KNOWING THE TRUE GOD #10
FAITH WITH WORKS
Under severe problems in life putting trust and faith in God
to win the battle for us, is often rewarded with the Lord indeed
guiding and helping us win. Yes in such times we have to exhibit
faith in God, but it must never be a blind faith; it must be a
faith that is coupled with wise good works.
We find an example of this in the life of a young shepherd
boy by the name of David. He had looked after his father's sheep
well, he had trained himself to be a good fighter of the wild
animals that could and did attack the sheep under his care, at
times. He was wise enough to know how to fight these wild
creatures. He had trained himself to be an expert marksman with
the sling shot. You do not become an expert marksman with the
sling without many hours of practice.
We find the account in 1 Samuel 17. The Philistines were
gathered to battle the army of Israel. But they had this huge
warrior, about 9 or 10 feet tall, named Goliath, who stood on the
mountainside each day at the going down of the sun. He would
shout across to the army of Israel: "You choose a man to come and
fight me. If he kills me we Philistines will serve you, but if I
kill him, then you Israel will serve us. Send me a man that we
The soldiers of Israel were terrified, not a one of them was
any match for this huge mountain of a man. It would have been
like putting a fly-weight boxer in the ring in a huge heavy-
weight boxer - just no competition at all.
David is sent to take food stuffs to his brothers in the
army of Israel. The armies of each side were arrayed across from
each other. As he talked with his brothers up came this Goliath
giant of a man and once more defied the Israelites to send a man
to fight him. When the Israel army saw Goliath they just
fled away, no one was about to try and fight this massive man
with all his armor on - his spear was like a weavers beam.
David was somewhat shocked at the boasting and vanity this
mountain of a man spoke against the armies of the living God.
David approaches Saul and says: "Let no man's heart fail
because of this fellow, I will go and fight him. Saul and no
doubt all others were take back by this shepherd boy, for he was
only a youth, he was not a trained soldier. But David answered that
God had been with him to slay the wild animals that came to
destroy the sheep he was caring for. He tells them some pretty
impressive fights he had against those mighty and wild
creatures. David said he had faith that as God had delivered him
from the bear and the lion, so the Lord would deliver this
Philistine into his hands.
They put armor on David, but he was not trained to fight in
such heavy clothing such as a helmet of brass and a coat of mail.
He took them off. He would have faith in God but he would fight
with what he had trained himself to fight with. He would fight
with wisdom and his sling shot.
You will notice there was not one direct word from God.
Nothing about a prophet of the Lord coming to David with a
message from God that victory would be his. No angels sent in any
specific way from what we read of the account. David was close to
God, had a walking personal relationship with the Eternal God.
But he also had no vain presumption about faith with no works.
God did not except David to have blind faith, a faith that
was not backed by works. God most of the time is not going to
expect unwise blind faith when in such a situation that David was
willing to enter.
Oh this hunk of a Philistine laughed at a youth with a staff
and a sling shot coming against him; he cursed David and his God.
David replied: "You come to me with a sword, and with a spear,
and with a shield: 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 will the Lord deliver you into my hand; and I will smite
you and take off your head, and the fowls of the air and wild
beast shall eat your carcase."
Most miss verse 40 of this chapter. Yes they know David slew
the giant with a stone from his sling shot, but verse 40 tells us
something else. David, though having faith in his God, was not
presumptions. He did not have a blind faith, he did not have a
faith that had no works. David TOOK FIVE SMOOTH STONES and put
them in his shepherd's bag!
Ah, do you now see what I'm getting at. David's faith was
backed up by works. Yes, he knew God had been with him in
fighting bears and lions to save his sheep. He knew God had given
him time to train his skill as an expert marksman with a stone
and a sling-shot. But David had true living faith, for as the
apostle James has written, faith without works is dead!
God wants us to have a faith that is backed by works. He
does His part, but He expects you to do your part also. He gives
you time to develop skills, but he does not want you to be vain
and so inflated with pride, that you develop an attitude that one
day will prove your undoing, and that undoing could cost you your
David was WISE enough to take FIVE smooth stones from the
brook. David had faith in God, knew the Lord was with Him, but
the Lord was holding back the working details from David. The
Lord wanted and expected David to be humble and wise in this
Have you got it yet? Do you see what I'm going to say? Well
it is this: DAVID DID NOT AUTOMATICALLY EXPECT HE WOULD KILL THIS
PHILISTINE WITH THE FIRST SLING OF THE FIRST STONE!!
DAVID TOOK ***FIVE*** STONES FROM THE BROOK. DAVID HAD FAITH
GOD WOULD BE WITH HIM TO KILL THIS VAIN WARRIOR THAT CURSED DAVID
BY HIS GOD, BUT DAVID WAS NOT PRESUMPTIONS TO HAVE A BLIND FAITH
THAT HE ONLY NEEDED ON STONE TO DO THE JOB. IT TURNED OUT THE
FIRST SLING SHOT DID THE WORK AND DROPPED THE GIANT GOLIATH TO
THE GROUND, AND HENCE DAVID TOOK HIS SWORD AND CUT OFF HIS HEAD.
BUT DAVID'S LIVING FAITH WAS WITH WORKS OF FIVE STONES JUST
INCASE HE MISSED THE TARGET. HE HAD FAITH THAT WITH FIVE STONES
GOD WOULD GUIDE HIS SKILLED MARKSMANSHIP, EVEN IF IT WAS THE VERY
LAST STONE OF THE FIVE THAT WOULD HIT THE TARGET, TO BRING THIS
GIANT OF A MAN TO THE GROUND. THE NUMBER FIVE IS THE NUMBER GOD USES
IN HIS WORD FOR "GRACE" - "MERCY." THE LORD WAS INDEED GRACIOUS
TO DAVID AND ISRAEL.
This is a little more knowledge we are given to better get
to know and understand the true God of this universe. He wants us
to have sensible living faith, not a blind faith, but a faith
that lives hand in hand with works. And to give emphasis to that
fact, a good portion of the letter or epistle of the apostle
James in the New Testament is devoted to that very truth.
More indeed in KNOWING the TRUE God!!
To be continued