Empty Armor

“And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.”

– 1 Samuel 17:38-39

Saul wore his armor  to cover up his weak courage. Saul’s physique and armor made him stand out in a crowd, but if you were to test the heart inside, you would find it only hollow and empty.

Saul wanted to be brave, so he patterned his suit after the imposing enemy. Goliath had a helmet of brass (1 Samuel 17:5), so that’s what Saul wore. Saul didn’t see that the giant lived to defy the God of Israel, he only saw a shiny suit of armor, and he admired it so much he copied it for himself.

Saul wanted David to wear it as well. He had become convinced by watching the enemy for 40 days that impressive armor was the key to success. David was not deceived by the giant’s display, nor did he have anything to hide. Saul’s imitated protections only hindered David, and he didn’t trust Saul’s copied program either- it had not been tested on the battlefield.

Sometimes we put on a ‘suit of armor’ to appear to be something we are not. We try to get others to ‘buy-in’ to our system only to pad our self-reliance. We become secure in our circular reasoning: the more people we have around us, agreeing with us, admiring our armor, the more confidence we place in the man-made system. Self-confidence is not trust in God, and is no replacement for it. Self-confidence is a fragile arrogance that thrives on our opinion of ourselves.

The Lord Jesus has a way of separating us from an artificial attitude. The word of God is quick and powerful, and it will pierce to the dividing asunder of “thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)  After rebelling against the Lord, Saul ends his own life. First Chronicles chapter ten records how the Philistines find his body, and take his armor to display in the house of Dagon their idol.

“And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.” 1 Chronicles 10:10

Saul’s body is rescued and given a proper burial in Jabesh-gilead, but the pile of empty armor is left behind. The truth is, the armor always was empty. What a sad legacy to leave behind!

Are you wearing the world’s armor? Are you copying a program to make up for a lack of confidence in the Lord? Ask the Saviour to help you, comfort strengthen and keep you. He is willing to aid you; He will carry you through!

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