Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 2, 2020
The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. 1 Samuel 17:37-39
David and Goliath. Is there a more iconic story in all of the Bible? It is the gold standard of Sunday school lessons across the world, and I’ve heard it taught more times than I can remember. Typically, the lessons focus on David slaying the giant, teaching us that God will fight for you, or how to face the giants in your own life, or that God is able to deliver you from evil and impossible odds. Yet an entire lesson on Saul’s armor? Not so much!
However, in recent years I’ve grown greatly in my walk with God by focusing on Saul and his efforts to clothe David with his own armor. Even though David goes to great lengths to tell Saul all the ways God had provided for him and given him the strength to overcome his enemies, well-meaning Saul assumes he must add to this by giving David his best armor for battle. Why does this seemingly insignificant detail matter so much? Because it has everything to do with our identities in Christ and how we view ourselves.
In essence, Saul says, “Instead of seeing you as God has made you to be and celebrating our differences, I am going to turn you into a version of myself!” I’ve heard it said that we often see other people as flawed versions of ourselves, and when this is true, our impulse is to do what we can to make them more like us! Yet what happens when David tries to be something and someone he’s not? “David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them” (vs. 39). David tries to lean into Saul’s expectations and desires for him, but quickly realizes he’s not going to get very far by denying who God has made him to be!
And so, the key question for you today is this: where are you wearing Saul’s armor? What expectations of yourself, or your family, or your identity have you received from others – even well-intentioned people – that you’ve taken on as your own but were in fact never meant to bear? Maybe you’ve spent years walking around with a version of Saul’s sword strapped over your armor, and you’re worn out from simply trying to walk. It’s exhausting carrying other’s expectations of who you are meant to be! Thanks be to God, that isn’t a burden you were meant to carry. And so, today enter into the freedom and the rest of God, trusting that he will conform you evermore into the likeness of his Son, who is our true and abiding source of identity and purpose. Don’t wear Saul’s armor!
Father, free us from the burden of carrying other’s expectations of who we are meant to be, and root us in the freedom that is found in knowing we are your beloved sons and daughters, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What does “Saul’s armor” look like in your own life? How can you take a step today towards freedom?
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It’s exhausting carrying other’s expectations of who you are meant to be, but it’s energizing to be who God meant you to be. #wisdomhunters #honesty #truth #Jesus
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