By Jared Hagan
It is a shame that the Hebrew writer was short on time and could only mention a few men of faith by name in the chapter commonly called the Faith Hall of Fame. The Old Testament de-votes much time and space to David and his deeds, but he is among those who only have their names mentioned in Hebrews 11. Time had failed the author to give anymore detail about David. The author could have spent hours on David and his deeds of faith alone. Three of David’s acts of faith apply well to our lives today.
By faith David, though he was a youth, fought against the mighty Philistine and slew him. The situation looked bleak for Israel. The Philistines’ mightiest warrior stood before them, challenging them to fight. The sight of this warrior was enough to cause all the men of Israel to flee from him (1 Sam. 17:24). David, however, was willing to face this giant. Saul discouraged David because he was just a youth and the Philistine had been a warrior from his youth (1 Sam. 17:33). But David confidently declared that the giant would fall before him because he had “taunted the armies of the living God,” and that God would deliver him from the Philistine (1 Sam. 17:36-37). Saul permitted David to face the giant, and with one stone, the giant fell. By faith, David killed the Philistine warrior, and Israel slaughtered the Philistines.
As Christians, we ought to stand against those that mock the children of the living God with the same courage and faith that David had. “If God is for us, who is against us (Rom. 8:31)?” This is more than a question. It is a plea to the Christians to have faith. What enemy shall we fear? What warrior can stand against us? Even if the entire nation stands against us, if God is for us, we will conquer. As children of God, let us take our stand by faith against abortion, homosexuality, women in the pulpit, and the rest of the modernist agenda realizing that those who support such things are directly opposed to God.
They are standing across a valley mocking our God and his people. As Christians, we must not flee from the giant. Today the giant may take us to court or persecute us in other ways, but if God is for us, it will only take one stone. God will cause the giant to fall at our feet.
By faith David stored up treasures for the temple because he believed the promise that God made to him concerning his son. David desired to give God a dwelling place with more glory than even his own home. God forbade David from doing this, but made David several promises instead (2 Sam. 7). One of these promises was that one of David’s children would build God’s temple. Again, David demonstrates his great faith. He believed God too such an extent that he began preparation for the fulfillment of the promise. David made blueprints for the temple and even began stockpiling supplies (1 Chron. 28:11-19; 29:1-5). David would never see the temple, but by faith he prepared much of the material which would go into it.
Let us have the same faith in God’s promises that David had. Let us consider a promise from God to be no less than already fulfilled. Hebrews 12:26 tells of the promise that God is going to destroy the earth, but in v. 28 the Hebrew writer reminds the Christians that they will receive a “kingdom which cannot be shaken.” Let us have enough faith that we “show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.” David would have believed this promise, offered thanks, and prepared for the fulfillment of this promise. We should be no different.
God has promised many things to Christians. God has promised us that if we pray, by faith, we can move mountains (Matt. 17:20). God has also promised to us that “all things work together for good to those that love God (Rom. 8:28).” Like David, we should have the faith to believe that God will fulfill these promises. This also applies to the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38. While we may disagree about what this gift is, by faith we know that we have received it.
By faith David, when his most loyal men threatened to stone him, strengthened himself in the Lord (1 Sam. 30:6). They had just refused David the chance to battle with the Philistines. He and his army returned to their home, Ziklag, only to find that the enemy had burned down the city and taken captive all of their wives and children. David’s army, embittered by defeat, threatened to stone him. David remembered that every time Saul had attempted to kill him, God had delivered out of Saul’s hand. Because God had never left him, David had always managed to survive. This situation would be no different, so “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam. 30:6), and then he inquired of the Lord if he should pursue the attackers.
We ought to have the same faith that David had. It is not often that an enemy threatens our lives, as his was, but we all do suffer various types of persecutions and endure many threats. There may be times in our lives when our jobs are at stake. Sometimes we may find that those threatening us are our own families or our trusted friends. Becoming anxious and distressed is easy at these times, but we, like David, should strengthen ourselves in the Lord our God. He has taken care of each of us up to this point, and he is not going to stop now. Just as God provides for the sparrows, he will also provide for us. We must not allow the worries of this life to overtake us, instead, we ought to have faith in God, and inquire of the Lord what it is that he would have us do.
Although it is a shame that the Hebrew writer mentions only David’s name in Hebrews 11, we can still learn much from his faith. We must stand against those that oppose God or his people no matter how powerful they are. We must take courage even when those whom we trust most threaten our lives. We must also prepare for the fulfillment of the promises which God has made to us, even if the fulfillment may not come in our lifetime. By doing these things we can walk by faith, as David did, and no longer live in fear because of our sight.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 7 p. 22-23
April 3, 1997