What has a shepherd boy chopping off the head of a supposed giant about 3,000 years ago got to do with us in the 21st century? Is it any wonder that so many Christians are abandoning the Bible as their source of truth; after all how can there be any connection between us and an Iron Age culture from the Middle East, surely it is irrelevant, isn’t it?
Of course is you have read any of my posts you know that I take the Bible very seriously, but the above question is fair. I think the disconnect comes from a general misunderstanding of what the Gospel is; but once we start to see the big picture all those ‘Sunday School Stories’ start to become very relevant.
King David’s story is recorded in 1 & 2 Samuel and his most famous act is probably the defeat of the Philistine champion Goliath. Goliath was a big bloke, 10½ feet (3.2m) tall as well as being a heavily armoured and seasoned warrior. Israel and the Philistines were at war, but the deal the Philistines had put forward was that rather than the armies fight, their two champions should slug it out and victory would go to the nation whose champion won. They were confident in their champion to say the least – until David steps up. I am sure you know the story so I won’t put much detail in, but it is in 1 Samuel 17.
After argument and negotiation David steps into the arena and lets fly with his sling; if the stone didn’t kill Goliath outright, the following decapitation did. After that the Israeli army rose up and pursued the fleeing Philistines and a great victory that affected everyone in Israel was celebrated.
In 2 Samuel 7:16 God promises David that his throne will be established forever, and from that point Israel was looking for the Messiah / the son of David to come and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. To cut a very long story very short, Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah and He has ushered God’s new creation into the here and now, even though the fullness is still to come. However the question still remains, what has this got to do with us? Let’s look and see.
Around a 1,000 years after David’s epic victory the Son of David steps alone onto the battlefield, but this time the fight isn’t against Israel’s physical enemies. He is about to singlehandedly take on the invisible foes of all mankind. Satan put’s forth his champion who had held all of humanity captive since Adam’s sin – Death, no one could stay on earth for any length of time without succumbing to death’s relentless power. Jesus doesn’t use a sword or a sling, but according to God’s hidden plan He enters open combat on the cross. Through the cross Jesus makes of no effect him who had the power of death, He defeats sin and disarms all the spiritual forces of darkness – even though He died. Three days after this epic conflict Jesus is utterly vindicated by His resurrection from the dead, and this is where David can help us.
Through one man everyone born of Israel shared in a great victory, a victory that was implemented as the soldiers went after the fleeing Philistines and slaughtered them. To share in this victory you had to a part of ethnic Israel.
Through one Man everyone born of God (or part of the redefined Israel or in Christ) share in a cosmic victory, a victory that is implemented as we the Church move forward into what was lost territory. Not with swords or oppression, but with love, service, sacrifice and gentleness. An army that overcomes the defeated foe through the blood of the Lamb, the word of our Gospel testimony, not loving our lives, even unto death.
Yes we collide with spiritual forces, but their champion is defeated. For those of us who believe that Jesus is the Messiah, even when we die we don’t die, because of Him. And one day it will be resurrection day, and then all of creation will see just how spectacular Jesus’ victory was; in that day we will be made as He is, all of creation will be released from futility and heaven will move to earth. All because one Man, the Son of David, won a victory on behalf of others.
Go well my friends 😀
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