Remembering is a vital task. It helps us study for tests and remember what we need to buy at the grocery store. But remembering can also be a good tool for making wise decisions. Ever since I first burned myself cooking in the kitchen I have been rightly wary of the oven when it is cranked up. Remembering my first speeding ticket reminds me how expensive trying to get somewhere five minutes faster can be. And when it comes to our relationship with God remembering is a mighty tool as well.
Surely you have at least one time in your life where you lifted your eyes to Heaven and thanked God for a situation where you thought everything was going to be lost and it came out victorious. Perhaps you were promoted or got the job you were hoping for. Or maybe you thought you had a physical ailment that was just a false alarm. Perhaps you got a bonus from work when you were behind on your bills and it kept you from being in money trouble. I could go on and on but remembering is powerful tool for putting God in his proper place.
I don’t know when it happened, maybe it was in the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, or my life just yesterday but we as a people seem to suffer from amnesia when it comes to God’s goodness in our lives. We forget that every breath is a gift from above and every day what we live are a day we did not deserve in the first place. We seem to take it for granted and the things we have that make us comfortable, healthy, and able to take care of ourselves all came from God in the first place.
The Israelites had this same type of spiritual amnesia. God would show himself in a mighty way and just a chapter later they were worshipping false Gods. They would have a situation where they could call on God and then trusted in themselves to get the job done. For most of those times they would end up in a worse off situation than they were before.
It was in just a situation where King David came on the scene. Only he wasn’t King David at first. He was just David. In fact, he was just a young teenager who was watching his father’s sheep. When his father needed him to deliver a message to his brothers at the Israelite encampment he was astounded how Israel had become so very scared of the Philistine giant Goliath.
In those days there was a style of battle called “single combat” where one chosen warrior from each army would fight each other and the winner would decide the outcome of the battle. This would save hundreds or thousands of lives on each side of the battlefield. Sadly, no one was willing to step up to the Philistine’s chosen champion Goliath. And this set David on edge.
Israel had forgotten how God had preserved his chosen people in the past. They had forgotten the miraculous exodus from Egypt and the supernatural preservation in the wilderness. They had forgotten how God had brought them to the Promised Land and had delivered them from the Canaanites as they took the land into their possession. They had forgotten God’s natural and supernatural providence in their history and had fallen prey to their own weaknesses.
But David had not forgotten. And this leads us to our chapter of focus for today. Take a moment to read 1 Samuel Ch. 17. Here we see David going to King Saul and calling him out for not having faith in God who had preserved and protected them in the past. King Saul should have had a good enough memory to remember God’s past deliverances and trust in God to deliver them from the Philistine army and from Goliath their champion.
David was willing to fight Goliath because he trusted God to be faithful today as he had in the past. David remembered fighting the bear and he remembered fighting the lion to protect his father’s sheep. God had delivered him from each of those enemies and he would deliver David from Goliath.
In each of those situations David could have made himself the center of attention. After all, he was the one who actually did the fighting and earned the victory. But David was smart enough to know that everything he possessed came from God. And that meant that God had been the one who truly gave David the victory in the past. God had been faithful in the past and he could be trusted to be faithful in the future.
So what about us? Has God been faithful enough in our past to deserve us trusting in him today? God was faithful with the bears and lions in our lives and he will be faithful in the future if we trust him. We must be careful to not be as Israel was and trust in ourselves and think that we brought about our past victories. All of our battles have been won by God and we must give him the credit.
As you look into the storm of your life remember God’s faithfulness. Remember that God is not near as concerned with our happiness as he is with our holiness and that we need to keep our focus on him. The rest of the pieces will fall into place. We do all that we can and trust God with the rest.
Remember how things worked out for David? Goliath was no match for David because David knew he had God on his side. If we are seeking after God and making decisions that honor him with our lives then we can rest assured that God will be faithful today just as he was in the past.