Voice and Vision

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85: Facing Goliath Beyond Elections

Many a Sunday School child knows the Old Testament story of youthful David who bravely offers to stand up against the formidable Philistine giant, Goliath–a Bible story in which a shepherd boy trusts God so completely he offers to face alone the enemy that terrifies his people, thereby saving his nation. Declining armor and sword, declaring “the battle is the Lord’s,” David–with only his simple but proven tools of stone and sling–takes out Goliath, saving Israel.

Why were Israel’s accomplished warriors afraid to face Goliath? Like many today, they were petrified to stand up to the powerful one who defied, intimidated, and threatened them. It took an honest youth to do what they could not do. David had learned to trust God who had saved him from the lion and bear when freeing his sheep as he went about his daily work as a shepherd. He had proven God’s reliability day by day. Where are those among us doing so today–in our government, corporations, social and cultural organizations?

David went on to reign as king. He also went on to write many of the beautiful Psalms that have comforted people for thousands of years, including today. A shepherd boy who slew a giant, became king, wrote profound poems and songs praising God that millions have valued, he knew God to be his guide and governor.

If only those in government today had a David-like understanding of God, a trust in Good (the very name of God), an allegiance to Love, Truth, Principle, Honesty, Integrity, Justice. If only there were more of us, as well as more of those in government, able to face and slay our world’s gigantic problems–autocracy, racism, climate change, hatred, war, crime, greed, etc.!

Each of us has the ability to be as brave and God-directed as David was. We have his Psalms to read, study, pray with, and apply to our daily experience. To find the lessons in the Psalms we must first take off the armor of materialism which hides our true selves. We need to limit social media, games, superficial pastimes, and eager accumulation of things–all of which sidetrack us from a few daily hours of spiritual focus.

Look at the 23rd Psalm or the 91st. Or take your pick from among the150. Each Psalm is an adventure.  Ponder the words. Let them sink into your consciousness and guide your day. I end with a favorite:

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled though the mountains shake with the swelling therof.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Alone at Pemaquid Beach, oil, framed, approx. 14" x 12" $575. By Gwendolyn Evans

Alone at Pemaquid Beach, oil, framed, approx. 14″ x 12″ $575 by Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork: Alone at Pemaquid Beach, oil, framed, approx. 14″ x 12″ $575.

One very early morning, I found a rare moment of silence at what is often a busy beach. I was there with my paints as well as my Bible and greatly appreciated the solitude.  Though I photographed this painting prior to signing it, it is now signed and for sale in my gallery among many others.

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