Choir Notes

Peace of Heart

From Music and The Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell
Program 1400

Sometimes peace comes in the most unexpected ways. A long time ago, when the ancient Israelites were battling the Philistines in the valley of Elah, peace must have seemed impossible. Each day for 40 days, the Philistines’ nine-and-a-half-foot giant, Goliath, wearing a helmet of brass and heavy armor, challenged the Israelites to fight, but the Israelites were afraid to take any action, immobilized with fear.1 Surrender and slavery to the Philistines seemed to be the only hope for peace.

But young David showed them another way. He assured King Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of [Goliath]; thy servant will go and fight.”2 David, a mere boy, refused the king’s armor and sword and refused to believe that he would be defeated. Instead, he carried the slingshot he used to defend his father’s sheep and, with great confidence born of faith, faced the giant. The rest is history. He was victorious, and his people at last had peace.

We all face giants of other forms that can fill us with fear—giants that might make peace seem out of reach for a time. Perhaps we need to have an important conversation that we’ve been putting off; perhaps we need to seek forgiveness from someone we love. Maybe we need to seek medical attention, overcome a personal weakness, or pay a mounting debt. It may be tempting to do as the Israelites did and cower in fear on the other side of the hill. But how much peace did they have there?

Peace is not just the absence of adversity; peace of heart comes when we face up to the battles of life all around us. Even when circumstances seem overwhelming, we can do as David did and, with faith unshakable, confront our problems and face our fears, depending on the Lord for strength.

1 See 1 Samuel 17:1–11.
2 1 Samuel 17:32.

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