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David and Goliath, part 3

When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” David said, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you!”Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. David strapped Saul’s sword over the armor, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.” So David removed them. Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine. The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.”But David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and 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 very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.” When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The troops of Israel and Judah rose up with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. The Israelites came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent.  (1 Samuel 17:31-54, NRSV)

So again David is judged by his size. You can’t possibly go against this man as you are so small in your family and this man is huge!

Size matters not! To quote Yoda a great and small Jedi Master. You can do mighty things when you realize who is on your side.

God is always with us. So remember it is not what the world says about you that matters, but what God does, and God says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

 

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Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. (Ruth 3:14-15, NRSV)

She left before anyone would see since Boaz was not the next of kin so there would be no questions. Seems a little underhanded for a story from the Bible. But I believe it shows us that God can and does work in and through all circumstances. Becuase Boaz was an honorable man. He gave Ruth six measures of barley to take back to Naomi.

Even in what some would see as shame and darkness, the light and love of God shines through.

How do we shine the light and love of God in our world?

 

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Faith Conquers the World

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:1-5, NRSV)

Jesus conquered the world and has allowed us to live in the relationship with God this allows us. And if you live in the love of God you will follow His commandments, and that commandment is to love God and love neighbor. Jesus tells us that the scriptures are summed up in love God and love neighbor. And faith in God is what conquers the world.

So love the God and the world as God loves you.

 

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The Annual Festivals

Three times in the year you shall hold a festival for me. You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread; as I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. No one shall appear before me empty-handed. You shall observe the festival of harvest, of the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall observe the festival of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God. You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my festival remain until the morning. The choicest of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. (Exodus 23:14-19, NRSV)

So does this mean we only have to go to worship and give 3 times a year?

No that is not what this means. What this means is that the Israelites were told by God that three times a year they were to forsake what they are ddoin gin their daily lives and gather together in Jerusalem and worship God for a set time. Everyone was to leave the world behind and focus all of their attention on God.

How many of us would do this?

Can we focus everything on God?

 

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Commandments to Honor Self

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:17, NRSV)

It is one thing to see the wonders your neighbor has and want them because you are inspired by your neighbor. It is another to want what your neighbor has and try to get it from him by any means possible.

When wanting something that someone else has makes us break other commandments or do things we would not do that is when it is coveting. And that is not how we should live.

We should build up our neighbors and be inspired by what they have to go and do better ourselves. That is what living in relationships does. It helps us make others better and in turn that makes us want to be better.

How can you make the world better?

 

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Peter and John before the Council

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old. (Acts 4:13-22, NRSV)

Peter and John healed a man and now the high council wonders what to do. They can not deny the miracle because so many have seen it and they can not do anything to Peter and John because everyone saw the miracle and knows it was done through them by Jesus. So what can they do?

They order them to be silent and to no longer share the news of Jesus. And of course, Peter and John cannot do that. They, as we, must share what we have been given with the world. Do you share the news of Jesus with the world?

 

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Seven Chosen to Serve

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:1-7, NRSV)

The beginning of Deacons, word and service.

These 7 were chosen so the apostles could focus on the word of God and help all to understand what God has called us to. These 7 were chosen to serve the community.

And because of their service, the word of God continued to spread and many were added to the body of Christ.

How can we all serve the word of God and help others to see the love God has for all of the world?

 

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