“And David said . . . Is there not a cause?
Accomplishing anything of significance takes sacrifice and often involves personal risk. Today’s verse passage is part of the remarkable story of David, the young shepherd from Bethlehem, and Goliath, the giant warrior from Gath. The story continues to captivate our attention and activate our imagination. Goliath was a deadly monster of a man, well-seasoned in mortal combat (1 Samuel 17:33). Day after day this creature challenged the armies of Israel, “Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me,” demanded the Philistine giant, “If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together” (1 Samuel 17:8b-10). David arrived at the front with food for his brothers (1 Samuel 17:17). When he heard the giant’s threats and blasphemies he was outraged, “What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26b). David’s older brother, Eliab, rebuked David, insisting that his presence there was for no other reason than morbid curiosity (1 Samuel 17:28). David’s answer is classic: “Is there not a cause?” Israel’s bitter enemy was posing a real threat to their freedom, if not their very existence. Something had to be done. There was a cause, and it was a great one. None of Saul’s soldiers had the courage to stand up to the menacing Goliath, but David did. Casting fear aside and relying on God, David defeated Israel’s hated and feared enemy in one-on-one mortal combat (1 Samuel 17:48-51). David reminds us of Jesus, another good shepherd from Bethlehem who defeated not just Israel’s, but mankind’s most hated and feared enemy, namely death itself (2 Timothy 1:10; Isaiah 25:8; John 11:25-26). David recognized his cause there at the front line. Similarly, Christ the Lord came into the world with a God-ordained cause. John explained, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). Christ’s atoning, redemptive work was accomplished at Calvary. “It is finished!” cried the Savior (John 19:30). Nevertheless, there is still important, God-honoring work to be done on the earth. Luke opens his Acts of the Apostles by mentioning the fact that Jesus began to do and teach certain things (Acts 1:1). There is much work to do as we wait for God’s dear Son from heaven (1 Thessalonians 1:10). May we discover our cause, and may we accomplish it in spectacular fashion, for God’s glory and for the good of others.