Psalm 9

Vs. 1, “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Question: What deeds is the Psalmist considering? This psalm of David begins with praise and thanksgiving (vs. 1-3). Perhaps David is looking back and considering God’s faithful deliverance throughout the ages (The Exodus, Noah, etc.). David knew that God’s wonderful deeds are something that should not go unheralded. Another reason David was able to praise God was because He was actively delivering David presently (vs. 4-8). Because of God’s hand against the enemy, David was able to declare God provides refuge for those who are oppressed (vs. 9-14). There is safety in the presence of our God! Those people and nations that go against God and His people will be rightly judged (vs. 15-20). This is God’s divine retribution for those who have continued to go against him and harden their hearts. Until the new heavens and earth, there will be people and nations that will rise up against the Lord.

Regarding application…Testify God’s Goodness. Vs. 11, “Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.”   Question: Did you notice that twice (vs. 1, 11) David reminds us to tell and proclaim what God has done? Sometimes we get myopic and think that our source of encouragement only comes from others (Bible, sermons, bible studies, praising, etc.). However, David is reminding us that we hold something very powerful; the testimony of God’s goodness! When I worked at the bank, one of my jobs for a year was being a personal banker. My goal was to sell people on why they want to open a checking, savings, credit card, line of credit, mortgage, IRA, etc. One of things I realized that no matter how much I share the benefits of each of these products, it means nothing if I haven’t experienced it first hand. So, I made it my goal to have each of these products I sold so I could share my first-hand testimonies of how they helped me. My production skyrocketed! When we share first-hand testimonies of God’s goodness, we are encouraging each other profoundly!

I Samuel 17

Vs. 8, “Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me.”  The stage is set for one of the most well known confrontations in all history; David versus Goliath.  The drama of the story captivates our minds and hearts as we see a seemingly impossible situation transpire.  Question: How can young David slay a giant among men?  This is a crucial chapter in I Samuel, for we now see how the LORD’s newly anointed future king will prove his courage and validity.  David’s courage and faith is all the more highlighted as we see the rest of Israel tremble in fear.  Notice how David’s own brother and King Saul both discouraged his desire to fight against Goliath (vs. 28, 33).  Question: How did David have such confidence?  God had already tested him by slaying a lion and a bear (vs. 34-37)!  This is a wonderful reminder that trials in life are often tests administered by God.  The battle scene is epic as young David charges, defeats, and kills Goliath (vs. 41-51).  Surely, Goliath underestimated David’s skill with a sling.  Israel was able to defeat the Philistines that day (vs. 51-54).  The fact that Saul did not recognize David can be explained: Saul might have had many court musicians or Saul didn’t recognize David in the battlefield.

Regarding application…Righteous Response.  Vs. 45, “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”  Question: Who do you think you are?  How dare you blasphemy my God!  Question: Why did David feel like he would have to risk his own life?  Because, he understood what Goliath was doing.  David was standing up for the LORD and his people.  The others looked at David as a foolish and naïve boy.  But, David was responding with a righteous indignation.  Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times when we should speak up and take action.  These days, we live in a world where not many want to rock the boat.  For the Israelites, their ship was sinking fast with Goliath.  But David knew something we sometimes forget; Jehovah Jireh (God provides).  Question: How can you respond in faith today?

(Picture below is the Valley of Elah – location where David defeated Goliath)

Valley of Elah

Ezekiel 39

Vs. 4, “On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals.”  In the spirit of the Marines…Hoo rah~~~  There’s trouble for the enemy when God starts talking smack!  Basically, God is telling the enemy…You’re going down, don’t mess with my people!  I love it!  Though Israel is a small nation, even in our present day…they are known for the military strength.  It’s sort of like David vs. Goliath!  There’s some pretty graphic scenes, but God is not in the business of sugar coating things.  We then see a transition into God’s faithfulness to His people, despite their turning away from Him.  Something that Ezekiel and those who lived in that time would be able to understand because of their captivity in Babylon.

Regarding application…When God Speaks.  Vs. 8, “It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of.”  Don’t make any mistake brothers & sisters…such things will happen!  Recently, an NBA player, Ron Artest who recently changed his official name to “Metta World Peace”, guaranteed that if the NBA season came to fruition for the 2011/2012 season, the Lakers would win the championship.  Opposing teams love posting such fodder on their walls to help motivate them.  And in ways…that what the enemy does too.  God has put His guarantee of victory and the enemy is doing whatever he can to foil our faith in God.  But when God speaks…it would be wise to listen with faith!  Praise God that all of this will sooner than we realize!