The famous story of David’s victory over Goliath rings through the annals of time, but in 1Chronicles 20, other men we’re given only a sentence or two to commemorate their similar achievement. They too were giant killers. What was the difference? The difference was due to David’s first contribution to elevation of the next generation.
When David was a lad, a threat had been issued to Israel: send one Israelite soldier to fight Goliath, thereby determining fate of the nations. The price was high, but so was the reward. Should Israel have a victor, a daughter of the king would become that man’s wife. It was a prize most any soldier would love to have, but Israel’s focus was on the problem, not the prize. Giants had always been intimidating. Giants and always kept God’s people from their promises and what was rightfully theirs. And giant killing required mighty military prowess and miraculous intervention, things in short supply among the soldiers shaking in their tents. But David had not come from military preconditioning. He arrived from the position of worship. Therefore, naysaying had a little effect on his perception of the situation. We know the rest of that story – victory over Goliath. Victory for God’s people. While Israel was fighting for victory, David fought from victory. Where they hoped to survive, David’s trust in God assured him of a win. His attitude toward giant-killing was an impartation to the next generation.
By 1 Chronicles 20, Israel had lived through the unstable leadership of Saul. Now, the giant killer himself was king. King David, covered by a promise of God, acquired military victory upon military victory. Fear of war was a thing of the past. Therefore, Sibbechai, Elhanan, and Johnathan had a little fear when Goliath’s relatives raised to their imposing height and flexed their six-fingered hands against them. Winning was expected. If David could kill a giant in his boyhood, why couldn’t adult men with military experience do the same? they reasoned. Because of David’s example, these men fought from a mindset of victory. And they prevailed.
David’s second major contribution to his posterity was the preparation he made for the building of the temple. Every provision that could be made for Solomon was taken care of before David’s death. All Solomon had to do was put the supplies to use –then take the credit for a job well done. Solomon’s task was enormous, but he didn’t begin it empty-handed. He was equipped for the job because David’s zeal for God had set Solomon up for success.
Do we have David-like, spiritual drive that arms the next generation for their acts of greatness? Do we pray, thereby laying a foundation on which they can stand? Do we take action that inspires spiritual conquest, or are we defeatist, shriveled by fear, problem-focused, and altogether absorbed with self? Do we lay up treasure from which the future can build? Do we offer examples of godly character, faithful marriages, selfless generosity, gracious words, moral disciplines, and spiritual dedication? Are we considering the needs of our posterity in the decisions we make today?
Like David, we must have a God-focus if we are to broaden our vision beyond ourselves. It is from the place of open, delightful worship of One who defies comprehension that we are freed from restrictive thinking and are enabled to do greater things--like kill giants and gather insurmountable treasure for God’s Kingdom. Serving a big God grows our vision, our potential, and our influence. It changes us so that we can reach beyond our brief life span to impact generations to come.
Tip/Tidbit: To advance future generations with the same gifts David gave his successors, we need to consider our worship, our outlook toward the enemy, and our focus on Kingdom provision.
*Worship is interwoven with relationship. We honor what we love. What position does God have in our focus and in our priorities?
*Are we facing our giants from a stance of victory? If not, we can draw strength from worship. Let’s base our confidence on who God is, what God has already done, on the testimony of others who have prevailed, and our own prior victories. This way, we win the war in our minds before we ever lift a spiritual weapon. Let’s fight for conquest, not just for survival, and take what is rightfully ours from the enemy who wants to cripple us with fear and doubt. Remember, giants are no big deal, and fighting them is just another ordinary task in the life of a soldier.
*What treasures are we leaving for the next generation? Are our lives an example they can follow? Are we supplying them with knowledge and experience that will enable them to live out their calling? Are we making sure they are equipped to carry love and devotion to God into a future where we will not exist?
Let’s make every effort to ensure the next generation is even better than ours.