1 Samuel 17:1-51
Read - 1 Samuel 17:32-37
Saints - 3; Giants - 0
Intro: These verses tell us of the classic match up
between the Israelites and the Philistines. These two
peoples were long-standing enemies who showed up
often on the field of combat to do battle. For them, the
contest was always about one thing: which people
would serve the other.
History tells us that battles such as this were often
decided by having each side choose their bravest and
strongest warrior. These two men would then meet
between the opposing forces and fight to the death.
When the contest was ended, the side that lost would
become the servants to the victor. This seems to be
what was happening here in the Valley of Elah, 17:8-9.
The only problem with this situation was the fact that
Philistine champion was no ordinary soldier! In fact, the
Bible tells us that he was quiet an impressive piece of
humanity! 1 Sam. 17:4-7 tells us something of this
man's stats. He was about 9', 9" tall, v. 4. He wore
armor that weighed approximately 175 lbs., v. 5. He
carried a spear that was like a long, heavy weaver's
beam that weighed 17 lbs, with a spearhead that
weighed in at 15 lbs., v. 7. This was no ordinary
soldier! Verses 5-6 tell us that this man was covered
from head to toe in armor that was made of solid brass.
Imagine this 10 foot tall dude stepping down the
mountain across the Valley of Elah just as the sun
began to climb high against the Palestinian sky. This
man came down the eastern face of a mountain and as
the sun hit that brass, he must have looked like some
kind of solid gold monster. No wonder he struck fear
into the hearts of God's people!
Every day for 40 days this giant appeared before the
armies of Israel and mocked them, cursed their God
and challenged them to send someone out to fight him,
verses 10, 16. He did this every morning and every
evening for forty days! And, everyday, Saul and the
army of Israel trembled in their armor and were afraid to
go and fight this giant!
It must have looked like the Philistines would win
this battle. Thank God, the Lord always has His man!
About this time, a young man named David, who
and already been hand picked by the Lord to be the
next king of Israel (1 Sam. 16) was sent by his father
Jesse to carry supplies to David's brothers, who were
fighting in Saul's army, v. 12-18. When David arrives at
the place of battle, he is speaking with his brothers
when, all of a sudden, Goliath makes one of his twice
daily appearances and repeats his challenge and his
taunts. This time, things were going to be just a little bit
different! Oh, the soldiers still panicked and reacted in
terror, v. 24, but this time, Goliath and his threats were
heard by a young man who believed God!
David took certain steps in setting this situation right
that are a clear portrait of the walk of faith that should
be exhibited in every believer's life. In this lesson from
the "Faith Files", David shows us what faith does when
faith is faced with giants, battles and obstacles. It is
those qualities of David's faith that I want to look at for
just a little while this evening. As we join David in his
walk of faith, I want to preach for a while on this
thought: Saints - 3; Giants - 0. Note these qualities of
I. V. 23-27 FAITH REACTS
A. When David heard the challenge and the blasphemies of Goliath, and when
he heard that Saul was going to richly bless the man who defeated this giant,
David made up his mind that he was going to be that man. Notice how interested
he is in this promised reward - v. 26; 30.
You see, for Israel, Goliath represented a stumbling block to the will of
God be accomplished. This giant was standing in the way of God's business
and he had to go! David's faith would not allow him to stand idly by while
Goliath defied the God of Heaven!
B. There is a lesson in this for the believer! When the Lord saved us, He
placed His Spirit within each of our hearts. Now, when one of life's giants
appears in our view, there rises up within the heart of the child of God a
desire to see that Giant fall! All around there may be those who tell us that
the giant is too strong, or that we are unable to overcome it, but while the
world and the faithless cry, "God can't!",
there is One in our hearts Who rises up and declares with all the force He
possesses, "God can, God can!"
What I am trying to tell you is that faith is not content to let the devil,
the world, or the obstacles that hinder the work of the Lord, win the battles
of life! Faith demands victory over these things. Therefore, we can say that
(Ill. Faith reacts by standing when a pagan king says "Bow!",
Daniel 3. Faith reacts by praying when a pagan king says, "Don't",
Daniel 6. Faith reacts by preparing for a flood when it has
never rained, Genesis 6. Faith reacts by letting down ones
nets at the word of Jesus, even when you have fished all night and caught
nothing, Luke 5:4-8. All I am saying is that faith looks
at an obstacle and sees an opportunity instead. Faith reacts!)
