The Rules of Engagement

Still on the story of David (1 Sam 17)…reading this just makes me realize that its not just a cliche when we say the Word of God is unsearchable in its depth. its always awesome to see something new or something old in a new light.

Never let the enemy determine the terms of engagement!

Israel moved to battle formation against the Philistines. This meant that they fancied their chances in a war. All of a sudden a giant shows up! Goliath changed the rules of the engagement and the next thing is we see hitherto battle ready soldiers cowering in fear. When you let the enemy determine the terms of engagement, he will play to his strengths and to your own weaknesses. If there was an all out battle, Goliath may have killed a lot of Israelite soldiers, but Israel may still have won the war! Guess we’ll never know. Life serves us many rules of engagement daily… ‘Cant have kids when you’re past 45’  ‘Cant get married when you’re past 40’ ‘Cant get a job without a 2:1 or an MSc’.

The entire army of Israel including the King, Saul fell for this and we too sadly, are falling for it. You cant win any battle that has its rules set by the enemy!!! In comes David. It is interesting to note the dimensions in which David won the battle even before he released the stone from the sling. The first thing he did was to change the terms of engagement…Twice!

First he referred to Goliath as an ‘uncircumcised’ Philistine. By doing this, he brought God into the picture. He was saying in essence ‘Big guy I have someone bigger than you on my side’. It was no longer just an Israel issue, it was now a God issue. He was a soldier in the ‘Army of the living God’… his loss meant a loss for God. We know that cant happen. He had all but guaranteed a victory by doing this.

Secondly he refused to fight Goliath with armour and a sword. He chose a sling. By using a proven weapon for him, he brought the fight to his level regardless of how ridiculous he looked. He changed the rules of the engagement again! How many of us are fighting with unproven weapons? Doing things because everybody else is doing them? Praying your pastor’s prayer points, following a friends bible study plan? Not that these things are bad! They are no worse than going to battle with standard issue armour…. but the thing is life’s attacks are not standard issue, they are tailor made!

This brings me to my last point. David in his downtime did two things….He drew near to his God and he learned to use a sling.

The Lesson is simple. Get close to God. Become good at something.


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