A careful reading on the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 reveals several key points. For one thing, David the obstreperous teenager quickly realizes that going up against the giant, overwhelming Goliath and trying to best him on his own terms - fighting with armor, sword, and trying to match strength-to-strength - would be a definite losing proposition. The odds were totally against him. By meeting the huge foe on David's own terms, David made a smart strategic move.
The key point of the whole story is his steadfast stance in his faith in God. This was really about the God of the Philistines versus the God of Israel as David saw it. Invoking the power of God in his faithfulness, David managed the amazing shot from his sling that would fell Goliath. The use of a slingshot was a good strategic move; faith made the whole maneuver work.
In Mark, the first of two stories about the disciples on the water in a boat in a storm appears in chapter 4. Here, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat while a furious storm causes panic among the disciples, even though they're experienced fishermen. When they rouse Jesus, he stills the storm. But the lesson isn't that Jesus is some magician (their comments at the close of the passage simply indicate how clueless they remain). The lesson comes in his words to them after the storm has been quieted: "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" - the emphasis on the word "still."
Faith can change the odds and God can be the equalizer. Can our fears be supplanted by faithfulness, enabling us to act in the way of the Lord?
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