I. Faith Reacts
II. V. 28-33 FAITH RESOLVES
A. As we move deeper into this account, David makes up his mind that Goliath
has to die, v. 32. When he makes this statement, he is immediately met with
opposition. First, his brother, Eliab, tells him that David is just there
to show off and see and be seem, v. 28. Then, when King Saul
hears of David's plan, he tells David that it can't be done because David
is just a kid and Goliath is a real man and a warrior, v. 33.
How would you like to have these guys for your cheerleaders? However, David
did not allow the naysayers to dissuade him from what his heart told him must
be done. Faith had reacted within him and he resolved to do something about
B. Friend, you might as well face the fact now that when your faith reacts
and resolves to simply believe God by faith, there will always be that crowd
who will pop up and tell that you can't do it! They'll talk about you behind
your back, and sometimes to your face, and say things like, "Who does he think
he is, some kind of super saint?"; or "You know you can't do that! You do
have the money, or the education, or the training."; or "She's too young to
think she can just follow God like that."
Friend, don't let that crowd get to you! They tried that junk with David.
They even tried that stuff with Jesus Christ, John 7:3-6.
David prevailed by faith! Jesus prevailed by faith! And you and I can prevail
by faith! When true faith makes up its mind, it cannot be stopped short of
victory, 1 John 5:4. We'll always have the can't and the
canters, but true faith will win the victory.
I. Faith Reacts II. Faith Resolves
III. V. 34-37 FAITH REMEMBERS
A. When David hears the objections of Saul to his going to do battle with
the giant, David begins to remember some things the Lord had done for him
in his past. I can see him as he stands there and accesses the file cabinets
in his mind. He opens the drawer and thumbs through the files until he comes
to the letter "G". He opens this file looking for some information
on defeating giants. But, he finds the file empty. Then, he remembers a day
when a wild lion came out of the forest and attacked his sheep. He leafs on
back through the files until his eyes land on "L". He opens
this files and reads: "A lion took a lamb out of the flock: And
I went after him and smote him and delivered it out of his mouth: and when
he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
And, the LORD delivered me out of the paw of the lion!"
Then, under that, David sees written this note, "Note to self:
Remember, when facing lions, trust God. He always gives the victory! Saints
- 1; Lions - 0!" I can see a smile cross his lips as
he again remember a time when a bear came out of the forest and attacked the
flock. So, he goes to the front of the file drawer to a file marked with the
letter "B". He open this file and reads, "A bear
took a lamb out of the flock: And I went after him and smote him and delivered
it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard,
and smote him, and slew him. And, the LORD delivered me out of the paw of
the bear" Then, under that, David sees written this note, "Note
to self: Remember, when facing bears, trust God. He always gives the victory!
Saints - 2; Bears - 0!"
He shares all this information with Saul and says, "Oh, by the
way King Saul, before I close these files I had better make myself a little
note to remind me of something." So, he thumbs back
through the files in the drawer and pulls out a folder marked with the letter
"G" again. He opens this file and writes the following words,
"A giant came down a mountainside one day and attacked the flock
of God. I went after him and smote him and delivered the people of God out
of his hand. When he arose against me, I buried a stone in his head and then
I cut off his head with his own sword. And the Lord delivered me out of the
hand of the Philistine " Then, as he was about to close
the file, he wrote the following, "Note to self: Remember, when
facing giants, trust God. He always gives the victory! Saints - 3; Giants
(Ill. What made David's so determined to defeat Goliath? It was the same
thing that motivated him to kill the lion and the bear. As the shepherd of
the flock, he was responsible for protecting the sheep. So, he killed the
attackers and delivered the sheep. When it came to Israel, David had already
been anointed to be the next king of Israel. In effect, he was their shepherd.
When he saw the people being attacked by Goliath, he just rected with the
heart of a shepherd.)
B. You say, "Preacher, you made all that up!"
Oh did I? Look at what David said. He knew the outcome before the battle ever
took place. How? Faith remembers what God has done in the past and faith knows
that God doesn't change. What He did then, He is still doing now!
(Ill. Folk, let me encourage you this evening by reminding you that God
is still the same God Who stepped out from behind the curtain of nowhere onto
the stage of nothing and spoke everything into existence! He is still the same
God Who hung the stars in their sockets and placed the planets in their orbits.
He still owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is still the same God Who saved
you by grace when you exercised that little mustard seed sized grain of faith.
He is still the One Who met that need for you. He is still the One Who touched
that loved one and healed them for you. He is still the One Who has never failed
you to this point. He is still worthy of your faith! Real faith
just remembers that What God has done before God can still do! You see, our
little problems, and the Goliath's we face pose no problem to God! He is greater
than all of our need, Ephesians 3:20 sums it up nicely!)
