Reading: “When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” 1 Samuel 17:11
The giant of Gath continued to menace the army of Israel twice a day for no less than forty days—a period in Scripture which is ever associated with testing. Such a protracted period served to make more apparent the impotency of a people out of touch with God. The bravest of men are no more than what God makes them.
Where was Saul who “from his shoulders and upward … was higher than any of the people” (1 Samuel 9:2)? Where was Jonathan whose “first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armour bearer made, was about twenty men” (1 Samuel 14:14)? Where was Abner, “the captain of his host” (1 Samuel 14:50) and “a valiant man” (1 Samuel 26:15)? When God does not renew a man’s courage, even the bravest become cowards. According to Proverbs 28:1 cowardice is one of the consequences of lost communion with God: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
There is a direct connection therefore between fear and communion with God. When you are walking with God your fears will be calmed. Bravery is not related to age, gender, experience, personal strength, or ingenuity; the bravest man becomes a coward without the ever-strengthening power of the Lord and “even the youths shall faint” (Isaiah 40:30).
The secret to Samson’s strength was not just his hair, but the consecration behind his flowing locks. He lost his locks because he lost his consecration, and his locks grew back because of renewed consecration.
Let us feel that we are men of another mold than to be afraid, that believe in God. We do not know how to spell “cowardice.” —C. H. Spurgeon