Five Smooth Stones - Giant #1: Low Opinion of Others
My son Sam has a book, this book, called Twenty Questions for Kids. He tried to stump me. Let’s see if I can stump you! The object of Twenty Questions is to guess the person, place or thing before you get to the 20th question. Let’s start with places. I AM A PLACE! I was born in 1971. I am twice the size of New York City. I have a castle, but I am not ruled by a king. You will see lots of animals if you visit me. I am in the US. I’m located on 43 square miles of former swampland. You can see Pluto when you visit me. I AM WALT DISNEY WORLD! Here’s our 2nd category. I AM A THING! I can come in colors, but I’m usually white. I never move but I have moveable parts. You’ve seen many of my kind. I never leave my room. You had no use for me when you were a baby. Using me is considered private. I’m filled with water but I’m not an aquarium. People sit on me everyday! I AM A TOILET! Remember now – this is Twenty Questions for KIDS! Last category! I AM A PERSON! I live under the name of Sanders. I am British. There’s a house at my corner. I’m known for being stout, not smart. I love to eat, but I’m always stuffed. My last name makes children giggle. My middle name is “the.” I’m not scary but my last name rhymes with “boo.” I AM WINNIE- THE-POOH![i] Humor me - just one more! I AM A PERSON! I was born approximately 1035 years before Christ.[ii] I am mentioned in both Hebrews 11 and Acts 13. I had eight wives.[iii] I am a singer/song writer. I am a shepherd, fugitive and King. I am a liar, adulterer and murderer, but most know me as a “man after God’s own heart.” I AM DAVID! What comes to your mind when you think of King David? I asked that question this past week on FACEBOOK. By the way, would you do me as big favor? If you are on FACEBOOK please become a WC Facebook Friend. Simply go to Facebook and type in Westerville Christian and then click “like!” I would love to get your feedback plus get the word out concerning what God is doing at Westerville Christian. I asked this “David” question on FB and responses included: Falling hard, Dancing, Psalms, A great man that messed up allot, but found favor in God’s eyes, and that is so true, but to me I think of triumph (Goliath) and tragedy (Bathsheba). David is listed in the Hall of Faith, not because he was perfect, but because he had a heart for God and took God at his word. What I didn’t know is that Goliath wasn’t the only giant in his life. We are starting a brand new series today called “Five Smooth Stones.” Turn in your Bible today to 1 Samuel 16. Do you need a Bible? If you do, just raise your hand and you’ll find 1st Samuel 16 on page 198. Chapter 16 is when we are first introduced to David! As I was preparing this series - 1st Samuel 17:40 caught my attention. Let’s read this one verse. David picked up five stones to kill one giant. Westerville Christian is attempting to picking up five stones to kill five giants. Truth is David had more to overcome than just the brutality of Goliath. Don’t you just love our big signs? He also had to overcome the jealousy of Saul, the pride of Michal, the authority of Achish and the opinions of Samuel, Jesse and Eliab. Let’s take on the giant of opinion using David as our example. Samuel gives us the blueprint on how we size people up! Go back to chapter 16 in 1 Samuel. (Read 1-6!) Don’t tell me that Samuel is going to fall for that again! Go back to 1st Samuel 9:2. Saul was impressive. He stood out among his peers. We do that. I do that. We size people up all the time. “Man, you’re BIG or you’re ATTRACTIVE or you can shoot some HOOPS, so I would expect you to be successful. Outward appearance alone can’t determine a king then or a president today. It always goes deeper than that. God makes this perfectly clear to Samuel in verse 7. (READ) The heart doesn’t get much press, but gorgeous supermodels and gifted athletes do.
