Go and the Lord be with you
David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
- 1 Samuel 17:32-37
David does something special here: he translates his past experience into his present challenge. Note that carefully.
David doesn’t look at his present challenge and back away because he’s never been in a situation like this before. He’s never fought in a battle. He’s never faced a giant. In all probability, he’s never worn armor or carried a sword. Saul calls it when he said that David is not your traditional “fighting man.”
David does not let his lack of direct experience disqualify him.
David also doesn’t assume that his past analogous experience directly translates (this is a little trickier, but no less important). He doesn’t assume that, just because he’s killed a lion and bear single-handedly (take that, Davy Crockett) he can tackle the giant. Instead, he believes that it was the Lord who rescued him for the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear. And he believes that that same Lord can rescue him from Goliath.
David does not presume future success because of his past victory.
David is less focused on his qualifications than on the Lord’s presence. He sees that the giant didn’t just pick a fight with Israel and with Saul. The giant picked a fight with the Lord. And the Lord will not lose this one.
This fills David with confidence and that confidence spills over to Saul. Saul sends David to the battlefield – untested and untried – because Saul feels a spark of faith kindling in his own heart: “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
And David goes. And so do we.
Today, go, and the Lord be with you.