Thursday, July 11, 2013

Daily Encouragement (07/11/13) "The Sword Of Goliath"

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bass Pro Shop, Springfield, MO 7/10/13
Bass Pro Shop, Springfield, MO

"The Sword Of Goliath"

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io player. Note: Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message.

David asked Ahimelek, "Don't you have a spear or a sword here? I haven't brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king's mission was urgent." The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one." David said, "There is none like it; give it to me" (1 Samuel 21:8,9).

Bass Pro Shop had just begun doing business here in Springfield Missouri during the time we were in this area for college in the mid-seventies. Johnnie Morris began the store in 1972 by selling tackle in a corner of his dad's liquor store.

Now it's a large national company with huge mega sporting goods stores all throughout the country.
Although I am not a hunter and only a nominal fisherman I nevertheless enjoy walking through these huge stores that stimulate your senses for wildlife and country settings. Yesterday we visited the massive flagship store here in Springfield. According to statistics this store is the single most attended tourist attraction in Missouri with 4,000,000 visitors a year!* It was plenty crowded with people of all ages.

We bought a couple of hats but mostly just looked. It's sort of like a free zoo with many live fish, reptiles and large game displays such as the photo above and several we will share below our message. The Bass Pro Shop collects these for a very impressive display all through their store. Of course individual hunters and fishermen also like to display their trophies. I have been to many homes where hunters display their trophy game mounts, especially when I lived in northern Pennsylvania where most of the men and quite a few women hunt.

Even those who are nominally Biblically literate are familiar with the story of David and Goliath, which resulted in David's great defeat and the trophy sword he recovered from his opponent.  The entire story is found in 1 Samuel 17.

Our daily text records an interesting event that happened sometime after the famous battle took place. Following the battle David became a hero, more popular in the eyes of the people than King Saul, which caused Saul to go into an uncontrollable jealous rage. Most of the latter chapters of 1 Samuel record David fleeing from Saul's sword as he invariably pursued him day after day. It was a very despairing time and this led David to record his physical, emotional and spiritual battles which are revealed in several of the Psalms. We often find ourselves turning to these very Psalms when we too are dealing with battles of one sort or another.

In today's Bible portion David is in need of a sword.
He asked Ahimelek, "Don't you have a spear or a sword here? I haven't brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king's mission was urgent." Ahimelech the priest had for some reason been keeping Goliath's massive sword wrapped in a cloth. The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one."

That must have been quite a trophy! Scripture records that Goliath's "spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels" (1 Samuel 17:7). That's about 15 pounds! You can imagine if just the iron point of his spear shaft weighed 15 pounds just how enormous and heavy his entire sword must have been!

I'm intrigued by David's statement, "There is none like it; give it to me."

What practical purpose did David have in mind for this massive sword? It seems rather unlikely he would use it as a weapon given its size although it's certainly possible he had some utilitarian use for it or perhaps he intended to recycle the metal!

But in considering this I believe David's interest is not a practical use, but a powerful reminder of God's help during a past major conflict.  Humanly speaking young David was no match for the mighty Goliath. He knew that. But he was relying on God for the victory. His great battle cry was, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied" (1 Samuel 17:45). The huge sword of Goliath was tangible evidence of God's help in a time of great need.

Abraham and his descendants frequently built altars when God brought about a supernatural phenomenon in their midst. These altars were a physical, visible way of giving thanks to God and acknowledging that apart from His intervention defeat was imminent. Each time people passed by the altar their forefathers built, their faith was fortified as they recalled the miraculous work God had performed for His people. Goliath's sword just may have been similar for David and his descendants; a visible reminder that he could still rely on God for the victory he sought at this difficult time in his life. Do you have something like the sword of Goliath in your life?

Self-assurance and self-sufficiency will ultimately lead to self-defeat. But steadfast trust in Almighty God and acknowledgment that apart from Him we are powerless will lead us to ultimate victory!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You provided David with supernatural courage, strength, and skill to defeat the boastful bully of a giant, Goliath. That huge sword was a reminder to David of your help in a time of great need. Remind us of past victories in our own personal lives and those of others to give us strength and faith as we face today's battles. Nothing in ourselves will defeat the enemies we face, but "with God all things are possible."
See Joshua 4:24, Matthew 19:26

* Due to travel we are temporarily suspending the preparation of regular podcasts with each message. It is a complex set-up and time-consuming to prepare in a hotel room. We expect to periodically prepare some messages as podcasts while on the road and resume regular podcasts when we return home.

Some scenes along our journey:

Bass Pro Shop, Springfield, MO 7/10/13
The ceiling at Bass Pro Shop is painted so that it appears you are underwater!

Bass Pro Shop, Springfield, MO 7/10/13
Full body animal displays.

Bass Pro Shop, Springfield, MO 7/10/13
An old truck right in the middle of the store!

Bass Pro Shop, Springfield, MO 7/10/13
Turtles! We especially noted the unusual turtle with the flat, smooth shell.

Rob at Holloway 7/10/13
Yesterday I toured Holloway America, a manufacturing company that my friend Dave operates. I saw his son Rob, one of the designers, who is standing in front of the end of a huge stainless steel tank being manufactured. I met Rob about thirty years ago when he was around six and he has quite a first-time memory of me. Dave and his wife Sandy, along with Brooksyne and I were playing tennis. Robbie was playing in the back court and in setting up a backstroke with my racquet I struck him in the head, requiring a trip to the hospital, stitches and a visible scar that remains to this day! Yesterday he greeted me with something to the effect, "You didn't bring your tennis racquet did you?" I am relieved that he recovered well with no lasting effects, just a "trophy" scar.

Dave at Holloway 7/10/13
Dave is demonstrating one of Holloway products used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Welder at Holloway 7/10/13
Holloway America has an interesting way of showing the value of their employees with large photos of the workers doing their job that hang in the reception area and along office hallways. See here for a virtual tour.

Brooksyne with family 7/0/13
Brooksyne met up with her great-Uncle Bill and Aunt Iva along with her second cousin, Janet for the first time in 12 years. They reminisced together as they viewed photos of family members from years past. 

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Praise The Lord"  Video  Russ Taff, a classic version! I recall how this song, which was popular in the eighties, ministered to me. It has great lyrics.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.
Stephen, Brooksyne and Ester Weber 04/21/13
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

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"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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