By Leonard Lauriault
I wrote in two previous articles (Quay County Sun, Jan. 6 and Jan. 20) that, when we heard about winter storm Goliath, we fled from Goliath leaving early on our winter vacation to avoid being caught in Tucumcari by the storm. That reminded me of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1-58; verses mentioned throughout this article having no book or chapter are from this passage).
You know the history. The Philistines were at war with God’s people and whenever Goliath, the Philistines’ nearly 10-foot tall champion, challenged the Israelites in hand-to-hand combat, they fled (verses 24). But when David came, he charged into Goliath’s advance and triumphed over him (verses 48-50).
The Bible tells us a lot about fleeing as Christians. Sometimes when we flee, we’re actually charging into battle.
First, Goliath, as Israel’s enemy, represents God’s enemy, Satan. He worshipped idols and by calling the Israelites, “servants of Saul,” in his tauntings, he didn’t acknowledge that they were fighting for God (vs. 8, 43; Numbers 33:50-56). Goliath’s tauntings were equivalent to false teaching in today’s religious world because they weren’t based in the truth of God’s word.
First Corinthians 10:14-22 tells us to flee idolatry because it comes from self-centered desires and interferes with our acceptable worship of God. Being contrary to the truth, false teachings only lead to things that don’t honor God and cause friction among people, discontent, love of money (greed), and sexual immorality, which are all among the evil desires we’re to flee (I Timothy 6:3-12; Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:22-23). This being said, while we’re fleeing these false teachings, we’re also pursuing good things, including righteousness, godliness, faith, love, peace, endurance, and gentleness, and we take hold of a hope that’s secure and firm. When we flee from evil toward righteousness, we actually gain access to the armor of God so we can resist Satan causing him to flee (Ephesians 6:10-18; James 4:7-10; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
David charged at Goliath without a sword; he couldn’t even wear Saul’s armor (vs. 38-40). But he did carry the sword of the Spirit and he wore the whole armor of God (vs. 45-47). Jesus also used the sword of the Spirit against the same enemy, Satan, when he was tempted in the desert [he was presented with each of the general evil desires – the lust of the flesh (food), the lust of the eyes (kingdoms of the world), the pride of life (God’s protection) – Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; 1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 4:15]. In each case, Jesus in the desert and David against Goliath, when the sword was used, the enemy pulled back (vs. 51).
We have access to the same sword of the Spirit today to combat false teaching and the enemy that spreads it, but we must keep that sword at hand and use it properly (1 Peter 4:11; 1 John 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21; 2 Timothy 2:15).
Are you ready to charge into battle against our enemy? If you’ll resist him, he’ll flee.
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org