I want you to think about the legacy you are building in life. This past week I spoke on 2nd Samuel 21 and God really struck me when I got to the last 7 verses of the chapter. When I read them I began thinking that a legacy was not something that I was to build when I got older but something that I need to be working on now. Let us look at these verses: 15 Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”
David is getting older now, but it seems that he wants to fight. He got into trouble with Bathsheba when he didn’t go to war and so this time he goes out to the battle. What we see though is that in the battle he starts to get tired. What we need to understand is that even a great man of God grows old and will begin to fade physically but that does not mean they have to spiritually. As you get older – you should be growing spiritually even though your physical body is fading! As the years went on, as they do with all of us, David became unable to physically fight as he once did but spiritually he could be strong! Let us not fade spiritually but let us be soaring spiritually the older we get!
What we see here is that in this battle against the Philistines, David’s life was endangered when he tired in battle against a descendant of Goliath. When David’s strength failed him, God protected him through the strength of others. God will allow us to be in places where we need the strength of others and where we need His strength. Do you allow others to help? Do you allow God to help you?
David then heard words he probably did not want to hear in his advanced age which was it was time for David to retire from the field of battle. His season as a warrior had passed. To everything there is a season and his season has passed. This is true in life – everything is season and changes except for the message of gospel. Methods to share the gospel change and should change to reach new people but the Message of the Gospel always remains true and the same because it is unchangeable. Let us be using every method we can to get the true message of the gospel out!
Then we really hit the legacy verses: 18 Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among the descendants of the giant. 19 There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 There was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also had been born to the giant. 21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. 22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
This description of victory over the Philistine giants shows that Israel could slay giants without David. What we see is David has modeled for a generation and now that generation has stepped up and become a generation of giant killers. There was a time in Israel’s history when a giant made the entire army tremble in their boots. Until a young man stepped up and took the challenge. Now that young man has set the example for others and instead of one giant-killer in David, you have a whole host of them. In these men we see that they accomplished heroic deeds and when David was finished fighting giants, they stepped in and began fighting giants. God will continue to rise up leaders when the leaders of the previous generation pass from the scene. When we are faithful to God and to His Word – He will raise up leaders! If we are not faithful to God and his Word – we will see leadership fade away and people not want to step up and the church itself will begin to fade away. We need to be faithful to God and his Word so that we show others how to lead with integrity and faith in God. David lead by example and he got others involved – that is what we are called to do – model for others and then help them see that they can do it too. We are called to step up to the leadership tasks – God is calling you to step up, to model, to invite others to join you and then to move on to a new task when those behind you begin to show leadership.
Understand that David’s legacy lay not only in what he accomplished, but in what he left behind – a people prepared for victory. David’s triumphs were meaningful not only for himself but for others who learned victory through his teaching and example. What is the legacy that you are leaving behind? Are you leaving a legacy of destruction? Are you leaving a legacy of faith? Are you leaving a legacy of hurt feelings or a legacy of encouragement? David left a legacy of people who could take over and fight giants – how about you – what is your legacy? I want to leave a legacy behind of people who fight giants for God!
How would you describe the legacy you want to leave?