Tag Archives: limitations

Getting to Know . . . I Samuel! (17:20-40) Limitations!?

Have you ever endured 40 days’ of taunting by a Philistine giant? Me neither. But I can identify with Israel’s fear.

David runs to his brothers at the battlefront, asking how they were. He was just in time to hear Goliath “shout his usual words.” All the Israelite men retreated in terror from Goliath (vv. 20-24).

David is informed that the king will reward the man who kills Goliath with riches, his daughter, and tax-exempt status in Israel. David asks further about what reward will be given to the one who kills Goliath and “removes this disgrace from Israel.” “This uncircumcised Philistine is defying the armies of the living God!’ (v. 26).

David’s brother Eliab hears the conversation and rebukes David. “Who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and your evil heart — you came down to see the battle!” (v. 28). David asks, “What have I done now?” And has others confirm the reward for taking Goliath out (v. 29).

David is brought to Saul and David tells Saul not to be discouraged. He will go fight this Philistine! Saul responds with, “You’re just a youth — he’s been a warrior since he was young.” (v. 33). David then tells Saul he has killed lions and bears (oh, my!) in rescuing lambs. “This uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of those lions or bears — for he has defiled the armies of the living God” (v. 36). David expresses his faith that the God who rescued him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue him from this Philistine. Saul blesses David with the words, “Go, and may the Lord be with you” (v. 37).

Saul dresses David in his own military clothes, but David couldn’t walk in them! So he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (v. 40).

Some takeaways for me:
1. Although we may not be overtly “taunted” in our culture, the gospel is ignored and caricatured in media, sometimes bringing intimidation to God’s people. I need to recognize that such ridicule is coming from the “giants” of our society whom God considers fools.
2. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do right for a reward! Rewards are promised the child of God for faithfulness.
3. Others cannot see the motives of my heart. As best we can tell, David is not motivated by arrogance and his evil heart (as his brother Eliab intimates).
4. Youthfulness and military inexperience do not negate the rescuing power of the God of creation!

What giants are you facing today? Don’t let your limitations or the criticisms of others divert your eyes from the living God!

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Posted by on December 6, 2018 in I Samuel 17


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A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations!

Never has Clint Eastman said something so TRUE!

You would think that a sixty-four-year-old would know better. I’m not talking about Clint; I’m talking about me.
A month ago I played competitive FirefoxScreenSnapz590table tennis with an undergrad student who usually beats me pretty good. Now, dear friend, don’t think basement ping pong. This is serious, go-for-the-throat, intense, semi-professional level table tennis. And I beat my Indian student friend seven games to three! (you should be gasping in admiration now).

The next night I played three sets of doubles in tennis (the big court variety).  The next night I played three more sets of doubles tennis with three other guys.  My left knee was pretty sore, but I had no idea what would happen.

FirefoxScreenSnapz591I didn’t tear my ACL or anything major, but my left knee has essentially checked out on me.  It throbs constantly.  I over-strained it.  Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the famed RICE therapy) has helped some.  But I’ll be going to an orthopedic surgeon next week.  I imagine I’ll be going through physical therapy for a while.

I’ve had injuries before, including surgery for a torn meniscus.  I’m pretty sure my issue is a “simple” knee strain.  Two serious, competitive sports over three days in a row?  A man’s got to know his limitations.

What are your limitations?  Many of us hardly ever push against our self-imposed FirefoxScreenSnapz592parameters.  Perhaps there is a great deal that God could do through us, if we would only truly give ourselves to Him.  A.W. Tozer put it this way: “God is looking for [people] through whom He can do the impossible — what a pity that we plan only the things that we can do by ourselves.”   I’m sure he was not referring to knees that are six-and-a-half decades’ old!

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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in limitations


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