas and important events. It is once again that since the reclamation of the hotel by the Westin Hotel group but that was more than two decades after our prom. The hotel had been in disrepair for years by 1978 and had just been shut down as an operating facility that year. The prom was horrible. There were fights because of cramped quarters. Photography was bad because of bad lighting. The food and snacks offerings were cheap. The band was not even close to being memorable. Can’t even remember a single song they played.

That was high school and in the end it doesn’t really matter whether the prom was good or not. In real life, people may mock you for doing the right thing. They may mock you for having a plan to do the right things. They may make fun of you for being a Christian. They may make fun of you for dropping everything and going into the ministry. They may ridicule you for following God’s calling on your life. But hey, stick to the plan. Who are you trying to please? God or other people? Let’s stick with trying to please God! He’s got the ultimate plan and it wins in the end. He’s got the best prom EVER waiting on us in eternity. He’s got the plan. Let’s follow Him rather than the worldly ones who promises are like vapor.

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s