ODJ: Test of Courage

February 20, 2017 

READ: 1 Samuel 17:32-51 

This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us! (v.47).

I walked into the kitchen to find my daughter seconds away from intense pain. She had poked her little finger in the space where two parts of a folding door were hinged together. With her free hand, she was about to close the door on her finger! When I asked what she was doing, she replied, “I’m testing my courage.” She was seeing how close she could come to having her finger pinched before backing off. Thankfully, I put an end to her painful experiment.

In a truly scary face-off, David acted courageously as he confronted a sneering, foul-mouthed giant named Goliath (1 Samuel 17:32). David was the puny little brother of some Israelite soldiers, but he volunteered to fight Goliath without wearing any armor.

Standing in front of his enemy, David was bold about his reliance on God. He said that the Lord had rescued him from wild animals and that he believed He would also save him from Goliath (v.37). So he yelled to the hulk, “Today . . . the whole world will know that . . . the Lord rescues his people . . . . This is the Lord’s battle and He will give you to us!” (vv.46-47). God did rescue David. The giant died from the impact of one divinely aimed stone launched from the young man’s slingshot.

Our ability to act courageously flows from God and His power. We may be afraid or have moments of doubt, but He will fight the battle through us or for us and remove it or sustain us with His wisdom and strength. Because of Him, we can take bold action when it’s needed. We can live out what is expressed in David’s words in Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.”

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan: Numbers 14:5-45

Look up Psalm 44:1-3 to see how God provided for His people as they moved into Canaan. Read Proverbs 21:30-31 to see how true success depends on God. 
What’s the connection between being right in God’s eyes and being bold? (See Proverbs 28:1.) Would you describe Jesus as courageous? Why or why not?