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God’s Way to Win Your Giant Battles

Notes & Transcripts

God’s Way to Win Your Giant Battles

1 Samuel 17:16-51

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 3, 2013

BACKGROUND:

*Picture a battle centered on a valley with the enemies camped on each side. Then a giant comes down to challenge the Israelites. His name was Goliath, and he was almost 10 feet tall! His armor weighed over 150 pounds. And just the tip of his spear weighed 15 pounds! That’s as heavy as a bowling ball.

*Look at Goliath’s challenge to God’s people in vs. 8-11:

8. Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, "Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the 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 armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.''

11. When (King) Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

*The giant made this challenge for 40 days.

*Then there was David. He was not even in the army. Instead, David was at home tending the sheep. But his dad wanted him to check on his 3 older brothers who were in the battle. So, David took some food to them, and happened to hear Goliath make his challenge.

*We see David’s response in vs. 26: “Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, ‘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?’”

*Well, David’s brother did not like little brother making the army look bad. And we see what he said to David in vs. 28: “Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’”

*Nobody thought David had a chance against the giant. But David had an answer of faith in vs. 34-37:

34. . . David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,

35. I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.

36. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.''

37. Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.'' And Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you!''

*In spite of the doubters, David was full of faith, and he was chosen for the battle. Let’s read about David facing the giant in vs. 40-51.

INTRODUCTION:

*All of us will face giants in life. Sometimes they will come from the outside:

-The loss of a loved one.

-The loss of a job.

-Someone deserts us.

-Or we face a problem we can’t seem to solve.

*Other times the giants come from inside:

-Depression, discouragement,

-A dangerous disease.

-A habit we can’t seem to break.

-Overpowering temptation.

*All of us will face giants. -- But with God’s help, we can overcome the giants in our lives! God’s Word shows us the attitudes we need.

1. First: Seek the right attitude toward your people.

*I am talking about our family and friends, our co-workers, classmates and neighbors, the people all around us. One of the main reasons why David won this big battle was because he had the right attitude towards his people.

[1] Notice that he had the right attitude toward his father.

*We can see this in vs. 17&18, where:

17. . . Jesse said to his son David, "Take now for your brothers an ephah (that’s about 5 gallons) of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp.

18. And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.''

*David was feeding his father’s sheep, but dad had another job for him: “Take some corn and bread to your brothers. Take some cheese to the captain. Son, I need you to help me help them. And I want to find out how they are doing.”

David didn’t do what I probably would have done at his age.

-He didn’t gripe or complain.

-He didn’t delay.

-And he didn’t refuse to go.

*The first part of vs. 20 says: “So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. . .” David had the right attitude toward his dad, so he was faithful, and that made a huge difference in his life.

Pastor Keith Linkous talked about David at the battle and gave this great insight: “Why was he there? What caused him to be positioned to be used by God in this way? -- Here it is: He was on an assignment from his father, Jesse. Dad had sent David to carry the cheese. David was anointed to be king, yet was sent back to tend sheep. He should have been in the king’s court, but instead he’s carrying cheese!

*That seems like such a menial mission, doesn’t it? -- A king-to-be carrying cheese? -- Yet, that’s what happened, and notice what happened: God used David’s faithfulness to raise him to another level! We all know that David fought Goliath and killed him. But don’t miss this point: He wasn’t there to fight the giant. Had David not learned the wisdom of faithfulness, he would not have been there! But David learned how to tote the cheese.

*And this part of the story tells us that faithfulness is God’s path for promotion. If you ever hope to kill a giant, if you ever hope to do something great for God, learn how to be faithful right where you are. . .” (1)

*Sometimes we want to take charge, when God wants us to take the cheese.

-But David had the right attitude toward his dad.

[2] He also had the right attitude toward his brothers.

*That can even be harder, -- Those aggravating, trouble-making brothers! We see them here in vs. 26-29:

26. Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "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 this manner, saying, "So shall it be done for the man who kills him.''

28. Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.''

29. And David said, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?''

*I like the way David put it in vs. 29: “What have I done now?” Sounds like his big brother had chewed him out before. And David was innocent. He was getting chewed out, even though he had done absolutely nothing wrong.

*At that point, a lot of men would have forgotten about the giant and jumped on their brother, but not David. He didn’t get mad, and he didn’t get side-tracked. In vs. 30, he just turned to someone else, and again asked about Goliath.

*David had the right attitude towards his people.

-He was quick to obey his dad.

-And slow to get mad at his brothers.

*That’s one of the main reasons why he won this battle with the giant.

-So seek the right attitude toward your people.

2. And seek the right attitude toward your problem.

*Verse 11 tells us that the rest of the Israelites were dismayed and greatly afraid. They had been that way for 40 days. But then David came on the scene. And in vs. 32, he was as bold as bold can be: “Then David said to Saul, ‘Let no man's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.’”

*How did David get that way? -- How did he get the right attitude toward his problem?

[1] Part of David’s good attitude came from his private worship of God.

*In vs. 33, King Saul didn’t think David was prepared, but we know he was. How did David get ready?

*Mark Roper explained it this way: “We see no military career for David prior to this. We just see a young man tending sheep and spending a lot of time worshiping God. So where was his training? -- That was his training: spending time with God!

