NO WEAPON FORGED AGAINST YOU WILL PREVAIL
I am someone who loves words. I love poetry and spoken-word performances, descriptive passages, well-told stories, and powerful oratory. So the fact that God has given us a living and active word just thrills me.
But I also have really come to appreciate that God gives us many images to catch our attention and help us understand His will and His ways a little better.
Sometimes He drops them into the middle of a story or passage with very little explanation, leaving them there for us to unpack. I often get a feeling that there is more to them than realized at first glance:
A scarlet thread wrapped around a tiny wrist
Honey from the rock or in the carcass of a lion.
A misused winepress full of chaff
A halfway rebuilt, broken wall
A tent peg
And then there is the sword of Goliath, which shows up twice in David’s story.
In 1 Samuel 21, David is on the run from the jealous, current King Saul. He ends up fleeing from the King’s presence and running to a priest in the town of Nob to seek guidance. But instead of seeking guidance, David hides from the priest the real circumstances of his present situation, asking for food and a weapon instead.
The weapon request must have raised the priest’s eyebrow. The commander of Saul’s army who was supposedly on an urgent and secret mission from the King has no weapon?
I don’t know whether all priests at this time stored a weapon behind the ephod, but this one did. And it was no ordinary weapon, but a legendary and notorious sword once owned by Goliath!
The first time David had laid eyes on this sword, Goliath may have been waving it while taunting the armies of God, the sun reflecting brightly oﬀ the polished metal.
The first time David touched this sword was when he wrapped his hands around the hilt and drew it from the scabbard attached to the unconscious enemy, whose face was in the sand. David used the sword to cut off the warrior’s head and end his life, and then put the Philistine’s weapon in his own tent as his personal spoils of the battle. But at some point, David must have dedicated them to the Lord.
And now, as David the hero is running for his life, a priest places in his hands that same weapon that sealed his fame. Can you imagine what he was thinking as he unwrapped it and felt the weight of it again? It was probably impressive. How big would a sword have to be for a soldier over nine feet tall?
God works in such awesome ways! In David’s victory over Goliath there were actually two steps, both orchestrated and ordained by God.
Step 1: God worked through David’s natural skills and real-life preparation. God allowed a boy who was brave and handy with a slingshot to bring down the giant.
Step 2: God allowed David not only to “stop” the enemy, but then to finish oﬀ the job. And there is just something so poetic and ironic about how it was done. David was able to disarm his enemy and take the same weapon that was meant to end his own life, to end his enemy’s life.
Isaiah 54:17 tells us that no weapon forged against you will prevail,
Our God is a God of victory! He doesn’t just want to put a stop to the attack, He wants to eradicate that enemy’s power to harm us.
And now, God has fixed the circumstances so that this sword is placed back in David’s hand right at the moment he needs encouragement the most.
I just can’t help but wonder whether God may encourage us in the same way. Might He also have a “secret weapon” in hiding for us too, one that He will place in our hands to encourage us just when we need it the most — something that reminds us of our past victories in God. I would like to think so.
Is it any surprise that later David wrote these verses?
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
Beautiful words, but have you really thought about what these verses mean? God does not only help us triumph over our enemies, He then has all of our enemies sit down and watch as he showers his love on us. He wants them to know just how very special we are to him. So as they sit there, he prepares a table for us.– probably a lavish banquet — and He anoints our heads, showing us care and honor, and finishes it off by filling our cups with wine. All of this in front of the eyes of the spiritual enemies that have wanted to repeatedly trip us up and harm us.
When Jesus comes, He continues to act in this gracious way towards us. And He continues to lead us into victory.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15)
Thank you, Lord.