The Conscious Presence of God with Us in Our Personal Life
1 Samuel 17:37
David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear…

The Philistines originally formed part of the great Shemitic family. They wandered from Palestine to Crete, and afterwards, returning to their former homes, reestablished themselves, and built their five great cities, Gaza, Ashdod, Askalon, Gath, and Ekron. This representation respecting their early history is in harmony with their name, Philistine, "a wanderer." It accounts for the fact that the Philistines and the Israelites used a common language. It accords with the evidence given by the classic writers of Greece as to the wide diffusion of the Shemitic race over the islands of the Mediterranean Sea; and it agrees with the practice referred to by them as having prevailed so extensively in warfare, of the enemy challenging the foe to a duel as the test of the power of either side arrayed for conflict. These Philistines had become very influential in Palestine. Occupying the coast, they were in possession of the trade carried on with Europe and Asia. In this chapter the Israelites are represented as engaged in hostilities with the Philistines, and as furnishing in this time of national difficulty a striking illustration of the extinction of faith. God has wrought wondrous deliverances on their behalf. We should have thought that, from the army of Israel encamped upon that chain of hills, there would have risen the voice of praise, and that, adapting "the song of Moses" to their present circumstances, they would have chanted right heartily, "The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is His name. Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power: Thy right hand, O Lord, will dash in pieces the enemy; and in the greatness of Thine excellency Thou wilt overthrow them that rise up against Thee." But instead of this, the very opposite was the case. They were filled with terror and alarm. "They were dismayed and greatly afraid." Nor let us be too ready to censure them, for we are very prone to act in the same way. Whatever may have been the emergencies through which God may have brought us in the past, we are too ready to overlook these deliverances when new difficulties arise in our path. It is said that when old Rome was in all her glory, and the Caesars were exercising their mighty sway, one who was in trouble was communicating his sorrow to a certain philosopher, who, knowing that the mourner before him was a favourite with the Emperor, said to him, "Why mourn thus? Caesar is your friend!" The thought of the friendship of the greatest earthly potentate, the philosopher considered, should assuage the mourner's grief, and inspire confidence and hope. And, even so, if we enjoy the friendship of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, what need have we to feel dismayed and fearful? What a contrast is presented between these hosts of Israel on the one hand, and David, the stripling the shepherd-youth, on the other! How beautiful he appears, clothed with true humility! "Clothe yourselves," said , "with the silk of piety, with the satin of sanctity, and with the purple of modesty and humility; so shall you have God Himself to be your suitor." "Saul," without much heart and hope, and almost despairing of his cause, said, "Go, and the Lord be with thee." I would adopt his words, and, not in his spirit, but would say to each of you, with reference to the year so soon to commence, "Go, and the Lord be with thee." "Go," and in all the duties which will devolve upon you in the new year, "the Lord be with thee," strengthening thee for their efficient and faithful discharge. "Go," and in all the perplexities which will arise, "the Lord be with thee" to guide and to direct thy way. "Go," and amidst the increasing responsibilities of thy life, "the Lord be with thee," giving thee increasing wisdom, and imparting to thee "more grace," and fulfilling to thee His ancient promise, "And as thy days, so shall thy strength be." "Go," and in all the darker experiences of life through which thou mayest have to pass, "the Lord be with thee," to comfort and to cheer thine heart, and to render thee victorious over the tribulations of the world! "The Lord be with thee." No, God's care for us is a care for us individually. He says, "I know thee by name." Our name distinguishes us from all others; it stands out for our separate individuality as apart from all others. And even so, as distinctly we are regarded by God. He does not merely look broadly over the race, but He sets each member of it apart; each single life stands out, distinct and clear, in the light of His presence. Then, "Go, and the Lord be with thee!" "With thee," lad or lassie, entering, with the new year, upon a new situation, going into fresh surroundings, and having to lay the foundations of that calling which is to be your occupation through life. "With thee," young man or maiden, just leaving the harbour of home. "With thee," man of business, who must, in the future, as in the past, be oft overborne with anxious care. "With thee," suffering one, with weakened and shattered frame. "With thee," aged pilgrim, leaning on thy staff, and gradually descending the hill of life — "the Lord be with thee."

(S. D. Hillman.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

WEB: David said, "Yahweh who delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go; and Yahweh shall be with you."

The Lion-Slayer -- the Giant-Killer
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