In those days there lived in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin a man named Kish. He is a wealthy man and has a son named Saul. Saul is “a tall, well-built young man who stood head and shoulders above everyone in Israel” (1 Samuel 9:2). A very grown-up adolescent with beautiful looks. In search of a few donkeys, this young hero passes through the village where Samuel is and that’s how they meet. The prophet heard from God the day before:“Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from Benjamin. You will anoint him as prince over my people Israel.” (1 Samuel 9:16). This divine assignment also contains an enormous promise about the future. Samuel speaks for God:“He will deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines, for I have listened to their plight and heard their cry for help.” Saul is apparently God’s answer to his people’s cry for help over the oppression of the Philistines. It is his heavenly calling to expel and utterly conquer this enemy. Samuel introduces Saul to Israel with the words:“There is none like him in all the people!” (1 Samuel 10:24) and the people shout, ‘Long live the king!’ Years later when the two armies face each other in 1 Samuel 17 you see Goliath on the side of the Philistines. It is visible from a great distance due to its striking length. Every Israeli soldier sees him towering above all the others across the valley. Yet you now realize that God’s people also had someone who stood head and shoulders above all others. Perhaps not a giant of six cubits, but a great one with a unique calling on his life to eliminate this hostile people. Saul had won many battles in the meantime, but this would be the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy about his life . It was created and conceived for this direct duel with Goliath. But he didn’t go.A woman as a reward The moment Goliath first proposed single combat, all eyes on Israel’s side were probably focused directly on Saul. In any case, his soldiers hoped that the giant’s imposing appearance would not frighten their leader. But the tall king and experienced warrior hid in his tent. The intimidating shouts of that uncircumcised Philistine impressed him more than the prophetic words of God over his life. He walked away, just like everyone else. In this dire situation, Saul chooses a different solution. Instead of fighting, he offers a hefty reward to whoever does go. He promises lavish gifts to the brave man who dares to walk into the valley. Soon the camp is buzzing.‘Whoever defeats him will be showered with riches by the king. Moreover, he gets the king’s daughter as a wife and his family is exempt from tribute and corvée. (verse 25). This is the way for an ordinary guy to get rich quick and marry a princess. Who among these male fighters wouldn’t want that? If you really think about it, you can only come to the conclusion that this is a cowardly act on Saul’s part. Instead of showing courage, he tries to buy off his responsibility. That’s called passing the buck. Don’t stand up for the assignment God has given you and try to persuade others to do it for you. It’s almost bribery. The result is that the people of God are taunted, belittled and harassed for forty days. Just imagine that Saul had attacked immediately on the first day, knowing that God had called him for this. That would have prevented a lot of misery, fear and feelings of powerlessness among the men of Israel. Then this battle would have turned out completely differently and would have been completed within a day. But unfortunately.A prophetic word about your life is one thing, acting on it is another . God has plans for your life. He speaks, encourages and encourages. The Bible is full of His promises, but He asks you to have the courage to respond. God seeks faith, as with the Roman officer in Matthew 9 who said, “Speak but one word.” This man trusted the words of Jesus more than the circumstances.Who then? Now that it is certain that Saul will not attack the giant, the question is: ‘Who will?’ Abner was probably next in the line of candidates. He was Saul’s cousin and commander in chief of the army. The general of Israel. When this leader of the troops is killed years later, David tells his soldiers:‘Realize that Israel has lost a great commander today’ (2 Samuel 3:38). According to David, there is no other like Abner in Israel. Since Saul doesn’t go, it’s Abner’s turn. But he too does not dare and, like the king, flees eighty times from Goliath’s request to fight. Even Jonathan, who previously defeated a section of Philistines single-handedly, fails here. The soldiers see Saul, Abner, and Jonathan trembling with fear. They look around in confusion, looking for someone who dares. Perhaps Eliab, David’s eldest brother? David’s three big brothers are in the service of Saul’s army. When the prophet Samuel comes to David’s home to anoint a new king shortly before this battle, his eye immediately falls on this Eliab. ‘That must be him,’ he thinks to himself. But the Lord said to Samuel:‘Don’t go by his appearance and his tall figure’ (1 Samuel 16:7). Eliab had a large figure and an impressive appearance, but he also did not dare. Who should go then?“During the entire reign of Saul there was fierce fighting against the Philistines. That is why he always looked for heroic and courageous men and hired them.” (1 Samuel 14:52). Apparently Saul’s entire army consists only of bigwigs, fighters and guys. Brutal guys with big muscles, but they all lack real faith. None of these men accept the Philistine giant’s invitation. Nobody!Make it bigger Everyone in Israel’s army sees (as the text states) ‘that man over there’, but not one of them looks at God. The topic of conversation was the generous rewards that Saul promised, not the reliable promises of God.What you pay attention to grows . Look at the giant and he becomes more and more imposing. Look to God and He becomes stronger and stronger. That is exactly what we do when we magnify God. God himself does not increase an inch when we worship Him, but by focusing our attention on Him, He increases in us. In English they say: ‘Let’s magnify the Lord’. Translated, that means ‘Let’s magnify God’, just like under a magnifying glass. God himself is not enlarged, but his image in us becomes stronger and thus his influence in our lives increases. Where you pay attention determines your thinking and ultimately your actions.If your focus is not right, you will talk about the wrong topics and make the wrong choices . You see it happening with Saul’s soldiers.It’s God’s bill When we wanted to move from Drachten to Veenendaal three years ago, many people lovingly discouraged us. ‘The housing market is bad and prices in the north are much lower than in Veenendaal’, we regularly heard. People seem to like to talk about everything that is wrong or wrong. Truly faith building! Despite the housing crisis, we had a strong belief that God was sending us to the middle of the country. “If He sends us, He will also provide us with a home,” was our credo. In America they say: ‘If it is God’s will, it is God’s bill! ‘ If it is God’s plan, then the associated bill is also His. We went for it and the sign ended up in the front yard. God has done miracles. Within two days we had buyers for our home in Drachten. At the same time, after some searching in Veenendaal we found a suitable house for our family and our work, but the price was still 30,000 euros too high. We knew that God would give us this nice corner house and by some miracle the price dropped to the amount we had determined in advance. But then the major renovation came on top and we no longer had the money for that. Karin had asked me a few weeks earlier to call a contractor friend. He had expanded our living room in Drachten at the time and maybe he could help us again now. I didn’t dare call the man. Why would he come from a village above Drachten to renovate our house in Veenendaal? Finally I called him. I reluctantly asked if he would be willing to do anything for us. His answer was overwhelming: ‘Martin, I have been waiting for your call for a while. God told me to do whatever you asked me to do. Amazing! A short time later, this special contractor showed up on the doorstep of our new home in Veenendaal with two employees. For three weeks they gave everything they had and completely stripped and rebuilt our house. Even our contractor’s glassmonger cooperated by providing free double glazing for all our windows.When God speaks, you better listen. Otherwise you will miss the breakthrough that God wants to give .This blog is an excerpt from the book ‘Winning for the King’ by Martin Koornstra.If you want to read further,order here then the book.