I Samuel 17:34-37 tells us that David was a young man who charged at lions and killed them. It was this experience that qualified him to take on the giant Goliath. Our elders are currently reading a book called Chase the Lion by one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson. It occurred to me that a lion can be symbolic of both Satan, as in I Peter 5:8 where he is likened to a roaring lion, and Christ, who is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah in Revelation 5:5. Every believer in Christ is called to chase away or chase down that roaring lion, which is the devil, who lurks about waiting for an opportunity to pounce and devour the vulnerable. We can chase him away by resisting him. James 4:7 says that if we do this he must flee from us. We are also called to chase the Lion of Judah, Jesus, by following Him to reach lost souls (Mark 1:17), by following his example in suffering (I Peter 2:21), servanthood (John 13:14-15) and love (John 15:12); knowing that He is with us wherever we go (Matthew 28:20).
For David, chasing down the lion was prerequisite to taking on the giant. He was confident that he could take out Goliath because God had been with him when he chased down lions. David turned down the offer of King Saul’s armor and chose five stones for his sling to bring down Goliath. Why five stones? I used to think it was for assurance in case he missed or in case two or more hits would be needed to bring down the hulking Goliath. Then I heard a teaching about how Goliath had four relatives (II Samuel 21: 16-22) and that the four additional stones David chose meant that he was ready to send the whole gigantic clan into extinction. Whether that’s actually the case can be debated by I like the idea and I like how we can apply it today.
When we fight with spiritual weapons (II Corinthians 10:3-6, we have a “stone” for every gigantic fear:
- For the fear of despair (I Samuel 17:11) we have the stone of hope (Psalm 33:18).
- For the fear of intimidation (I Samuel 17:16) – Lions roar. Mark Batterson says that a lion’s roar can be heard five miles away! So much of the fear instilled by Satan is bluster – for this there is the stone of courage (I John 4:4).
- For the fear caused by deception (I Samuel 17:44) – Satan is a liar, a lyin’ lion – there is the stone of truth, God’s word is truth (John 17:17).
- For the fear of doubt (I Samuel 17:4) – Goliath was over nine feet tall! Satan makes our problems seem insurmountable by making mountains out of molehills – for this there is the stone of faith which moves mountains (Matthew 17:20).
- For the fear of failure and rejection that is a result of “curses” (I Samuel 17:43), we have the stone of blessing (Psalm 34).
After David charged and felled the giant, the armies of Israel charged and routed the Philistines. When the Philistine giant fell, the Philistine army melted away in defeat and retreat. We will chase down and defeat that roaring lion, the devil, when we learn to continually chase after the Lion of Judah, the Lord Jesus Christ!
In Jesus’ Love, Pastor Mike Stine