May 6
1 Samuel 17:1-11, 26

An army scared stiff

The Philistines were at war again. Their army had lined up on one side of a valley; the Israelites had set up camp on the other.

A huge man from the Philistine army came out and challenged the Israelite army. He wore bronze armor and carried a long spear. A soldier walking in front of him carried his shield. The Philistine shouted across the valley to the Israelites; “I dare the Israelite army to choose someone to fight me. If he wins, we will be your slaves; but if I win, you will be our slaves.”

When Saul and his men heard Goliath’s challenge they were terrified!

Is the enemy of God stronger than I am?

Goliath, a giant in the Philistine army, was enormous. Not even the bravest soldier in Saul’s army was willing to take up Goliath’s challenge to fight him—no matter how big the reward.

Unlike Goliath, our enemy cannot be seen. We don’t know what the devil is planning or what his army is doing. The devil puts his evil plans into the hearts of people who allow him to control them. They then go out and do the devil’s dirty work through the evil deeds we see in the world. Only when we see the evil around us do we know how and where the devil is working.

It is foolish to take on the devil’s army in our own human strength. Acts 19:11-16 shows the difference between conquering the devil in the strength of the Lord and trying to fight the devil with human strength. It is only with the power of God’s Spirit in us that we can fight against the attacks of the devil. When we resist the devil by using the powerful words from the Bible, he runs away from us—defeated! (James 4:7).

Verse for today

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8