May 19

1 Samuel 17:36-37 (NIV) 36Your 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. 37The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

David had been going back and forth from playing music for the king to tending his Father's flock. His Father asked him to take some food to his older brothers and get their promise that they would share the spoils of war. When he delivered the food, he saw the enemy army send out one giant man who asked for a one on one to determine the outcome of the battle without the two armies clashing. Whoever lost would be servants of the other nation.

David inquired about the reward for fighting Goliath and spoke boldly that someone needed to kill this heathen. It was reported to King Saul who had David brought before him. David told the king not to worry. He volunteered to fight the giant. The king told David that a boy did not have a chance against a seasoned veteran like Goliath. Then David relayed his experiences of killing a bear and a lion in protection of his flock.

David had confidence in God because of past victories. He had faith that God would win this battle because this giant was defying the armies of the living God. Experience and faith told David that this lion that threatened God's sheep would be like the lion he had slain defending his father's sheep. You have been given victories in your past to help you have confidence in what God can do today. Mix the experience from your past victories with faith in God's heart and take on the giants of life today.

Meditation: "Go and the LORD be with you!"

May 19

Luke 17:14-16 (NIV) 14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him–and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem when ten lepers met Him and pleaded for mercy. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. It was prescribed in the Law that if someone was healed of leprosy, they were to go to the priest and show that they had been cleansed. The word translated 'leprosy' covers a number of different skin diseases.

These ten men obeyed the word that Jesus spoke. It took faith to begin the journey. As they went, they were healed. Jesus will often ask us to go forward in faith when we do not yet see evidence. As we go, things fall into place and we understand that God is at work. Faith obeys without seeing. It may be that Jesus is still answering the disciples' request in a previous verse to increase their faith. As servants, we need but obey, and God does the rest.

One man returned to thank Jesus and give praise to God. He was a Samaritan. It is interesting that the Jews allowed the Samaritan leper to be in their group. Illness and tragedy have a way of breaking down walls of pride. The one the Jews considered hard hearted and impure was the one who did the right thing. Jesus asked where the other nine were. Perhaps he asked the question to drive home the point to those who were listening that God is looking at the heart and not one's nationality.

Jesus acted in the priest's place declaring that he was well. He reminded the Samaritan and those listening that it was the man's faith that made him well. Jesus spoke. The man obeyed in faith, and healing was the result. One final lesson we should take from this is our need to return to Jesus with thanks and praise to God.

Consider: Have you thanked Him today for all the answers to prayer and the results of faith in your life?