How Believers Should Live

Posted on October 25, 2021

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By David Ettinger

Thunderstruck
I had read the verse several dozen times over the years, and yet, this time, it struck me like a thunderbolt.

The account was that of David and Goliath, and the two adversaries had come face to face. David, the young shepherd-turned-warrior, was filled with the zeal of Yahweh as he addressed the towering Philistine. He declared:

This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands (1 Samuel 17:46-47).

What struck me as if I never read it before were those few words “… that all the earth may know there is a God in Israel …” Of course, in context, David was being Israel-focused, and I always read the verse this way. But this time – perhaps I’m more reflective as I get older – I saw this phrase in a more personal and intimate light.

Deeper Meaning
Besides being part of one of the more exciting accounts in the Bible, I discovered a much deeper meaning in this phrase than I ever realized before. I found myself pausing at this phase, pondering it, and them trimming it a bit to read, “that all the earth may know that there is a God.”

It suddenly struck me that this should be the motto of my life; that this is the way I should live my life, in fact, the way all believers in the Lord Jesus should live their lives. I asked myself, “Am I living my life in a way that all those I come in contact with may know that there is a God.”

I knew the answer was “no.” David’s desire in slaying Goliath was not foremost to rescue Israel, but to proclaim to the world the existence of Yahweh. I like to think I’m living this way, but I can’t say I am.

torch

A Common Theme
Of course, the Bible is replete with verses instructing God’s people to live lives that glorify Him. Jesus does so in Matthew 5:16 when He says: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

This is certainly a variation of David’s desire “that all the earth may know that there is a God.” The apostle Paul is of the same mind when he writes: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).

The gist of these two New Testament verses is that our lives are not solely ours, but belong to the One who redeemed us and that everything we do – both good and bad – reflect on Him. In fact, Paul tells us as much when he writes: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 19-20).

The Way to Live
The essence of the above verses takes us back to David, who is basically telling Goliath, “In slaying you, I will be proclaiming the glory of Yahweh. Once word gets out of this, the earth will know that there is a God.”

For David, individual actions may have been things to do, but proclaiming to the world the existence of Yahweh was the way to live. We should be living our lives in such a way (and the Bible gives us all the instruction we need in how to do this) “that all the earth may know that there is a God.”

Are you living this way? I’m sure not. However, the Lord isn’t through with us yet, and if we commit this goal to God – that we live in such a way “that all the earth may know that there is a God” – He can certainly help mold us to do just that.

May the Lord bless you in your desire to live every day for Him!