Fearless is not Reckless
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” 1 Samuel 17:32 NLT
I absolutely love the story of David and Goliath. I can still see it being portrayed on a flannel board as I did when I was a kid in Sunday School. The boy who would be king running out onto the battlefield, loading up his slingshot, whirling it around his head and letting it go as he probably had at hundreds of trees and boulders while in the field with his father’s sheep. Hitting his mark and bringing the giant down to the astonishment of everyone watching.
The thing that strikes me is David’s age.
The older I get, the older my kids get. Crazy concept, right? My oldest son, Jayce, is now 12 years old—excuse me while I wipe the tears off my keyboard. But David in this story is not much older than my oldest son now. The Bible tells us that David’s father Jesse’s three oldest sons went to war with King Saul. The military age for young men in that day was 20 years old, and David was the 8th and youngest son of Jesse. So assuming he had no sisters and that there were no twins, the oldest he could have been was 16 years old. A sophomore in High School by comparison. When I think about my son entering into hand to hand military combat it seems crazy. And that’s what people around David thought too. In fact in verse 33 of 1 Samuel 17 King Saul says, “Don’t be ridiculous! There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
To everybody else this seemed ridiculous, crazy, stupid, reckless. To everyone except David. Look at how David responds to the King’s protest.
34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” 1 Samuel 17:34
Now that’s a bad dude. “If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death.” OK David, I see you: grabbing lions and bears by the jaw and killing them with a club. The reason David was able to enter into battle confidently was because he had been there before, but more importantly because God had been with him before. He looked back on how God had never failed him before and left him with no reason to question whether He would be with him this time.
Fearless may seem reckless to everyone else. But when God promises to go with us, then we need to realize the battle has already been won. We just need the strength and courage to walk in it. Fearless is not reckless; fearless is taking God at his word. What is God calling you to in 2019? In your family, career, education, ministry, or your faith? It may seem reckless to others, but being fearless is never reckless when God is the one leading us.
Lord, we come before you today at the start of this year knowing that the battle is already won. We ask you give us the strength and courage to walk in it. And even though we may appear reckless to those closest to us, to those in authority over us, and even to ourselves, encourage us to know that it is not reckless to walk in Your victory. It is just being fearless in Your security. In your name we pray, amen.