A Meditation: On 1 Samuel 38-39 // I Cannot Go In These //

by Matheus Yuhlung

David and Goliath

“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.”I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off” – 1 Samuel 17:38-39 (NIV)

In a sermon entitled The Tyranny of Type, George H Morrison wrote:

One of the most familiar scenes in Scripture is the fight of David and Goliath. To me the choicest moment of that scene is when David was getting ready for the fight. I see Saul lending him his armor, and it was a very honoring bestowal. I see David, restless and uneasy, handling the great sword as if he feared it. And then I see him laying all aside and crying out, “I cannot go in these,” and fingering his well-loved sling again. For Saul there was but one way of fighting. He had never dreamed of any other way. There was only one tradition in his chivalry, and every fighter must conform to that. But David, fresh from the uplands and the morning and the whispering of God among the hills, must have liberty to fight in his own way. The one was all for immemorial custom. The other was determined to be free. The one said, “It has been always so,” and the other, “I cannot go in these.” And remember that it was not Saul who was in the line of God’s election, but that young stripling from the Bethlehem pasturage who in his service dared to be himself.i

To think our traditions and culture to be a molding form for all is I guess to simplify God to a watchmaker with no creativity. But as much as common sense dictates, we can see that none of us are same. Each and everyone of us has some unique individuality that separates us from each other. We have different stories, struggles, weaknesses, and strength. I believe these differences shapes us like puzzle pieces so that we could fit into each others lives perfectly; where my strength could fill into your weaknesses and where in my weaknesses your strength could fit in.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.ii

When we fail to see that our individuality is what unifies us into the body of Christ, we leave a lot of Davids outside the Church mumbling I cannot go in these. As believers it is essential that we learn to look past differences of individuality and accept each other in Christ. Just as the Apostle Paul wrote:

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,iii

i devotionals.ochristian.com
ii Romans 12:4-5 (NASB)

iii Colossians 2:2 (NIV)

Picture: pcog.org