Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Do You Have A Giant

Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands." - 1 Samuel 17:45-47

For many times, I’ve hesitated to speak about the story of David and Goliath. Figuring it was a story that most everyone had heard before, I figured that I certainly could offer no more than has already been said about the story. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to some great sermons in the car while driving to work each morning – a blessing that I’ve certainly come to look forward to. And the other morning, I heard a great lesson about this same story. Like many of you, I’ve heard this story many times, and perhaps heard the same points as this most recent time. But isn’t God’s word wonderful in that each time we hear it, God reveals something new to us that we’ve never thought about before? God’s word is alive and searches the heart to know what we need, when we need it.

This time, God revealed through His word a story that was awesome to me. It’s a story for me, about who should fight my battles – me or God. It’s a story for me, about who I trust more – me or God. It’s a story for me, about who I fear more – others or God. It’s a story for me, about who I should listen to and follow – others or God. It’s a story for me, about facing giants – and how much power they have over me.

The story is laid out in 1 Samuel 17 and is told that the army of the Philistines lined up on one side of a mountain facing a valley on which the Israelites lined up across the valley on the opposing mountain side. The giant Goliath came out and with loud and proud talk, harassed the Israelites and challenged them to fight a one-on-one battle with him. “If anyone can defeat me, we’ll call it quits and serve you. If I defeat your champion, then all of you can serve us. There’s no need for all of us to fight, only one of you and me can settle this and the rest of us and you can be spared.” Goliath did this for 40 days. Goliath had already defeated the whole army of God’s people on the very first day. Every man had given up. Every man had already determined that someone else besides himself should head out there to defeat Goliath, but it wasn’t going to be “me”. Every man had also listened to the other man, and that man was telling him there’s not a man in our camp who can defeat this Goliath. We’re all doomed. Can’t you just hear God sigh?

God had already been working in the life of David. God had already been showing His young servant – a man after His own heart, that He will work through him. David loved it to. David loved to be used by God. David was going to let God use him again, and this time God was going to show a lot of people a great lesson. In fact, God is still using David even today, to teach us the same lessons.

Goliath had already defeated God’s army, the Israelites by his bluffs. Goliath was dressed for battle, wearing all the proper armor, helmet, leg and arm guards, shield, sword, and spear in hand. Goliath was an awesome sight to behold. One look at him, and everyone cowered in fear with trembling. Then Goliath spoke and intimidated them even further.

The Israelites also defeated themselves from the beginning in the fact that never once in the story did they call upon God to rescue them from this champion. Never once in the story did they call back to Goliath in the name of the LORD. But in every time, they considered Goliath too big of a match for just one person, too big for themselves individually, so much so that this battle was over even before it began. The Israelites also defeated each other because as each man looked at each other, they admitted that this champion was too much for their friend or partner to go up too as well. In fact, see what King Saul told David in 1 Samuel 17:33 "You are not able to go..." This is the saying that went throughout the whole camp. “You are not able to go, and I am not able to go. Who is able to go?” They were defeated and defeated themselves.

But God used David to show the Israelites and the Philistines that with man nothing is possible, but with God all things are possible. Luke 18:27 David also would not allow anyone to tell him otherwise. David would not listen to the cancerous talk that had filled the camp with fear and strangled it from allowing God to work through them. No, David knew that with God’s help, God would defeat this small giant, because David worshipped a God that was much bigger than this small giant. David worshipped a God that made the heavens and the earth, and there was nothing that could stand in His way. 1 Samuel 17:37

We know the rest of the story. We know that God used such a small boy, a boy that men did not put their trust in, to defeat a giant. David put his trust in God, and God worked wonders that day through him. Do we face giants in our own lives? Do we allow ourselves to convince us into failure? Do we allow others to convince us into failure? Do we turn everything over to God and trust in Him to fight our battles? Do I trust in myself more than I do in God, thereby defeating myself even before the battle has started? Do I fear what others might say or do I fear what God might say? Whom should I fear more? Do I listen to and follow those who trust more in themselves, more than they do in God? Do I realize that God is in control, and there is no one bigger than God?

Turn your giant over to God, and give your complete faith in Him. Do like David did. Read this story again and remember it. God left us this story for that very reason.

1 comment:

  1. Great reminder Paul of how we are "more" than conquerors with God's help. I love this story as it gives hope to the hopeless and strength to the weak. Thanks for sharing Brother.