*And though he probably didn’t know it God was preparing David for service. David grew to know God worshipping Him privately. Now, God could reward him openly. You never really know what kind of emergency you can handle, after you’ve spent quality time with God.” (2)

*David’s attitude came from his private worship of God.

[2] It also came thru the problems he had faced in the past.

*David shows us this truth in vs. 34-37:

34. But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,

35. I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.

36. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.''

37. Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.'' And Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you!''

*Here David reminds us here that today’s struggles can be the foundation for tomorrow’s success.

-And it always helps to look back and see what the Lord has done in our lives.

-David’s good attitude came through the problems he had faced in the past.

[3] It also came from his Godly parents.

*You see, David didn’t just meet the Lord when he was tending sheep or wrestling that bear. He first met the Lord at his parents’ feet. David’s great grandparents were the faithful believers Boaz and Ruth. And the first time we ever see David is at a worship service with his family.

*Parents and grandparents: God wants you to have an impact that lasts long after you leave this world.

*One of the best examples in our family was a friend named Charlie Greer. Charlie went home to be with the Lord 8 years ago. I got to know him best when his daughter, Denise, came to serve as the Children’s Director at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Charlie came with the family. And he was a great blessing to us all.

*Charlie was a Papaw to our Katie. My dad died 10 years before Katie was born, and Mary’s dad died when Katie was 2. But “Papaw Charlie” was a papaw to our baby, and we will always be thankful for that.

*Charlie was a treasure to us. I don’t think he consciously tried to encourage me. He just did. He loved the Lord, He loved the Bible, and he loved to come to church. He also loved to pray. We had a Prayer Room at Emmanuel, and Charlie came like clockwork.

*Another thing that blessed us about Charlie was his great attitude in the face of terrible health problems. Charlie had a brain tumor, but he kept going. He had several surgeries that took his leg. And Charlie had to limp along, but he kept going along with a smile.

*He was trusting the Lord in every situation, and that kind of faith is contagious. That’s why Charlie was a blessing to us. And no doubt David was influenced by faithful people like Charlie.

*Private worship, past problems and Godly parents: All of these things helped David get the right attitude towards his problem.

*When everybody else kept focused on the giant, David kept focused on God!

-He was keeping His eyes on Jesus. -- And that’s what we need to do.

-Seek the right attitude toward your problems.

3. And seek the right attitude toward your Provider.

*Here in the danger zone, David focused on 3 sure things about our God:

[1] First: David focused on God’s goodness.

*This is the message of vs. 37, where David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. . .” David believed in the goodness of God!

-He knew that the Lord had delivered him from the lion and bear.

-Now David had faith that the Lord would deliver him from the giant.

*And if you put your faith in the Lord Jesus, He will deliver you from a giant a whole lot bigger than Goliath!

-Jesus will deliver you from, Satan and your own sin.

-He will also deliver you from death and hell.

*God is so good that He loves us! -- He loves us even though we don’t deserve it, and never could deserve it. God is so good that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. And the Risen Savior is so good that He will save your soul when you receive Him as your Lord and Savior.

-When David was about to face the giant, he focused on God’s goodness.

[2] Then in vs. 38-40, he focused on God’s gifts.

38. So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail.

39. And David fastened his sword to his armor, and he tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, "I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.'' So David took them off.

40. Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.

*God gave David the skill to use that sling, and God gave him the stones from the brook. But why did David pick up 5 stones? -- Maybe that’s all the bag would hold. I would have wanted 50!

*We really don’t know why David picked up 5 stones. But we do know this: he had everything he needed. David even had more than he needed.

*And Church: So do we! -- All of us have gifts and abilities that the Lord has given to us. You may not be able to hit the broad side of a barn with one of the stones David picked up, but God has given you gifts and abilities. Pick them up and use them for Him.

-When David was about to face the giant, he focused on God’s gifts.

[3] And he focused on God’s glory.

*We can see this truth in vs. 41-47:

41. So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him.

42. And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, ruddy and good-looking.

43. So the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?'' And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

44. And the Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!''

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.

46. 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.

47. 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.''

*Goliath may have been a giant. But David stood up for the glory of God. And God gave him the victory.

Conclusion:

*Will we ever face a giant as big as Goliath? -- Someday we will. But just like David, we can win!

*Marshall Douglas is a pastor I have known for over 20 years. One time we were sitting together during a surgery up at Glenwood Hospital, and Marshall pulled a small rock out of his pocket. Then he said, "This is from the Valley of Elah. That's the valley where David killed Goliath, and he did it with a stone like this. And I keep this stone in my pocket to remind people that God is still able to knock down the giants in your life."

*Someday we will face giants. But just like David, we can win! The time to get ready is now. So seek the right attitude toward your people, your problems, and your Provider.

*The first step is to put your trust in the God who gave the victory to David. His name is Jesus Christ!

-He loves you.

-He died on the cross for you.

-And He rose again from the dead.

-He is the Judge of the living and the dead.

-And you are guilty before Him.

*But Jesus will forgive you, if you will call on Him to save you.

-You should do that right now as we go to the Lord in prayer.

(1) SermonCentral sermon “Learn to Tote the Cheese” by Keith Linkous - 1 Samuel 17:12-21

(2) SermonCentral sermon “Slaying Your Giants” by Mark Roper - 1 Samuel 17:3-11

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