I have nearly finished Philip Yancey’s new book called What Good is God? In his book Yancey tells a story called the Orange Revolution which occurred in the Ukraine in 2004. Yancey writes, “Like other parts of the Soviet Union, Ukraine moved toward democracy… When the Ukrainian reformer Victor Yushchenko dared to challenge the entrenched party, he nearly died from a mysterious case of dioxin poisoning. Against all advice Yushchenko remained in the race. On election day the exit polls showed him with a comfortable 10 percent lead, however, that evening the state-run television reported, “Ladies and gentlemen, we announce that the challenger Victor Yushchenko has been decisively defeated.” But what the government did not take into account was the translation it provides for the hearing-impaired. On the small screen inset in the lower right-hand corner of the television screen a brave woman gave a different message in sign language. “I am addressing all the deaf citizens of Ukraine. Don’t believe what they say. They are lying and I am ashamed to translate these lies. Yushchenko is our President!” No one in the studio understood her radical sign-language message. Deaf people, inspired by their translator text messaged other deaf people which led the Orange Revolution. Over the next few weeks as many as a million people wearing orange flooded Kiev to demand new elections.”[iv]
The world is the big screen and the world shouts to our teenagers messages that are not true. Messages like… God is not real, the Bible cannot be trusted and Jesus did not resurrect from the dead. The Big screen shouts to us that appearance is the ticket to success. In March of 2010, a USA Today survey asked over 5,000 U.S. women to identify what makes a woman beautiful. Here are their answers: Fifty-seven percent said a great figure. Sixty-five percent said healthy, shiny hair. Seventy-nine percent said an upbeat personality. Eighty-two percent said a positive outlook on life. Eighty-seven percent said self-confidence.[v] But the Bible is our small screen amidst the big screen. The big screen shouts – appearance is everything, but the small screen (The Bible) whispers - appearance does not make a person beautiful. What makes a person beautiful is your heart – it’s what moves their heart! What moves your heart today? I DARE YOU TO PRAY THIS PRAYER. GOD, MAKE ME WEALTHY! THIS PRAYER WILL REVEAL WHAT’S IN YOUR HEART. Either give me more toys or give me wealth so I can give it away.
If Samuel had his way Eliab would have been given the kingly nod and David would still be shepherding sheep, but let’s be fair to Samuel – he doesn’t even know David exists. But Jesse his father does.
Jesse has eight sons.[vi] Now to a Jew the oldest holds the most honor. David is eighth on the list. Maybe David had an awesome reputation as a shepherd or better yet – he was the youngest and right now he’s just not on his father’s mind! BUT son #2 is. Find verse 8. (Read 8-11a) “Oh, my goodness – there still is the youngest, but in NO way shape or form did I think we’d every get to son #8! David did not shout to his own father – I am king material. The first giant David had to slay in his life was not Goliath, but the low opinion others had of him! David just didn’t stand out. He was more of an after thought not a first candidate. Is that where you are today? Battling NO OPINION OR LOW OPINION OR NEGATIVE OPINION. And the troubling reality in your mind is that the poor reviews are coming from your own family. For David it’s his Dad and his brother. Jesse slights David, but Eliab goes off! David and Goliath is our topic for next weekend, but here’s a tiny preview. Jesse wants to check on his three oldest sons. They are serving in Saul’s army. Jesse tells David to pack up some cheese and crackers and find out if everyone is alright! Well, everyone is not alright – Goliath is terrorizing the Israelite army. David hears Goliath’s BIG mouth and then sees his BIG 9 foot frame and asks what’s being done to shut this dude up. Eliab notices David and verbally unloads. Find verse 28 in chapter 17! Now Eliab is all OFF here. David is not conceited and certainly not wicked. Eliab is miffed because Eliab is jealous. Go back to verse 11 in chapter 16! And I’m sure the first person to applaud this anointing was Eliab. “I’m so happy for you, brother. May God bless you because he certainly hasn’t blessed me!” Can I ask you something? Is David’s giant your giant? Do you get bummed out about what people think of you? Are you looking for something - approval maybe - from your Dad that you’re just not going to get! Let it go! Maybe your Dad just can’t give you want you want – stop letting that hold you back. Is it your brother or sister that keeps messing with your mind?
A wife calls her husband at work, "I have great news for you. Pretty soon there’s going to be three in this house instead of two." The husband was pumped. Kissing his wife, he said, "Are you serious? This is so exciting." But then she said, "I'm glad that you feel this way because tomorrow morning my mother is moving in with us." That’s so wrong!
Eliab is so wrong. He shows what to do when we receive negative opinion. Ask this question. Is it true? If not. Let it go. Of all the Super Bowl commercials here was my favorite! (Darth Vader) Just like little Darth Vader we have more power than we think we do! You have the power to break the cycle! My value in not found on the big screen. My value is found in what God says about me. David said in Ps. 139:14 – I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Why should we talk about David? - because David was an instrument pointing people to Jesus! Will you point people to Jesus or will you let the opinions of others hold you back from living for God?
[i] 20 Questions for Kids, Spinner Books for Kids, 25-26
[ii] Wilkinson & Libby, Talk Thru Bible Personalities, 78
[iii] John H. Walton, Charts of the Old Testament, 28
[iv] Phillip Yancey, What Good is God, e-Book Edition, 387
[v] Michelle Healy and Veronica Salazar, "What Women Say Makes a Beautiful Woman," USA Today
[vi] James E. Smith, CP NIV Commentary, 1 & 2 Samuel, 213