The Unseen – 1 Samuel 17:23

“As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.” 1 Samuel 17:23

For forty days, this champion emerged and challenged the Israelites to send a man to fight him. And each day, the Israelite army cowered in fear. Until the day when David heard him.

This young man’s response was not as the others’. It is immediately evident in the words he spoke to those around him: “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26). David did not view the situation based on the size of the man issuing the challenge. He viewed it based on the power and reality of the God of Israel.

I heard a statement yesterday that the unseen world of God and His army is the real world. How often do we forget that? We look at what is seen around us and we begin to think of God’s power and His army of angels as an abstract theory, simply because we can’t see it. But we should not differentiate between the unseen world and the “real” world. Because the unseen is real. It is as real as anything else. The power of God in our lives, the fact that He fights for us is a fact. That is reality.

David believed this. Enough to put his life on the line. He didn’t view it as a risk. He stepped out in faith, fully confident that the God of Israel was stepping out to fight for him. There is not a hint of hesitation as David approaches this giant of a man. The Philistine had defied the armies of the living God. David knew this was a massive insult to the almighty God whose glory fills the heavens and who deserves all honor and praise. “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).

This is not just a story in an old book. This is our history. The history of the people of God. Our God is all-powerful. No force can stand up to His great might. His every purpose will be fulfilled, and nothing is able to thwart His plans. He surrounds His people as the mountains surround Jerusalem—as strong and as unyielding as the mountains themselves. His army is around us. The army of the living God. Fighting the dominion of darkness, waging war in the unseen. We are not alone in our fight. As He calls us to stand, as He calls us to follow Him into what appears intimidating or impossible, we can go forth in absolute confidence that He goes before us in power and might. He has already won the war. He will strengthen us for the battle. There is nothing for us to fear, there is nothing for us to lose, for our God is for us and we will never lose Him.

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them,
because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4

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