With Memorial Day approaching this weekend I always get a little teary eyed. I live in the greatest country on the planet and I am so thankful for the men and women who gave their lives in defense of America so I can have the freedoms that I enjoy.
Scripture Text 1 Samuel 17:1-29
In 1 Samuel we find the famous story of David and Goliath. In this story we find a victorious David over his enemy. Why was a young man able to defeat such a huge, seasoned man of war?
1. Goliath challenged the identity of a nation.
Goliath stated that he was a Philistine. He identified himself with a nation and what that nation represented directly opposing the men of Israel. Goliath adds fuel to the fire by addressing the nation of Israel as servants of Saul. v.4-8
2. Goliath challenged the strength of a nation.
Strength of the nation is in the men (and women) that defend that nation. Is what you stand for worth fighting for? What is your freedom and liberty worth?
Goliaths challenge deals with freedom. He says “If you prevail…then you will be my servants.” v.8-10
3. Goliath challenged the resolve of a nation.
Goliath challenged the nation of Israel for 40 days. Saul and all of Israel heard the words against them and were dismayed and afraid. There was a complete loss of courage. People from all walks of life join the military for different reasons. What we learn is that one man with courage and honor as David had can make a difference. David identifies who his enemy is “an uncircumcised Philistine” and then no longer calls it Israel, but the armies of the living God. When fear grips principles and purpose are absent. We must be a nation to do as David and not allow fear to cripple and bind.
Raise the Standard
One of my all time favorite movies of all time is “The Patriot” which stars Mel Gibson. This movie is so moving. Gabriel, the son of Captain Benjamin Martin joins the army for the ‘cause of liberty’. The Captain was a battle scarred veteran who did not want to go to war with Britain and discouraged his son from joining the army.
During on of the battles there is a war torn flag on the ground and Gabriel see its and a nearby soldier remarks, it’s a lost cause. Gabriel takes the flag and mends the flag throughout his time on the battlefield without others knowing.
Gabriel does and ultimately ends up dying and Captain Martin who did end up fighting now after the death of his son no longer has the will to fight. He looks in Gabriel’s bag and finds the flag. He is inspired and decides to take the flag and return back to the army proudly flying the colors and a broken, bruised army coming from battle in defeat cheers!
What made the army cheer? A mended torn battle flag? No, it was what the flag represented. It represented life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It represented a hope in a new world where all men were created equal with certain unalienable rights endowed by their creator.
During one of the remaining battles in the movie is for me one of the most moving parts. The Continental Army is on the verge of defeat and the army is in retreat from Britain. Captain Martin who is now a Colonel grabs the flag, turns it and rallies the army behind it to make a charge forward and ultimately wins the battle.
We need strong men that are willing to stand and fight for what this nation is about; men and women who are willing to raise a standard of righteousness with courage and honor. We need to have a love for country. We need to see that God has a purpose for this great nation and we play a role in that purpose. We need to look past ourselves…Is there not a cause?