THE LOST SWORD

1 Samuel 21:9  The priest replied, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod.  If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.  “David said, there is not like it, give it to me.”  

I SAMUEL 20-21; PSALM 34; LUKE 21:20-38

In today’s reading, we find David at a lot point.  He is hiding out like a criminal, lying and deceiving in order to protect his life.  To make matters worse, he and his men are famished, unable to find food.  In desperation he seeks out  the priest Ahimelech who offers him holy bread that was left over from the previous day.  Being without a weapon, he asked if he had a sword or spear.  Ahimelech replied that he had only one sword in his possession, one that he had carefully wrapped in a cloth and hidden behind the ephod.  In fact, it was the very sword that Goliath had used when he fought David several years earlier.

How did the sword make its way from the battlefield to the House of God?  Who decided to hide it?  No one knows.  Was it a coincidence?  Had the weapon been designated a relic or a memorial of battles won?

The defeat of the giant had been high point in young David’s life.  For generations even up to today, the story has been told and retold throughout the centuries.  A young boy’s bravery won a victory for an entire nation with just five smooth stones.  That climactic moment when David took Goliath’s sword and decapitated him brought a sigh of relief to David and his nation’s army.

After the battle, David’s career took a quick ascent.  Before long he moved to the palace and became a war hero. His best friend was the king’s son.  He soon gathered a huge following.  What could possibly go wrong!

But it did.  Any honest Christian will admit that life has its highs and lows.  Our bio’s all reveal those ecstatic episodes in our lives that had a way of catapulting us upward to a new level.  And more often than not, we don’t always remain there.

Nothing more is mentioned of the sword.  It’s even incidental and often overlooked in the retelling of our bedtime stories.  I’ve never heard a sermon preached about it.   It seems that the sword has been lost forever.  Perhaps even David had forgotten about it.    However, God hadn’t.  And he had it safely ensconced for a future time when it would be needed.  And even as I read this story this week, I had to wonder, where is this sword today?  Perhaps we could see if Indiana Jones just might come up with a theory and we could all see it on America’s marquees:  THE SEARCH FOR THE LOST SWORD.  Far out?  Perhaps so.  However, what we are reading about in this story is more than coincidental.

The preservation of this particular sword was God’s way of looking out for David’s future.  He knew that there would be days of disappointment along the way in David’s rise to the throne.  God was aware of not only King Saul’s bitter jealousy and hatred of David, but also of David’s love for Him.  David asked only for a weapon, but what he received was a special sign that God was aware of him even during this confusing point in his life.  And he had preserved, not just any weapon, but the very sword that would remind David of a past victory–Goliath’s sword!

A very good friend of mine, now deceased, one told me at a low point in my life, “John, you have to keep your eyes open for clues as to what God is doing in your life.”  That piece of advice from a mentor has prompted me to be open to finding clues along the way.

1 Samuel 21:9  The priest replied, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod.  If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.  “David said, there is not like it, give it to me.”  

While David was in a survival mode, a retired sword lay in wait for the time when David would need a clue that he had not been forgotten.  David had been anointed, but he had no crown.  He had the anointing and he was starving.  He had the anointing and his life was in great jeopardy.  He was a fugitive and he had no sword.

We currently face a major vacancy in our congregation.  Our pastor recently announced that he is moving on to a new field.  This kind of event can cause us to ask questions, worry, and even fear for the future.  Be confident, however, that hidden away, God has a ministering family who is even now being proven for a new assignment.  Our future is in His hands.

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About jnordstrom4864

I am the Director of Spiritual Care at Christ Community. I enjoy reading, travel, and family. I also find great satisfaction in walking with people through all of life's transitions. View all posts by jnordstrom4864

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