Tagged and Bagged
WHOSE TAG ARE YOU WEARING?
(1st Samuel 17:4-26)
I watched the movie ROOTS a long
It was about a man called KUNTA KINTE,
a Gambian boy captured and sold into
He was bought by a white man,
John Waller, whose wife renamed Kunta
“Toby Waller”. Kunta refused to be called
The Master would flog him and ask,
“What is your name?” He would respond,
“Kunta Kinte!” He would be flogged again.
“What is your name?” “Kunta Kinte!”
Another round of flogging.
After a lot of flogging and bleeding,
Kunta finally replied, “Toby Waller”.
But he never liked the name.
He didn’t want to be called by an
English name: he was a Gambian
and he didn’t want to lose that identity.
He was in a strange land with strange
They had taken away his humanity,
but he didn’t want them to take away
He felt that was the only thing he
could hold on to for as long as he could.
He finally let go when the beating got
We like tagging people.
These tags are always based on stereotypes.
And these stereotypes run deep.
In my country Nigeria, we have
different tags for several tribes, and
these tags are almost always
The Yoruba is called “Ngbati”
The Hausa is called “Aboki” or
“Sannu”, the Igbo is “Nyamiri”.
We grew up hearing this tags and
we accept them without questioning
So it has brought a lot of division
in the country, mutual suspicion is rife.
In the US, the Black and Latino are
tagged criminals: drug pushers,
murderers and thieves.
That is your default setting, until you
prove you are none of the above.
The White man tagged the Black man
The Black man sees it as derogatory.
He doesn’t like it.
He resists it like Kunta.
But I’ve seen Black movies where a
Black man meets another Black man
and he says, “What’s up, Nigger?”
The very thing he resists the White
man calling him, he calls himself.
He has grown to accept the tag!
There was a time someone called
a group of online Feminists
It was meant to be derogatory, but
they accepted it and even made
T-shirts with the name boldly
written on it.
They accepted the tag.
The irony with accepting these tags is,
with time you beginning to see yourself
as you are tagged.
The Israelite army was set to wage
a war with the Philistines.
Both armies were camped opposite
each other, waiting for the signal to
start the war.
But the Philistines decided to sell
an idea to the Israelites:
There is no need to wage a war and
waste lives. Let us just have a fight
between 2 people, one representing
Whoever loses would serve the winner.
It sounded like a good idea, the
Israelites bought it.
Until they saw Goliath, the Philistine
Now Goliath would come to the Battle
Line and say, “Am I not a Philistine and
you are SERVANTS OF SAUL?”
(1st Samuel 17:8).
Goliath tagged them “servants of Saul”!
And they bought it! He continued saying
this two times everyday for forty days.
The Israelites heard Goliath call them
“servants of Saul” consistently for
It birthed fear into them- even Saul
whose servants they were called
But David came into the scene…
And as he entered the camp, he saw
Goliath come make the same demand.
Something stirred inside David!
He refused to wear the tag everybody
else was wearing.
He refused to wear the tag everybody
else had accepted.
He simply REFUSED! And he asked,
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that
he should defy THE ARMY OF THE
David changed the narrative!
He changed the tag!
You, Goliath are not just a Philistine:
you are an UNCIRCUMCISED one!
And we are NOT Saul’s servants,
buddy- we are the Armies (plural, for
emphasis) of the Living God!
Don’t try us!
David realized perception is key.
As long as you see yourself as
servants of Saul, your strength is depleted.
But when you change focus from
Saul to God, your strength is increased.
The tag you wear is important.
Twelve men were sent to spy out
the Promised Land.
The majority submission on their
return was pathetic: “We were in
our own sight as grasshoppers,
and so we were in their sight”
- Numbers 13:33.
They tagged themselves grasshoppers!
Who does that?
Why belittle yourself?
They took the Grasshopper tag
themselves and wore it around
their own necks!
Fortunately, two of the twelve had
a different tag.
They refused the Grasshopper Tag:
Caleb submitted, “Let us go up at once,
and possess it; for we are well able
to overcome it!” (Numbers 13:30).
Joshua also submitted, “Don’t fear
the people of the land; for they are
bread for us: their defence is departed
from them and the LORD is with us: f
ear them not!” (Numbers 14:9).
The problem with tags is, they could
be very difficult to shake off.
Now, what tags are you wearing?
What have they called you that you
have accepted and you now call
What is your focus?
God or your challenges?
Do you tag yourself a grasshopper?
Do you tag yourself a servant of “Saul”?
Or do you tag yourself as
“The Armies of the Living God”?
The tag you wear will ultimately decide
the trajectory your life would take:
Those who wore the grasshopper
tag never made it into the Promised
Land. Those who refused the
grasshopper tag did.
If you want your life to go along the path
God has prepared for you, the tag
He gives must be the one around
your neck: wear it with pride!