Saturday, December 15, 2012

You're not David. You're Israel.

So there's this guy.  His name is Jefferson "Jeff" Bethke.  He's one of those "I'm just a nobody who accidentally became famous because a video I put on Youtube went viral" stories.  I saw his two biggest videos a while back and shared them on Facebook, but never put too much thought into them.  Well, the other day I was going back through my Facebook activity log, found those two posts, and rewatched the videos.  I felt this urge to go to his Youtube channel, and yeah, long story short, I've gone through every one of his videos.

There's a lot of great stuff there, even in the interview/Q&A videos, so if you need something to do, I highly recommend checking out his channel.  This guy has an obvious passion for the Lord, and it's nice to see someone around my age who is able to be totally honest about the Gospel and Jesus but do it without coming off as condescending or bringing himself the glory.

Like I said, there's a lot of stuff to think about and process and learn from in his videos, but one in particular really jumped out at me because it dealt with an issue/idea that I've been faced with a lot in my life, and Jeff takes it all from a new perspective that I had never even thought about before I heard him say it.

The story of David and Goliath is one of the most talked-about passages in the Bible (at least, in my opinion).  Even most of my friends who aren't Christian know the story.  Little guy (David) has so much faith in God that he's able to take down the giant (Goliath) with a single stone.  And the overwhelming majority of people who teach this story wrap it up basically with the message that if you just have enough faith, you can conquer the giants in your life.  I heard that over and over and over again in my childhood.  If I just prayed harder, I wouldn't be so sick.  If I believed in God strongly enough, I'd be able to handle the bullies at school without being depressed.  If I could just be like David, every problem in my life would work out fine.  Now, personally, all that did was make me feel like a complete and utter failure because no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I prayed, everything was still in shambles.

Here's what Jeff's video made me realize:  People who talk about this story tend to forget about the third character, Israel.  Israel's the guy standing off to the side basically going "Oh no, we're gonna die, we're gonna die, I'm so scared, we're gonna die!"  Doesn't that sound a LOT more like humans than the little guy conquering a big giant all on his own?  Israel was the doubter; he knew he couldn't defeat the giant, but David knew he could.  From Jeff's own words, Jesus makes a way better David than we do.  Jesus is David.  We are Israel.  Jesus conquered the giant in every one of our lives, sin, when he died on the Cross.  Trying to make any of us David goes against the fundamental idea that none of us can do this on our own - we need our Savior to win the battle for us.  And Jesus did just that.  When He said, "It is finished" HE MEANT IT.  He cut off the giant's head, he conquered sin, when he took every ugly piece of us with him to the Cross.  David was the unlikely guy to defeat Goliath, Jesus' death on the Cross was the unlikely way to defeat sin.

I don't know about you, but for me, that is a relief of EPIC proportions.  I mean, hello, I'm a self-proclaimed perfectionist.  All you have to do is go up to that search box in the top of the sidebar and type in perfectionist and you can see how many times I've mentioned that word.  So being told straight out that I don't have to conquer the giant, that I don't even have to try to be like David, takes a huge weight off my shoulders.  The giant is already dead.  I am free.  You are free.  Thanks be to God.

Here's the video if you care to watch it.  It's about 14 minutes, but totally worth it.

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