Yes, he did, but he would not have done so if he had remained as quiet as the other Israelites. David was one of those who could not be easy so long as the enemies of his country were in the ascendant. To see a Philistine strutting about, defying the armies of the living God, was more than he could bear. Is not this the spirit which should animate Christians to-day? It is not one GOLIATH merely, there are many. DRUNKENNESS, PROFANITY, SUPERSTITION, INFIDELITY, and a host of others are not only defying us, but destroying us. Is it not true that the armies of the alien are robbing our families and churches, plundering us of the results of years of toil? Think, in one department alone, how we are spoiled. We refer to the Sabbath school. What a small percentage of those who pass through our schools become stable members of the church! What crowds of our children become the slaves of sin! How long do we mean to bear it? When shall we, like David, say, "THY SERVANT WILL GO AND FIGHT WITH THIS PHILISTINE?"
We read that "David hasted, and ran towards the army to meet the Philistine." He was aggressive. There is a great deal to be said in favour of what is called "working on the old lines," but
DAVID DESPISED THE OLD LINES.
His countrymen had remained too long there; he would dare and do, therefore ran into the lines of the Philistines. Is it not too true that we stay in our entrenchments too long? Why should we not carry the war into the enemy's country? WESLEY and his fellow-labourers would not have had the success they had, if they had not, like David, run towards the enemy. It was time, for the sake of his country's prestige, that he ran with his face towards the foe. Shall we not imitate him, and dare something for God? Saul's army had too often showed their backs to the enemy. When a man runs towards his foe, he looks bigger every stride, while if he runs away, he looks less, and becomes more contemptible the more active he is!
David prevailed over the Philistine with very simple weapons, but
THEY WERE HIS OWN.
If he had gone in Saul's armour, he might have perished. He was no match for the giant if it came to a sword fight. The long reach of the giant's arm would have ended the conflict very soon. On the contrary, the sling gave David an immense advantage. He could strike a blow, and be out of Goliath's reach. Have we not known some men more mighty, and more often victorious when they were plain and unlettered, than they were after years of culture? How is it? Perhaps because they, knowing their ignorance, were more earnest in prayer. We know that some of us feel, when we have preached; -- That was a good sermon, the arguments were irresistible, the illustrations were beautiful, and so the people ought to have yielded, but they did not! Did they?
If the pictures of this event we often see are to describe the future of Christianity, we shall have to be as daring as though God did not fight the battle, and as trustful as though we had never driven the alien army back. When COURAGE is united to HUMILITY, the Philistine may get measured for his coffin (leaving out the head), and the damsels of Israel have their timbrels tuned, for there will be a procession goodly to look upon!
BURNING THE BOOKS AT EPHESUS.
This was one of the results of faithful preaching. Paul had declared the whole counsel of God, both in powerful addresses and in visiting from door to door. Miracles were wrought, but what seems to have impressed the writer of this account most of all, was not the healing of the sick, or the casting out of devils, but men parting with that which was worth so much money.
"THEY BROUGHT THEIR BOOKS TOGETHER, AND BURNED THEM BEFORE ALL MEN; AND THEY COUNTED THE PRICE OF THEM, AND FOUND IT FIFTY THOUSAND PIECES OF SILVER.
So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed!"
Has our religion been costly to us? Have we given up anything? These converts gave up their money-making sins publicly; and their public and costly repentance was made a great blessing. We wish every Christian who is engaged in any business that has made money for him at the expense of another's morals, would see it his duty to make a bonfire of it! We have no doubt there are numbers of Christians whose consciences now and then give them a goutlike twinge. We do not doubt their religion because they do not obey their consciences; but we do say the word of God cannot grow mightily, it is stunted, and in consequence they are religious dwarfs, when they might have been giants in righteousness and holy influence.