Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, Whom you have defied.
'Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the Name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.' So all the people answered and said, 'It is well spoken.'
God loves a big show--even a public spectacle. But His rules about winning and losing stand in opposition man's logic--which is destined to fall. In God's Playbook, the weak win. 'God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong' (1 Corinthians 1:27).
In David versus Goliath, the fate of two nations hung on a fight between two men: a death match witnessed by opposing armies on opposing hilltops.
The Philistines were represented by a fierce, proven warrior--a giant with heavy armor. He was a professional heavyweight. The Israelites were represented by a spunky, unproven shepherd--a boy with a slingshot. He was a light flyweight. What were the odds?
In Elijah and God versus 450 prophets and Baal, the spiritual destiny of God's chosen people hung on the results of a supernatural cook-off. Which team would win?
After preparing their meat, the prophets of Baal called and leaped, cried and prophesied--for hours. They even cut themselves to arouse their god to action. But 'No one answered, no one paid attention' (1 Kings 18:29).
When it was Elijah's turn, he made a surprise move: a 'trench and drench.' Since the goal was a supernatural fire, Elijah lengthened his team's odds by flooding the meat and the wood with water--not once, but three times.
'Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, 'The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!' ' (1 Kings 18:38-39).
The result of these competitions? Public triumph for God--each leading to salvation for His people.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: when you think you've got the win, stop and think again. Because God loves a long shot. If you want to rise above, then position yourself beneath--Him first, and others second.
'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves' (Philippians 2:3). Because 'His power is perfected in weakness' ' (2 Corinthians 12:9). Because 'Those who humble themselves will be exalted' (Matthew 23:12).
To Be Continued...
* David v. Goliath: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+17&version=NKJV
* Elijah v. the prophets of Baal: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+18%3A20-40&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Public Relations series.