“Be courageous! Let us fight bravely to save our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.” 1 Chronicles 19:13
Every day I ask the Lord to speak to me through His Word. This morning, I was reminded once again that no matter what the circumstance, the battle and the victory belong to God.
Have you ever read through 1 Chronicles? I find these passages to be a bit on the boring side…..snoooozzzzzzz. (Please forgive me, Lord!) This time as I was reading the name of each tribe member, though, I was reminded that God cares about each and every person. These aren’t just a list of names to Him; these are people He cared very deeply for! Our name means something to Him!
Yesterday, I saw over and over again how it was the Lord who gave David victory in all he did. Verse 18:7b says “…So the Lord gave David victory wherever he went.” Likewise, 1 Chronicles 18:13b says “…This was another example of how the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.” Before these two, God told David in 1 Chronicles 17:8a “I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies…”
Today as I was reading through all the many victories the Israelites had over their enemies, I was tempted to yawn once again (yikes!). All the sudden it struck me, though, that God gave the Israelites incredible victories over seemingly insurmountable circumstances. I got excited!!! So, let me say this again, just in case you’re almost missing it like I almost did: GOD GRANTED VICTORY WHEN THE ODDS SEEMED DOWNRIGHT IMPOSSIBLE!!!!
Over and over again, I read how one person killed thousands in a battle. The military exploits became incredible to think about. In 1 Chronicles 14:13-16, we learn “But after a while, the Philistines returned and raided the valley again. And once again David asked God what to do. ‘Do not attack them straight on,’ God replied. ‘Instead circle around behind them and attack them near the balsam trees. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the balsam trees, attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistines. So David did what God commanded, and he struck down the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.” Notice how God moved ahead of the Israelites and was the One who struck them down. David simply asked for direction and obeyed what God told him to do.
This morning I read 1 Chronicles 20:4-8: “After this, war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, a descendant of the giants, and so the Philistines were subdued. During another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of Lahmi’s spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam! In another battle with the Philistines of Gath, a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – a descendant of the giants – defied and taunted Israel. But he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea. These Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but they were killed by David and his warriors.”
WOW! I read this passage and realized that we face a lot of “giants” in our life. But, when we rely on God, we can have peace that giants are no match for our great God! Do you think the men who won those battles were afraid? I’m guessing they were at least partially nervous. But, their names are written as victors in THE most important book ever! This isn’t just a list of names – these victories are important to think about! Look what God can do!
“Shaking in my boots” doesn’t even begin to describe the level of anxiety I’m feeling over running a full marathon this coming Sunday. The 26.2 mile course ahead feels bigger than a giant. But, I was reminded once again after reading this today that I need to trust that God is BIGGER! God is STRONGER! God can do ANYTHING! I’m relying on His mercy and grace.
May I say that no matter what your personal giant – health problems, financial burdens, habits or addictions, uncertainty with jobs or moving, parental responsibilities or aging parents – GOD IS ABLE! We need to be like David – ask God for direction and obey the orders we receive. Like the other listed warriors, we need to stand strong and do our part, but honor God as HE grants the victory. These men didn’t conquer the giants themselves. They had a BIG Helper! And so do we!!! Let’s thank Him in advance!
Father God, You are amazing! We believe that You created us for such a time as this. We trust You and Your purpose. You are holy and You are able. You speak, and it comes to pass. So, Lord, we’re asking for direction. Which way do we go? How do we move? Please teach us to hear the ‘rustling in the trees’ of where You are going before us. And may we stand strong, like these men did when they were fighting their battles against their giants. Please enable us to persevere and win! Give us courage. Give us strength. Give us the victory!
Lord, I specifically pray for each person reading this – while I may not even know them or their battle, I believe that You do. Please, Lord, move on their behalf. Speak to their hearts. Let them know Your will. May You receive the honor and glory that comes from their victory.
God, I also ask for peace. Please help me conquer this marathon, for Your honor alone! I know that I can’t run 26.2 miles on my own – it looks bigger than a giant to me. But I believe that You can enable my body to get through, so I trust in Your goodness and look forward to singing Your praise! You are good, and we thank You for everything You are, everything You have done, and everything You continue to do. We love You! In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN!