Saturday, 18 August 2012
It is strange to know that even when we grow old the Enemy will still attack us, when one becomes a senior citizen in faith or in age one does not receive a discount on ‘enemy attacks’. We seem to think that only the youth are at risk because they have so much to lose (and they dress weird). Thus his focus should be on them, but as the number of candles increases on our birthday cakes his attempts at our faith don’t slow down. A young David faced the giant Goliath, while an older David now faces four giants.
The Philistines rise again to challenge Israel, in war David now faces four giants who attack in full force. The giant champion has his eyes on David. Before David was king he was a great captain, leading countless campaigns always in victory. Songs were made about him. His fame only grew from once being the boy who killed Goliath to being one of the mightiest men of war Israel ever saw. Today we find an old David, an old King still going on to the battle field. The giant by the name Ishbi-benob learns of David’s frail state and focuses on slaying him. Abishai comes to David’s aid and the giant is put to death. The men of Israel plead for David not to go into battle anymore, that his light not be erased. Israel goes on to defeat the next tree giants. One of them being Goliath’s brother.
Here we have David being defeated by his age, still young at heart wanting to lead his men in battle his body is no longer as agile, his movements slower and reactions delayed. He is old. It seems that when we get older you even make up sore, you just slept for eight hours and you still wake up sore? Your body craves caffeine like never before, so before our first cup of coffee we already had two just in order to get that first one. Our bodies’ age and so does our faith.
As one weakens with age the other should grow in strength. I think one of the biggest struggles as a believer is not allowing the Christian Moral Law to become a religion. One can find himself attempting to complete life without sin. The Christian Moral Law is above any other, not because it is better or has a bigger list. It is above because it is impossible to achieve. So we set the bar a little bellow our best examples and point at others for not being as high as us. We point out their weaknesses and grade sin while managing to make our own sin only look bad on others. We face giants with our own strength, at least we believe we can. One day we find ourselves believing that this Moral Law is the only path to Christ.
Our best achievements when put next to the Christian Moral Law shows how weak, fragile, selfish, greedy, thankless, ungrateful and helpless we really are. It shows how far we are from Christ. This law also shows His grace towards us, that this Grace can cover any distance. It can take years of faith for us to understand and apply that our weakness is our gift to God. Whatever method He might use (stuck in traffic?) to expose our imperfections His Grace is the same. His love is the same. In our weakness His strength, love and Grace is revealed. When we give Him our weakness, we give Him our best and worse, we give Him ourselves.
In the life that David lived, his mistakes and triumphs each had the ability to paralyze him. His mistakes if not dealt with would have made him a different man who ‘once had a heart after God’, while his triumphs if held as his personal victories and not God’s would have given us a very pride filled king who’s heart was only after personal glory. The fact that David’s men can themselves face giants like their king once did is a testimony to the type of leader David was. Those near David knew his heart.
As we look back on our faith and see the several Goliath’s who have fallen, we must not allow our standing to be seen as strength. It should reveal our weakness and His strength. The smallest wind can blow out a candle, while a candle cannot even light itself. We are that fragile, weak imperfect creatures who are perfectly loved. This understanding should reflect on how we love and deal with all the fellow weak helpless candles near us. I know that my heart is not as grateful as it should be and those near me see that. When anyone thinks of believers, we should be most grateful weak people on earth. Perfect kindness, Grace and love have been given to us, how can we not live with thankful hearts?
When have you, in your weakness, shown strength in God? How does weakness as you grow older change the way you live out your faith? Does your faith grow stronger as you age?