He was running away for his life. Hot, sweaty, hungry, and alone. Forced into hiding. Forced to run for his life. Forced to do things he would not normally do because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t survive. He had to run so quickly from his enemy that he didn’t have the opportunity to grab his weapon. As David found his way to the priest he asked for food. He also needed something else – a way to defend himself.
“David asked Ahimelech, ‘Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon….” (1 Samuel 21:8)
He would have taken anything-a sword, a spear, something to protect himself against the dangers on the unknown journey ahead.
At this moment, the anointing that David had received to become king was years in the past. When Samuel anointed him, he was just a boy, and now he was a man. The fulfillment of the promise that he would become king was no where in view. Rather, it was the opposite. His reality was that he was a man with a price on his head. King Saul, David’s enemy, would come days later and destroy the entire town that the priest lived in. Every single man, woman and child would no longer be living because Saul’s wrath was so great against David.
David was forced to live in the in-between of a promise he had received and the reality of living like a criminal in hiding. He would face years of hardship. That was his reality. The anointing must have felt like a far off dream from another time in his life.
It is at this moment of what could have been a huge discouragement to David that God intervenes.
God sent a loving reminder of His faithfulness in the past:
The priest replies to David “ The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah is here. It is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.” (1 Samuel 21:9)
The sword that the priest had on hand, just happened to be Goliath’s sword. The one that David had used to kill his first enemy he had ever faced. God knew that David needed a physical reminder that the Lord had fought his battles before in the past and He would fight his battles in the future. As a boy, he was sustained by the strength of God, and killed the giant. He needed to remember that God who gave him victory would again sustain him.
David answered the priest “There is none like it, give it to me.” (1 Samuel 21:9)
As David drew that sword, he remembered that God had given him victory over his enemy. And in the following months and years to come he held onto that truth.
He remembered God’s faithfulness on the long nights in the desert.
He remembered God’s strength as he lived in the darkness of a cave.
He remembered God’s promises as he was forced to flee to Philistine enemy territory.
He remembered God’s victory as he took his sword into battle.
In the darkest moments of David’s life, he remembered that God had defeated his enemy, and God would do so again.
We too need to remember God’s faithfulness and victories in our past. As we read God’s promises and as we take a hold of what he has spoken into our lives we sometimes are forced to wait. Waiting can be hard, tedious, exhausting. It is in these moments that we must remember his power, his miracles, his loving-kindness to us. David grabbed a hold of Goliath’s sword and used it to defeat every single enemy that came into his life.We too must take hold of the promises he has given us and remember that His Word will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purposes for which it was set out for (Isaiah 55:11). What he has spoken will come to pass.
I have spoken and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed and I will do it. (Isaiah 46:11 ESV)
Remember His promises. And take your sword of the Word and use it to defeat the enemy that wages war against your soul.
Heavenly Father, often I feel like I am waiting for your word to come to pass. Help me to have faith and trust that you are working on my behalf. Help me to defeat the enemy by remembering your faithfulness and your promises of truth.