Read 1 Samuel 17:32-33,37,40-51, Ps. 144:1-2,9-10, Mark 3:1-6

“You come to me with a sword and 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.” (1 Samuel 17:42-45)

We live in a world of enemies; not even Jesus Christ was spared from enemies, and despite all the good that Jesus did, His enemies (Pharisees and Herodians) always looked out for what to use against Him. Even when they saw a man healed, their concern was that Jesus ‘broke’ the Sabbath law. For them, this crime deserves death. While others were rejoicing, they were plotting destruction.

Do not think that because you are a good person (one who strives to live righteously), you are free from enemies. It is possible that you are yet to know your enemies, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Some of those close to you may just be looking out for opportunities to launch deadly attacks (like the Pharisees who followed Jesus everywhere). How, then, are we to survive in this world of enemies?

1. Follow Your Conscience: Jesus knew they were watching Him. He knew it was a Sabbath Day, but seeing the man with the withered hand, He was forced to choose between ignoring the man (to please His critics) and curing the man (knowing they would use it against Him). Jesus chose the more difficult option. He preferred to offend his enemies than be a coward. Do you find yourself in a similar situation? Do the right thing. Stop trying to please everybody.

2. Understand and Trust Your Weapons: It is only fair that God has given us an arsenal of appropriate weapons in a world of enemies. David told Goliath, "You come to me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts.” Saul was afraid because he forgot an important weapon – Trust in God. He told David: “You cannot fight this Philistine because you are just a youth.” He tried to make David wear his armour (thinking it could offer protection), but it was too heavy for David.

Although David went with five smooth stones, his real weapon was “the name of the Lord.” Be wise, take precautions, carry a gun, pepper spray or hire bodyguards if you can, but know that your real weapon is your faith in God. Do you know that as a child of God, you have weapons better than those your enemies are relying upon? Carry your rosary with you anywhere you go and pray it every day. Wear a blessed scapular or a crucifix. If you think these things don’t work, how do you explain Goliath falling from the strike of just one stone?

3. Count Your Blessings; Celebrate Past Victories: Fear is a natural force. If you are scared, it means you are still alive. Don’t be ashamed of it. When faced with enemies, we cannot deny our fear, but the cure for fear is remembering what God has done in the past. David said: “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Do you believe God is still on your side? This is why we must count your blessings, no matter how small.

4. Every Calamity comes with a Prize: Approach the storms (brought by your enemies) with a positive attitude. God will not allow you to experience a trial unless He wants to use it to bless you. David had just been anointed king, yet he was just a musician in Saul’s palace, a shepherd and an errand boy. It seemed as though the anointing was a waste. Goliath became the mighty storm that would bring David to the limelight. When you face a storm, stop asking: “God, where are you?” instead, ask: “God, what do I stand to gain from this?” David asked his brothers: “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine?” Once you can see the prize, challenges transform into opportunities.
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, make me like David today. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Antony, Abbot. Bible Study: 1 Samuel 17:32-33,37,40-51, Ps. 144:1-2,9-10, Mark 3:1-6).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu