Goliath is Easy

How often have you heard it said, “We need to face our Goliath!” Every one knows what a ‘David and Goliath’ battle means, even if they’ve never read the Bible. We think that the most challenging battle David faced in his life and career was against this giant. But I’d like to suggest that Goliath was an easy target for David compared to other giants he’d encounter in later years.

David walked onto the battlefield, slung a stone, and sank it into Goliath’s skull. He then chopped off the giant’s head with his own blade. I doubt David even broke sweat. But, compared to the wars, persecutions, backstabbings, and family feud that David had to endure, killing Goliath was child’s play.

It’s not always the ‘Goliath’ issues in life that are the most difficult for us. Yes, it was an important day of battle, and everyone was watching. Goliath was an obvious enemy. He and David met on a real battlefield, and the goal was clear – kill or be killed.

But David’s post-Goliath life was not as smooth sailing.

For years to come, David was on the run. His life was endangered by Saul, who was not only his king but David’s father-in-law. Saul threw his spear at David multiple times, and chased him through the wilderness.

Facing a giant on the battlefield on any single day is relatively easy, compared to years of someone making your life a living hell. Imagine years of having a close relative hot on your heels for your blood!

David also brought copious amounts of heartache into his own life. He conspired to kill one of his best friends (Uriah) – a man who was willing to die for him – prompted by his desire to cover up his sexual misdemeanour, which resulted in the pregnancy of this same man’s wife (Bathsheba). His actions produced some of the saddest chapters in the Bible.

After that, David’s family disintegrated into rape, coup, murder, and shame. And who was to blame? David. His youthful battle with Goliath probably seemed like heaven in comparison to the familial hell that came as a result of David’s stupidity.

I realise it’s not always the giants, the obvious enemies, and the clear battlefields that prove most exhausting and dangerous for us. It’s the ongoing, subtle, seductive, minute things in life that wear us out – the things that no one else sees.

The toxic work environment, the unhappy spouse or marriage we feel trapped in, the rebellious kids that bring heartache, chronic sickness, backstabbing, and most of all, the destructive decisions we keep making, although we should’ve learned our lesson years ago.

But what did David do?

It’s not so much what he did, but what he acknowledged he could not do. Read his psalms. Over and over, David tells God, in so many words, “I can’t do this. I can’t handle this. You, dear God, You alone can help and rescue me.”

“You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8)
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive” (Psalm 124:1-3)

“For God alone my soul waits… He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress… For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him” (Psalm 62:1-5)
Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” (2 Samuel 24:14)

Can you hear what David is saying? He acknowledged that it was the Lord who had preserved him all this while. It was the Lord’s mercies that kept him safe. David did not pray, “Boost my self-confidence, help me to believe in myself so that I may invoke all the strength within me to conquer every problem.”

Rather, time and again, David fixed his eyes on the Lord, humbled himself and prayed for mercy. And this should be the posture of our hearts. Mercy is at the heart of the psalms, for mercy is at the heart of God. The Mercy Seat was the most important furniture in Moses’ Tabernacle – the greatest revelation of Yahweh.

Mercy is our only hope. We must acknowledge that we can’t move on without the Lord. Mercy protected David on the battlefield. It saved David when he wrecked his life, his family, and the lives of many others. And mercy – the mercy of our Father in Jesus Christ – will alone save us. We need to remember that God’s mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.


Asst. Pastor Elijah Chan

The Seed of Greatness

Many years ago, I went on a ministry trip to a neighbouring country. I was to speak at a youth meeting on the third evening and really struggled with what to say to the young people. Interestingly, I had a dream the night before that. I was in a school assembly full of students. A speaker was expounding on ‘The Seed of Greatness’. I only heard the title and woke up.

I pondered about it, prayed, researched a little, and managed to craft a message just in time for the meeting. I wished I had heard the rest of the message, but the revelation contained in the title was powerful enough.

Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.’ Inherently, people desire to make an impact with their lives because we’re created with the read more…

All We Like Sheep (Not Shrek the Sheep)

I came across this amusing but true story about a New Zealand Merino sheep named Shrek who escaped from the farm he was raised on because he wanted to avoid being sheared.

Merino sheep are raised for their prized wool that needs to be sheared once a year because, unlike other sheep variety, Merinos lack the ability to shed wool by themselves and need to be shorn by farmers.

This sheep in question ran away from the farm and spent over six years hiding in caves. When finally spotted by farmers, Shrek’s fur was so thick he could hardly stand under the weight of his own fleece. An average Merino fleece weighs about 4.5kg but this escapee’s weighed 27kg, enough to make suits for 20 men! The overgrown fleece also covered his eyes, read more…

One Year On

It has been exactly a year since Circuit Breaker measures were put in place in Singapore. Never before in our history as a nation has there been a lockdown as such. I doubt any of us had experienced anything like this before either.

For two months, most of us had to stay home except for essential activities and exercise. This wasn’t just happening here in Singapore but most of the world was experiencing something similar in different degrees.

With the lockdown, came new norms. We had to work from home, cook meals more often, and our kids had to get used to home-based learning. Masks became a common thing. Churches had to be shut. The country literally came to a standstill.

A year on, things have reopened substantially, but there are still many things that have not been normalised. We’re read more…

Lion or Lamb?

“Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah… has prevailed… And I looked, and behold… stood a Lamb as though it has just been slain.” Revelation 5:5-6

In Revelation 5:5, John describes a vision of Jesus as a powerful, fearful, yet majestic Lion. As his knocking knees buckled, verse 6 says he lifted his eyes and Jesus had been mystically transformed into a gentle, irresistibly approachable Lamb.

So which is Jesus, a Lion or a Lamb? How we answer this question is much more than a theological matter. Our perception of Who Jesus is and how He interacts with us has far-reaching implications for how we live. It can also directly impact our ability to stand firm in our faith as the darkness around us increases in this hour.

In truth, our finite, natural minds tend to latch on to read more…

Journey of a Christian

Mankind’s journey began at the creation of Adam and Eve. The Christian faith started with a couple named Abram and Sarai, from whom the lineage of our Lord Jesus was traced.

The journey of Abram was called out by God because He chose to raise a peculiar people to reveal Himself as God, to the nations. This was re-confirmed in Exodus when Moses re-established that same covenant, reasoning with God not to destroy His peculiar people, when He was about to and willing to start all over with Moses.

From the Ur of the Chaldeans to the land of Philistines, from Egypt to the Wilderness, and onwards to the Promised land. From riches to dependency, from the populous to being out of the ordinary. From a culture of the powerful to the powerless in society.

Both departed from a supreme read more…

A Just Man

In Matthew 1:18-19 concerning the virgin birth of Mary, Joseph was referred to as ‘a just man’ (‘And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.’)

What does it mean to be called ‘just’? Such a phrase usually refers to a person who obeys the law and applies rules fairly to all. From the context in that passage, the book of Deuteronomy 22:23 states that, ‘If a betrothed virgin meets a man in the city and lies with him, the two of them are to be stoned.’

But Matthew 1:18-19 affirms that, because Joseph was ‘just’, he decided to break the law of Moses and divorce Mary quietly rather than shame her. He extended mercy and grace.

Interesting.

Isaiah the prophet painted a prophetic picture of a suffering Servant read more…

A Lamb For Every Household

It was with great joy and gratitude to the Lord that I witnessed the baptism of my father recently. When I first got saved 23 years ago, I was the first believer in my family. My parents were of another faith and were really upset with me when I got water baptised. But I’m so glad they both gave their lives to the Lord and are water baptised.

Maybe some of us have been praying for years – and even decades – for our family’s salvation. Being amidst brokenness and sin at home, it can often seem like our prayers are not being answered. There were moments I felt this way. It was a long, tough journey for me and I learned some valuable lessons along the way.

A vital lesson is that God wasn’t just dealing with my family read more…

When Daddy Is Angry

The Apostle Paul painted two sides to God’s character in Romans 11:22, ‘Consider then the goodness and severity of God…’ We’re often familiar with the goodness of God – singing and reciting “God is good all the time.” But let’s also consider His sternness. If we want to truly know who God is, and not simply have a self-conceived image of Him, we need to consider both His goodness and severity, His mercy and judgment, His love and wrath. 

It’s hard to relate to a God who’s angry, as anger is a human emotion and a mostly negative one. Divine anger is not the same as human anger. God is slow to anger (Exodus 34:6) and allows us the chance and time to change, as seen in Romans 2:4 – ‘Do you think lightly of the riches of his kindness and tolerance and read more…

Sing, O Barren!

Scripture is full of paradoxes. The poor are made rich, the weak strong, the humble lifted up. In reading the Word, we’re continually confronted with real life stories of situations which are downright shocking.

Seas and rivers part. City walls fall flat. Donkeys talk. Magi from distant lands travel for months following a star representing the arrival of a long-awaited Lord and King, only to find him wrapped in strips of cloth, a baby bedded in an animal’s feeding trough. And all of these examples pale before the anomaly of the Cross.

This past year has also been rife with paradoxes. With churches closing their doors and physical gatherings prohibited or scaled down, one would have predicted a drop in membership and a dramatic decline in offerings. While challenges and hardships have been real, we now have the benefit of read more…

My Running Craze

Can I be obsessive? For sure. In fact, when I get into something, I’m often obsessive about it. My latest obsession has to do with running. Now, if you know anything about me, I hate running. It was my bane during the time I was doing my military service.

You see, long-distance running is pure torture. It isn’t a short stab of pain but a numbing continuous agony that needs to be sustained for a long time. Yet I’ve taken to running with a vengeance in the last couple of weeks, clocking anywhere between 25-35km a week.

While my timing isn’t anything to brag about, I’ve discovered somewhat of a joy in running at a steady pace for a longer period of time.
 
Let me romanticise about running, about how it mirrors life and the needed elements read more…

The Broken-down Wall

It’s a time of festivities with Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day over this weekend, but celebrations will be muted because of the continued Covid restrictions.

Should I reflect upon culture, tradition, family, love, but I was thinking about the broken-down wall. Perhaps there has been complacency, too much feasting when God is looking to build, reinforce and strengthen the wall of His Church and the believer in this time.

It has often been proposed that the Church should be without walls and we might have heard this comment that when a wall is erected, it will keep people out.

God loves and has great compassion for the person on the other side of the wall and we need to re-process if we think we’ve erected the wall to keep them out! If we understand anything of God’s heart, we read more…

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