1 Samuel 17:10-11 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
Funny ain’t it? How two people can hear, or read, the same words and have two totally different responses. Imagine this…
Two great armies face each other across the valley of Elah…one on one mountain and one on the other. Then this giant of a man, some nine feet tall, comes lumbering forward into the valley and moves up close to the other side. He’s decked out with weapons and his shining armor weighs more than most any one of the vast gathering of warriors he faces. Confidently he challenges…but he gets no response. He moves forward day after day, for forty days, challenging them and calling them chickens! But not a “peep” from the other side. Each of them waiting on another to take up the fight; wondering if anyone was going to step up.
Hey, and there were a lot of warriors of Israel there “wondering”. While there’s no record of just how many, in their previous battle with the Amalekites, the army of Israel was counted as two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. In this instance, King Saul, and the whole of his army, were shaking in their sandals. Their response to the heckling taunts of cowardess from Goliath was met with wringing their hands in fear. After all, it can also be imagined on the other side, the Philistines had thirty thousand chariots and probably three thousand horsemen, not counting their foot soldiers. Yep, this was a bad bunch over there…all coming against God’s people.
How many times have you let Goliath taunt you? How many days have you just stood there helpless and wrung your hands in fear when a problem taunts you day after day…the last thing you think about before you go to sleep and the first thing you think about when you wake up?
Now comes this seventeen year old boy on the scene; he hears the same threats and mocking they were all hearing…but he only heard it once before he responded:
1 Samuel 17:45 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.
Take a lesson…the whole of the nation of Israel was under the anointing favor of God, yet only one person, one person in hundreds of thousands, put that anointing into action; with a stone and a sling no less. (David picked up five stones…why? Goliath had four brothers, or four sons as some would argue. Either way, this young boy David intended to kill them all! But the other four took off running.) Now, don’t get it wrong, a rock in a sling was a powerful weapon in the hands of someone who knows how to use it and trusts in God for deliverance. God guided the stone as it left the sling and hit Goliath right between the eyes with the stopping power of a .45 caliber hand gun. You think this power came from some skinny little sheep herder? Sure he had killed the giant, and you might think he was a now a hero and lived happily ever after? Well, think again…David was not afraid to face this imposing and insurmountable problem; he remembered how God had helped him kill a lion and a bear with his bare hands. And now, because he trusted God, he KNEW he had the anointing and God would work in front of him. When an imposing, insurmountable problem crops up in your life, do you recall the miracles God has performed for you in the past? Well, on with the story…
Not long after killing Goliath, David found himself hiding in a cave with a bunch of people just like us…his razzle-tasseled army.
Side note: Like us with Jesus…the whole nation of Israel benefited from Davis’s victory…he won the victory and they didn’t lift a finger. Remember…the Bible is from front to back, Genesis to Revelation, all about Jesus…not about you. When you read your Bible, look for Him.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.
You get that? Everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; about 400 of them. Can you imagine that? It’s hard to pastor a church full of discontented people ya know? Think about what David had to put up with…“Why is this cave so cold? Why is it so smoky in here? Can’t you get him to move over some? He’s in my space. David…are you ever going to quit playin that harp? I’m trying to sleep here.” Can you imagine? Or, every day having 3-4 guys trying to borrow a shekel from you? And all of them scared on top of it. Yep, just like us…patience Pastor!
Yet this was David’s army. David was a giant killer and he was their captain…he was the anointed and, as we read on, his anointing would be transferred to them. See, the first thing that happens is YOU…then the others around you. But YOU must first possess your possession! Possess your position and your anointing you HAVE! And look what will happen when you do; look how the anointing is passed around and what they quickly become:
1 Chronicles 20:4-8 Now it happened afterward that war broke out at Gezer with the Philistines, at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Sippai, who was one of the sons of the giant. And they were subdued. Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, with twenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
This rag tag bunch of men who were distressed, in debt and discontented are transformed into giant killers…just like David. 2 Samuel 23 records Adino the Eznite killed 800 men at one time, Eleazar the son of Dodo attacked and fought until his hand stuck to the sword, and when the Philistines attacked a field of lintels, the people ran but Shammah the son of Agee stood in the middle of the lintels and fought them off! Abishai the brother of Joab, killed 300 with a spear. Benaiah the son of Jehoida, killed two lion-like heroes of Moab, killed a lion in a pit in winter, killed a “spectacular” Egyptian who came at him with a spear and he only had a wooden staff. He wrestled the spear away and killed the Egyptian with his own spear! Another time for another writing is the story of how the second three did not attain to the first three…the first three were dedicated to David…the second three were dedicated to the cause. But these gallant actions were by the same men who gathered with David in the cave! The distressed, the indebted and the discontented. (And as we go through the list down to verse 39, note the last guy on the list…Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba.)
Oh but now how blessed we are; there is no need to hunker in a corner afraid…Goliath has been whipped. David…with all his up and down life…had many great victories; although some of his later victories came from defeat, but David was a man of God’s own heart, and he could spread his anointing to all those around him. But consider this: he was living under the old covenant. How much greater, how much better off are we than David, Moses, Joseph, Jacob and the other men of renown…we have Jesus. We no longer fight for victory…we fight from victory.
Romans 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
We have a better covenant…established on better promises. Today, God is saying, “You are my beloved…trust in the new covenant I have cut with you and take the gospel to the devil’s face! Who, like David, will snap at the chance to proclaim Me and My beloved Son Jesus before men? Who will say to the opposers, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin? I come to you in the name of the LORD Christ Jesus’…I come to you with good news.” Because of what Jesus did on the cross no giant can stand against the power of His word. But today we don’t kill…we load up and sling salvation at the giants…we load up and sling Jesus at our problems.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Our Jesus will transform the distressed, indebted and discontented into giant killers. The giants of intimidation, accusations, condemnations, diseases and debts will fall like a twelve toed giant right at our feet. We are victorious by the power of His word. Take hold and possess your anointing… and your beloved position in God’s eyes. Recall all the miracles he has done for you in the past…thank Him for loving you.
Then, no matter what it looks like or feels like, no matter the odds against you, remember what you want is just over there…just the other side of fear. Don’t let the devil define you by your limitations and weaknesses; step through them with Jesus.
God is with you 24/7’s, you are His beloved! So live boldly knowing you are anointed, deeply loved and highly favored. Use your anointing to lift the distressed, in debt and discontented in your circle. If not you? If you won’t do it…then who?
Your stone is the gospel…the good news of Christ Jesus…and listen, there are plenty of giants to sling it at.
So get busy!
BETHEL ASSEMBLY OF GOD
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1:4)
With Your Hand On The Plow
"Sometimes human beings—individuals or communities—are confronted with something that they must reject outright or that, if they accept it, will demand the remaking of their worldview." (N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope)
"Hope, for the Christian, is not wishful thinking or mere blind optimism. It is a mode of knowing, a mode within which new things are possible, options are not shut down, new creation can happen." (N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope)
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"If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever." (Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor)