Proving Your Covenant
“David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, ‘I cannot walk with these,’ ” 1 Samuel 17:39 NKJV
The story of David and Goliath is both timeless and universal. Nearly anywhere you go in the world people know of the reference to David and Goliath. It is one of the most cherished accounts in the Word of God. It takes place in a time of war between God’s people Israel and their enemy, the Philistines. For 40 days both armies align for battle on opposing mountains. For 40 days the Philistines sent their champion, Goliath, into the valley to taunt and intimidate the army of Israel. He was a giant and intimidating in appearance.
Israel responds in fear to this threat until David, the young shepherd and newly anointed king to be of Israel, comes. David understands the covenant that he has with God and that Goliath has none. As such David does not see a giant when he looks toward Goliath, but only a man who does not yet realize that God has already defeated him.
David speaks bold words which bring him an audience with the current king of Israel, Saul. Saul tells David he is only a youth and Goliath has been a warrior since his youth so how can David hope to prevail? David tells Saul that when he was in the shepherds’ fields watching his father’s flock, the Lord delivered the sheep from the mouth of the lion and the bear. And when the lion or the bear rose up against David, he grabbed it by the beard and the Lord delivered David as well. David was saying that He knew the covenant promises he had in the Lord and as the Lord had delivered him in the fields, so would the Lord deliver the giant Goliath into his hand.
Inspired, Saul gave David his armor and implements of battle, but in verse 39 above we see that David said he could not use these things in battle because he had not tested them. What David is not saying is that he was not used to them, he had never tried them in battle or learned to use them so he could not use them. What David had tested was the power of his covenant with God. He had applied that power in the fields against the lion and bear and knew he could trust in it.
The word “test” means to prove something by using it. David had not tried or proved the implements of battle so they had no comfort for him and they would not be of help to him. But David had proved the covenant promises against the attacks of the lion and bear. David used the covenant, knew it worked and was comfortable with the power of the covenant and that was what he used against Goliath.
Here is a great lesson for us today. The question we need to ask is: have we tested or proved the Word of God and His promises in our life? Or have we become comfortable with the implements of the world instead. Start applying the Word and His promises and prove it in your life so that is a strength for you in all the battle you face.
J Todd Hostetler