All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘goliath’

Evident Grace Sunday Recap for 05/27/18 – Defending the Honor of God

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1 Samuel 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him.

 

8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

 

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.  17 And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18 Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.”

 

19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. 24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”

3 Rules when preaching on David and Goliath

 

  • Don’t Spiritualize.
  • Don’t be cute or original
  • Be faithful to text

 

This passage does the exact opposite of most readings.  This text is not about overcoming challenges in your life.  Martin Luther called that approach a “Theology of glory” – the glory of self.  No this is about the complete surrender of self.  This is about the world’s hatred of God and His people.  This is about God’s honor and God’s people desperately needing a champion.

 

The story of David and Goliath is really about two forces:

 

  • On one side is sin, death, and this world.
  • And those other side is God’s glory and honor defended and advanced by Jesus Christ

 

I knew a pastor once.  He hit the ground running.  His banner was Jesus and the advancement of the gospel.  But then he was hit with every obstacle.  Everything from financial hardships, to persecution, to personal health, to even conflicts the church happened.  The pastor felt alone, unsupported, unliked, and oppressed.

 

This passage as the only thing that kept him going.   Not because he was David and those issues were Goliath.  No, this passage better taught him the true conflict in this world.  This passage caused him to love Jesus, God’s champion, all the more.  And this passage showed him where he was called to defend God’s honor.

 

Hopefully, we can all embrace those truths with this Big Idea.

 

Big Idea:  God’s Champion and Your Part in the Fight.

 

There is a War Between the World and God’s People

The World Demands a Response

The People of God are Called to Defend His honor

 

There is a War Between the World and God’s People

 

1 Samuel 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines.

 

Philistines are a constant nuisance and danger to the people of God.  Why is that? The Philistines were an ancient people, listed in the records of those who descended from Noah’s son Ham after the time of the flood (Genesis 10:14).  But it was during the time of the Exodus that the Lord promised that the land of Israel would include the territory of the Philistines (Exodus 23:31); this promise meant that some kind of conflict would have to take place for Israel to displace the Philistines.  When Joshua was old, he mentioned the land of the Philistines as one of the areas that still remained to be defeated by Israel (Joshua 13:1–3). Because the Philistines were not completely removed, Israel faced them as perennial enemies.

 

So, in 1 Samuel, we see the Philistines conflict almost as constant.

 

  • 1 Samuel 4 they defeated the people of God. Israel brought out the ark, and Israel was decimated.
  • 1 Samuel 7, the people of God defeated the Philistines. “The LORD thundered loudly against the Philistines that day and threw them into such confusion that they fled before Israel” (7:10)
  • 1 Samuel 13, this is when the Philistines defeat Israel. Saul asks Samuel to offer a sacrifice.  When it takes Samuel 7 days to get there, Saul offers an unbiblical sacrifice.
  • 1 Samuel 14, Saul’s son, Jonathan defeats the Philistine’s, but because Saul said no one was allowed to eat until the Philistines were defeated, the whole battle falls apart and Philistines are not entirely wiped out.

 

So here we are again.  The Philistines hate the people of God.

 

3 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him.

 

This is an issue of military high ground. Why fight it out one on one?  “If the enemy is in range, so are you – Infantry Journal” So, the Philistines say, “Let’s just fight this out one on one.

 

And they bring out their champion, Goliath who is somewhere between 6’9” feet and 9 feet. This may seem ridiculous to us, but imagine the short players from the Jerry West era of the NBA staring at 7’ 1” Shaq. Generally short than most Americans, the real comparison would be something like 5’3” Muggsy Bogues staring up at 7’7” Gheorghe Mureșan

 

And not only Goliath a physical menace, he is decked out in weapons and armor.  He has a helmet of brass, coat of mail (snake), a greaves of brass on his legs, a target of brass on his back, and a spear. On top of that, he had another guy just to carry his shield for him and that guy went ahead of him.

 

8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

 

Goliath mocks God and the people of God? Am I not a Philistine?  Aren’t you the servant of Saul? Saul was head and shoulders above everyone. Tell you what, why don’t you pick one guy, any guy you want, the biggest dude you got, the fastest dude you got. We can do this any way you want.  MMA, Brazilian ju jitzu, Judo, muy thai. Just bring him on out, and we can throw a little of the sweet science around, and may the best man win.

 

The basis of the conflict between Israel and the Philistines is that Israel advanced into Philistine territory and took their land and that conflict always goes back and forth. So now in the New Testament we don’t live in the context of taking physical property on behalf the kingdom of God. But in the New Testament context in the light of Jesus in the arrival of the kingdom of God that he brings there still is territory for the Christian to take it is only spiritual. That means that you are constantly called to advance and take spiritual territory for the kingdom of God in this world and that means that if you live that out you will be constantly hated by the world.  If your expression of Christianity in the proclaiming of Jesus Christ is not putting you in some conflict with the world that is the equivalent of an Israelite soldier who just doesn’t go into battle.  It doesn’t mean that the world doesn’t hate you it just means that the world can’t distinguish you as a representative of the kingdom of God

 

The World Demands a Response

 

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.

 

Happy to be numbered among the people of God.  Not willing to defend His honor. Happy perhaps even to proclaim themselves as an Israelite.  Not willing to put themselves in danger or harm’s way. I defy the ranks of Israel I dare you to stand up and act like a believer in God. You don’t have the guts. Passivity is not activity. The world is practically daring Christians to stand up and act like Christians.

 

The People of God are Called to Defend His honor

 

17 And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18 Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.”

 

19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

 

The earthly champion of God’s people stand to fight GoliathHe heard.  He cares more about the honor of God than he does his reputation or his safety. Defying the people of God, even if they are cowards, is defying the living God Himself.

 

24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”

 

There has got to be someone who cares about the honor of God? The one who does will be rich. Their thought process is something like this, “We love Godly people who stand up against evil.  In fact, I really this really bold guy who has a podcast. It would be great if someone like that stood of God and his honor…but no me.”

 

So, David asks, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine to defy the armies of the living God.” David is defending a bunch of spineless weak people. It is wonderfully popular, smug, and self-righteous to beat up Christians right now. And you know what?  And we give so much ammunition to our enemies. In the past two years alone, the church has shown itself to be racist, populists, misogynists, and a people unwilling to defend the helpless and abused.  Our voices rain down with so many others.

 

But we are called to defend the honor of God and the people of God.

 

Below is adapted from unknown author…

 

So, first and foremost, we are not David. We are the Israelites who are cowering in fear in the corner because we can’t face the giant on our own. We can’t beat our enemies on our own. So, we need a David to stand in our place and to defeat our enemies.  But then what happens after that?  David slings the rock that crushed the enemy’s head.  Then, David takes his sword and cuts his head off.  Their enemies run. The Israelite army pursues.

 

That’s how we preach that. You can face your enemies and you have the courage to face your enemies, but you only do that once you recognize, as Jerry Vines says, we don’t fight for victory in the Christian life we fight from victory.  So, it’s a picture of sanctification, but a sanctification that is based in what Jesus has done in saving us.”

 

Big Idea:  God’s Champion and Your Part in the Fight.

 

Big Idea:  Christ ends the world’s hostility with God through the cross & the ongoing proclamation of the Gospel by His people.

 

Application:  Live knowing that Christ ended the enmity between the world, Satan, your sin, and God.

 

Action:  Boldly proclaim Christ by name, not for victory, but out of victory this week. 

 

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