It is amazing how two people can see the same thing but have a different interpretation of what they experienced. So much of our lives is determined by our perspective. Many people are limited by their perspective. Perspective often determines victory or defeat.
The Bible gives us an understanding of those who have a fleshly perspective versus those with a spiritual perspective. One leads to life and another leads to death. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. / For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6 NKJV).
The way we see things is how we live and react to things that we encounter. Our perspective about ourselves and how we view our difficulties determines how we act and react.
When the children of Israel sent twelve spies to view the Promise Land only two, Joshua and Caleb brought back a good report. The other ten brought back a different report. Both groups saw the same thing but had a different perspective.
Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30 NKJV).
The ten spies who brought a bad report, said, “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33 NKJV).
Jump ahead to 500-600 years and Israel was dealing with another giant by the name of Goliath who was a Philistine. The Philistines were to the Israelites like fire ants are to Alabamians, you just can’t get rid of them.
Goliath was a monster. He was nine feet and nine inches tall. He had a armor coat of mail that weighed about 150 pounds. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam and the spear head weighed about 18 pounds. I am sure he was an intimidating sight. When he shouted out his defiance to Israel and to their God, I am sure he sounded like a bellowing bull. All the warriors of Israel including Saul their king was scared to death of this giant of a man.
David’s three brothers were warriors in Saul’s army. He was probably too young to be a warrior (twenty years of age was the minimum age for military service). David was sent by his father on an errand to the battle front to resupply his brothers and their captain.
When David arrived, Goliath was delivering one of his twice-a-day threats. He began to question, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:26 NKJV)? David’s oldest brother Eliab was angry with David when he heard David’s questions and began to belittle him.
David had a different perspective than the others and it resulted in a different outcome. Let’s look at what they sensed and how they reacted.
HEARD: Goliath roared. The soldiers heard and were afraid. Saul heard and wanted to lead from a safe distance. David heard and wanted to fight.
We watch the news and hear the reports of the coronavirus or some other problem threatening our lives and we may fear the outcome. Yet we serve a living and powerful God. We hear the reports but what do we do—pull the covers over our head or pray. Another paradox—the church rises up when we fall on our knees in prayer.
SAW: Goliath filled all the space around him. He was big and probably ugly! Big and ugly is meaner looking than big and handsome. (David was small and handsome.) When Goliath came out of the ranks, the Israelites ran like scared rabbits. Yet, David started gathering rocks.
SAID: The Israelite warriors asked David, “Have you seen this man who has come up” (1 Samuel 17:25 NKJV)? (You can hear the amazement in their words—Wow, what a giant warrior!) David wasn’t impressed but called him an “uncircumcised Philistine”.
ACTION: Israel ran away. David proceeded forward. David’s perspective of Goliath was that he was just another Philistine that could be killed like a lion or bear.
WEAPON OF CHOICE: Goliath had on armor, spear, javelin, and a sword. David had a sling with five choice rocks in his shepherd bag. Saul tried to equip David with his own armor but for David the armor was untried. I heard it said, “Never put on a man’s armor who is afraid to fight.”
David said to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, 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” (1 Samuel 17:45 NKJV).
FINAL THOUGHTS: Don’t concentrate on the problem, we need to put our focus on God. Circumstances do not hold our future, God does. Circumstances may appear to have bad plans for us, but God has better plans. It is best if we live in the plan and purposes of God for our lives.
As Christians, our best fighting is in the battlefield of prayer. The problem screams from the valley “Come out and fight” and we answer, “You asked for it Big Boy, now we are coming with the might of God.” As the Word says in Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV), “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.” We are victorious in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt