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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
From The Plains Baptist Challenger, April 2014
“And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.” (I Samuel 17:47)
This chapter contains a story that has thrilled the hearts of many Sunday school children, and has been the subject of countless sermons. It has a special message for Young People, for it shows what they can do for the cause of Christ. Youth has a special place in the Bible, when we think of the exploits of David, Daniel, and the young man who furnished the little food, that Christ would use to feed the multitude with loaves and fishes. “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9) Remember the young maid that was instrumental in the healing of Naaman the leper. A little captive maid that was used of God to lead a Syrian General to seek out the prophet of the Lord.
The background of our text is found in I Samuel 17. The armies of Israel went out to battle the Philistines and the two armies were camped on two hills with a valley in between them. King Saul was ready to fight the Philistines, but before them was a giant in the valley more than nine feet tall, who challenged them daily to send out a man to fight for Israel and whoever was the winner would settle the issue. The winner would take all the opposing army and people to be their servants.
This terrified King Saul and his army, for none thought they could do battle with the giant. There was a young shepherd boy by the name of David that was sent by his father to take some food to his three brothers who were in Saul’s army, and to check on how the battle was going. David was appalled that no one in Saul’s army would accept the challenge, so he volunteered to go and kill the giant. Why did David volunteer to do this? He explains by this simple statement, “Is there not a cause?” He won because he knew “the battle is the LORD’S.”
In our day we face a tremendous crisis, not because of one giant, but many giants that we face and the only way we can possibly prevail is that we recognize that “the battle is the LORD’S.” We are not talking about a perfect and complete win for that will only come when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth and sets up His Kingdom. However, we are talking about the battles that we face today. However strong the foe that we face in this life, there is hope if we remember that “the battle is the LORD’S.” We face a relentless foe in Satan and his cohorts, and we are hopeless and helpless without the help of our precious and all-powerful Lord.
OUR HELP IS IN THE WORD OF GOD
We must rely upon the promises of God, and apply them to our own lives and situations. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13) Of course we must first evaluate these promises and see if they apply to us. In this case, this verse was written by the apostle Paul about himself. Paul was a sacrificial servant of the Lord and had given his very life for Christ and His gospel.
Many disobedient halfhearted Christians have tried to claim this promise for themselves, but it simply does not fit their situation. How can a disobedient Christian claim this great promise that is written by a truly faithful sacrificial and obedient man of the faith? I believe this promise could be claimed by the Philippians the members of the Church at Philippi. Reading the chapter we find that this Church had time after time, helped the Apostle Paul and their “care” of him “hath flourished again.” They were a great missionary Church that had communicated with him concerning giving and receiving.
How dare a person that is not willing to sacrifice for the cause of missionaries and their work, even try to claim this wonderful promise. It was to this Church that Paul made this wonderful promise, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)
GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS DELIVER
I do not mean to discourage young saints or senior saints, but I must warn you that there are many other outcomes to trials and temptations. John the Baptist is one example of this principle. He was a mighty man of God and was the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. He baptized all twelve of the disciples who made up the first members of the Church that Jesus would establish. He also baptized the Lord Jesus Christ, the founder of the first Church. He was a mighty preacher and gathered large numbers of people by his preaching, and baptized numbers of them.
He boldly preached against the sins of the people including Herod’s wife. She was married to Herod’s brother, but living as Herod’s wife. He was not afraid to name sin in high places, although he paid a tremendous price for doing so. “For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not.” (Mark 6:18-19) What she could not do herself she managed to get her daughter to do through her wicked plan.
The point is that John the Baptist died at the hands of this wicked cabal. We do not know if he asked God for deliverance, but if he did, his request was not answered, for he was beheaded by the authority of the wicked king. No doubt he had finished his principal mission and God was ready for him to be taken. We must remember the words of Jesus concerning, John the Baptist. “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” (Matt. 11:11)
We must always remember that “the battle is the LORD’S.” It is up to Him to deliver or not deliver, but we are to remain faithful regardless of the outcome. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.)” (II Corinthians 10:3-4)