Ever since the tribes of Israel had settled in the promised land, the Philistines had been an ongoing threat to their safety. Many times in the past, the Lord had delivered the Israelites from their enemies. But now the elders of Israel demanded, “We will have a king … [to] go out before us, and fight our battles” (1 Samuel 8:19–20). The Lord relented, and Saul was anointed king. And yet when the menacing giant Goliath hurled his challenge to the armies of Israel, Saul—like the rest of his army—was “greatly afraid” (1 Samuel 17:11). On that day, it wasn’t King Saul who saved Israel but a humble shepherd boy named David, who was wearing no armor but was clothed with impenetrable faith in the Lord. This battle proved to Israel, and to anyone who has spiritual battles to fight, that “the Lord saveth not with sword and spear” and that “the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47).
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