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Individuality (18 of 23)
Series: The Hope of the Gospel
1 Samuel 17:38-39
You remember all about this old Scripture story. It was only after much persuasion that Saul consented to let David go and fight against Goliath at all. But when once he had given consent, his next care was that David should be properly equipped for the encounter. Now, Saul had only one notion of a soldier's equipment, and so he produced for David the coat of mail and the helmet of brass which, apparently, he himself was accustomed to wear, and the heavy sword which he himself was accustomed to wield. But when David put them on, he found Saul's armor an encumbrance, and not a help. It did not fit him. It impeded and hampered his movements. He could not fight in it. So he had the courage to lay aside the helmet and the coat of mail and the heavy sword and to say frankly to the king, 'I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them'; and he issued forth to his encounter with Goliath in his simple shepherd's dress, and with only one weapon in his hand-that sling which he so well knew how to use.
Now, it is not about Saul and David and this historic combat that I wish to speak in this sermon. Saul and David are types. Saul stands, shall I say, for the desire for uniformity. David stands for the assertion of individuality. And it is about the necessity of resisting the tendency to uniformity and insisting upon our own individuality if we are to be successful workers and fighters that I want to speak for a few minutes.
The Passion for Uniformity
Look first at Saul's action in the story. Saul had the notion that there was practically only one method of fighting, and that was the one to which he himself was accustomed. He thought there was only one equipment for war, and that was the regulation equipment of helmet and coat of mail and heavy sword. He thought that Goliath could be fought only by the use of one set of weapons, and those were the weapons he himself employed ...
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