Saul’s Armor – Thanks But No Thanks

God has recently directed me back to 1 Sam 17. There are so many things a Christian can take away from this whole chapter, but I took specific notice of verses around 38 in which David convinced Saul to let him go out and fight “The enemy” of Israel, Goliath. David explained that God had protected him as a shepherd, and the God, who delivered him from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, would deliver him from this Philistine. Saul began to outfit David in his own personal armor and sword.

I can’t help but wonder why Saul would rush to equip David with heavy armor. Maybe he wanted David to at least look the part…or perhaps he felt bad for him and wanted him to at least be a little protected. After all, he was being equipped with the most modern protection and weaponry in all Israel. Saul put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge.

Either way Saul seems to have sort of forced the issue and just assumed David would absolutely need all the protection he could get. I think he meant well, he thought that since his armor had faired him well in previous battles that David would definitely need it. He failed to realize this wasn’t about the best armor, this was about trusting in the power of the Almighty God to fight the battle for them.

I believe Saul attributed victory to armor, weaponry, size, strength, training, experience, etc. I think Saul’s armor can take many forms and can actually be forced upon us by people who mean well. These people have always relied on their own “armor”: i.e. their experience, training, education, natural talents, degrees, cultural study, money, contacts, influence, etc! Because they have attributed victory to their armor, God has not received the glory. There are some people who would convince you (I think I’ve even convinced myself a few times) that it is fine and good that you trust God, but there are things you need to do in addition to faith in God to ensure victory. They are happy to say, “Go and God be with you, but you’ll need this…” when God has said otherwise. This is what they forget! GOD + Nothing = Everything!

There could be a situation in your life right now…I know I’ve had a LOT of these in my life, where obstacles look too difficult, the hurdle looks too high, the chasm looks to wide to cross, the ugliness of the situation looks too intimidating, the enemy is screaming at you that you are nothing compared to the situation in front of you, he’s telling you how unprepared you are, how weak you are, and how he’s going to stomp you in the ground and beat the mess out of you!

But look what David did…

He told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off. David knew he wouldn’t need all of that. He knew the fight was over before it even began. He walked down to the brook and picked up five smooth stones to go with his sling that God had taught him to use as a shepherd to take bears and lions out with. David knew he never needed all of that armor before. I find that fitting that God would use our current skill set (He uses us right where we are in our current state, with our existing grace abilities! See, our skills may not look like someone else’s…It may not be as impressive to look at…on the outside our ability seems minimal. And in actuality our abilities are minimal to futile at best, but in the hands of God it can be just as effective as God is. His Word says He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise), the things we’ve learned in secret when no one else was watching to attain victory so that only HE can get the glory. David learned to trust in God for victory.

David wasn’t about to let “the enemy” taunt Israel or God. And I love how David went TO the fight…he didn’t wait for it to come to him (he set the tone…like a sports team goes into a game with confidence believing that the things the “Coach” had them to practice in secret would lead them to victory). He was going to set the tone. He spoke to the enemy from a place of victory and went into the battle knowing it was over before it began and it was. I don’t think he would’ve cared if the giant was 100 feet tall and weighed 6 tons.

You see God’s ability to save is not reduced by the size of the opponent (or the situation, or the trial, or anything else)! If the battle is the Lord’s, the victory is the Lord’s. It is God who said, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Zech. 4:6)

Let us never trade faith for Saul’s armor. Let me close with a passage from Vance Havner’s book “Why Not Just Be Christians”: “When our Lord fed the multitude, there was first a problem of bread: “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (John 6:5). Then there was a proposed budget; Philip suggested that two hundred pennyworth of bread would not be enough. Finally there was the provision of a boy: “There is a lad here…” (ver. 9). Our Lord did not need a budget; He needed a boy. I will venture that the Israelites facing the Philistines wore out a lot of pencils figuring a budget. But God did not put Goliath out of business with a budget; He used a boy.” God hasn’t changed. Faith still fells giants and moves mountains. Why not go with what got us here?

Let us be reminded, as we live on the other side of the cross, that we fight from the place of victory because of what Jesus Christ did on calvary. The victorious one dwells on the inside of us. It doesn’t matter how much we mess up. The enemy has no legit ground to taunt you from. Jesus already won the victory for us on Calvary, we get to enjoy walking in it and walking over every giant in front of us as we simply trust in Him.