THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
EQUIPPING SERVANT LEADERS
1 Samuel 17:32-51
This episode of David and Goliath has much to teach us as
First, we face a formidable enemy but must never lose
Israelites were deathly afraid of Goliath. And why not? He
was nine feet nine inches tall and had formidable weapons
(see v.4-7)! Saul himself was greatly intimidated, and was
even so desperate that on just hearsay, he was willing to
see what the non-soldier youth had to say. “Then David
spoke to Saul: ‘My lord should not lose heart.’”
today are being overwhelmed by a tsunami of evil and we face
formidable forces of the enemy. For example, in the fight
against the culture of death, we face the might of the US
government under Obama, the liberal leaders of the European
Union, elements of the United Nations under its Secretary
General, billionaire depopulationists, international mainstream
media, and so on. They are all trying to destroy faith, family
and life. We don’t have the money, the political clout,
the secular influence, the economic come-ons and the manpower.
So many good people don’t even bother to fight, seeing
a vain struggle.
such, Saul told David, “You cannot go up against this
Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while
he has been a warrior from his youth.” (v.33). In other
words, this is a lost cause. There is nothing we can do but
to accept that we cannot win. How ironic and tragic, as God
had already determined the outcome. In the same way, Jesus
has already won the victory. So we must never lose heart.
Second, this is God’s fight, and God will raise
the needed warriors who can win His victory.
said to Saul, “Let your servant go and fight this Philistine.”
(v.33). In truth, the harvest is rich .... but the laborers
are few. The victory is ours for the taking, but we do not
see this nor do we respond to God’s call. Thus, God
has already won the victory, the harvest is prepared, but
we need to be the workers to bring in the harvest. We need
to respond. “Let your servant go and fight this Philistine.”
fact, we need to be indignant at the way the forces of the
enemy are swarming over God’s people. “This uncircumcised
Philistine will be as one of them, because he has insulted
the armies of the living God.” (v.36b). But instead,
what do we have in our Church? Political correctness. Not
wanting to offend by talking about sin. David called it as
it isthis uncircumcised Philistine! For many in our Church
however, including bishops, we just want to be nice, to be
accommodating (even of sin). As such, sin becomes tolerated,
and the goal is just to have a nice, friendly, fuzzy-feeling
type of relationships among the people of God. Where is, for
example, the indignation of Paul when he told the Corinthians
to deliver the immoral person to Satan, to purge the evil
person from their midst (see 1 Cor 5:1-13)? As it is, some
in our Church say, for example, to welcome those in same-sex
relationships and not drive them away by talking of their
Third, if this is God’s fight, and He has already
defeated the evil one, then God will equip and empower His
warriors to claim that victory that has already been won.
continued: ‘The same Lord who delivered me from the
claws of the lion and the bear will deliver me from the hand
of the Philistine.” (v.37a). We already know how it
will all end. Jesus will come in glory at the end of time,
having already defeated the enemy. We are a victorious people.
Why then do we act as a defeated people? And be resigned to
the enemy who now lords it over us?
course it is a continuing struggle and we will still experience
difficulties, setbacks, trials, suffering and pain. This is
part of it, a product of serving God and entering into spiritual
warfare. But we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
We know that we can finish the race and claim the prize from
on high. So we must endure and persevere and never give up.
We must even rejoice in tribulation and oppression, because
that shows we are really in the thick of the war, and it redounds
to our benefit in strengthening us in solid Christian virtues,
moving us forward to holiness.
Fourth, as we are called to the New Evangelization, we
need to have a fresh vision and new ways of doing evangelization,
and not just stick to the old methods and ways.
had been to many battles, and he knew how to be a warrior.
So he directed David to fight Goliath as such. “Then
Saul dressed David in his own tunic, putting a bronze helmet
on his head and arming him with a coat of mail.” (v.38).
What was the result? “He walked with difficulty”
cannot just stick to the old ways, the old methods, even the
old ministries and Church organizations. The reality is that,
with our parishes very busy and very rich in ministries, we
are losing Catholics by the day! We cannot just do more of
the same. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is
doing the same things over and over again and expecting a
different result. How very true! That is why we are called
to the New Evangelization. The challenge is to expand our
vision, or to even radically alter our established paradigms.
is why the Holy Spirit has raised the Live Christ, Share Christ
Fifth, we fight not according to the ways of the world,
which in its own milieu are proven and tested, but according
to the ways of God, which to the world seem foolish and impractical.
told Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear
and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord
of hosts” (v.45a). While our enemies curse and hate
us, we bless and love them. While the world retaliates in
kind, or even more, to insult or injury, we turn the other
cheek. While practically everyone gossips, we guard and tame
our tongue. While Christians like short homilies, we must
long for long (not long-winded) expositions on the word of
God. While Christians are immersed in secular pursuits, we
make time (and I say make time) to serve, without counting
the cost or the stipend. You get the drift?
fight as holy warriors. “All this multitude,
too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the
Lord saves.” (v.47). We are into spiritual and not secular
Sixth, we must go off to battle with confidence.
confidently said to Goliath, “For the battle belongs
to the Lord, who shall deliver you into our hands.”
(v.46). The whole Israelite army had no such confidence. Every
day Goliath taunted them and they cowered. Think about it.
We surrender to Satan and his hordes, when we are the people
of God! We give up the fight, when the victory is already
of course we should not be over-confident. That is not a virtue,
as we need to remain humble and know that apart from God we
can do nothing. Our confidence is in Him. He will provide
us whatever we need.
Seventh, we must be aggressive in bringing the fight to
the fight between David and Goliath started, “David
ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.”
(v.48b). As it is, it is the enemy that is very aggressive.
It is US government policy to force the gay agenda on all
nations, using economic and political might. The liberals
in the West are passing laws that assault pro-lifers, restrict
religious freedom, redefine what is a family, impose its evil
on others, and so on. The EU requires member-nations to accept
LGBT or else be sanctioned or expelled. The list goes on and
about us? Yes, pro-family and pro-life groups are very active,
but such has not become mainstream. It should be what the
whole Church does. As it is, we even have the enemy
within. We need more workers for the harvest. And those workers,
who become warriors in this spiritual war, must go on the
offensive and assault the dominion of the evil one in the
After all that, what then are we to say? “Blessed be
the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers
for war; my safeguard and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under
else is there? You have been chosen, called, equipped and
empowered. “Go! the Lord will be with you.” (v.37b).