I. Faith Reacts II. Faith Resolves
III. Faith Remembers
IV. V. 37b-47 FAITH RELIES
A. When Saul hears what David has filed away about God, he sends David into
battle with his blessings! He even tries to suit David up in his armor. However,
David knows this won't work, v. 38-39. When he fought the
lion and the bear all he had was his staff, his sling and his LORD. If he
is going to face this giant, then he will rely on those things that have never
failed him. He takes off Saul's armor and David takes his staff, his sling
and stops by a brook and selects him five smooth stones and then he goes out
to meet Goliath, v. 40-41. When the giant sees this young
man coming out to fight him, the giant is insulted! "How dare
these Jews send out a boy to fight me!", seems to be
what he is saying, v. 42-43. And, he curses David. Then Goliath
tells David that he is going to kill him and feed his carcase to the birds
and the wild beasts, v. 44.
Goliath's speech is a short one, but David has a little more on his heart.
He tells Goliath that the battle is the Lord's (v. 47) and
that before the sun goes down, both Goliath and Israel will know that the
LORD is God, v. 45-47!
(Ill. Imagine Goliath's impatience as David goes through this little speech!
Notice David's use of the word "and". He just keeps on telling the giant how
he is going to destroy the giant in the power of Almighty God.)
B. Basically, this section boils down to David telling Goliath that the
giant might have better weapons, superior strength and lots of armor, but
David has God! This is the essence of genuine faith! It doesn't look at human
ability! It doesn't see the size of the obstacle. It doesn't concern itself
with such mundane thoughts as "I can't"; "it's never
been done"; "I don't know how"; "Why me".
No! Faith says, "Giant, you're ugly, you stink, but you're gonna
die, because the Lord has already delivered you into my hands."
(Ill. David didn't know swords and spears. He knew God and he knew stones.
He just stuck to the things that had always worked. He simply relied on God
to give him the victory over the giant. My friend, that will still work tonight!
Genuine faith looks beyond the problem to see a God Who is Able! I call your
attention again to Ephesians 3:20. Notice the phrase, "Now
unto Him that is able....." Able to what? You name
it and that's what He is able to do! He is able! (Note: Park hear and preach
for a spell!) You need to remember that when you can't He still can! He is
still the great "I AM!" Did you know that His Name is an
open ended statement? I AM what? Whatever His children need Him to be He is!
He's not some washed up has been of a God! No, He is still the great "I
AM!". And He can still take care of those little Goliaths that afflict
you and me from time to time!)
I. Faith Reacts II. Faith Resolves
III. Faith Remembers IV. Faith Relies
V. V. 48-51 FAITH RECEIVES
A. David finishes with His victory speech and he goes out to meet Goliath.
He slings one stone and it hits the only exposed spot on the giants body and
sinks into his head and Goliath falls to the ground. (Ill. Did you know that
this was the first time that anything like that had ever entered Goliath's
head?) So, Goliath is down and David had promised to take the giants head
off, v. 46, but he doesn't even have a sword. He runs to
Goliath, stands on his body, draws the giant's own sword and lops off the
giants head, v. 51.
David received the object of his faith, the death of the giant, because
he believed God!
B. I want to let you in on a little secret. Did you know that Goliath didn't
really die in verse 51? Now, he didn't die
in verse 49 either. If that is true, then when did Goliath
die? He died way back in verse 26 when faith reacted. In
the mind of David Goliath was dead in verse 26, his grave
was dug in verse 29, he was buried in verse 36,
the grave was filled in by verses 45-47 and all David did
was lay the flowers on the headstone in verses 49 and 51!
Faith won the victory the instant it was placed in God!
(Ill. What a lesson for the children of God! Folks, the victory is won,
when faith is exercised in God! When He is honored by faith, He will in turn
honor that faith. When we come to the place where Hebrew 11:1
is real in our hearts, and we understand that the end is determined at the
beginning by our faith it will change our lives!)
Well, Goliath is dead and Israel wins a great victory. David leaves the battlefield
a great war hero. As a memento of his victory, he takes the armor of Goliath
and puts it in his tent. Now, if David looked ridiculous in Saul's armor, what's
he going to do with armor made to fit a man 9', 9" tall? Well, I can imagine
in later years, as the giants of life came to David again and again, he would
return to that file cabinet in his mind. He would open the folder marked "G",
and read these words, "A second note to self: When facing giants
in the future, just look in the corner and trust God. Saints -3; Giants - 0!"
I don't know what you may be facing, but I know One Who can send you home shouting
the victory tonight. Bring your giants to Jesus, He is still in the giant killing