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Monday, February 10, 2014

God Still Defeats Giants

Goliath was the champion of the Philistines. He was a huge man who probably had a medical condition which would cause him to keep growing all of his life. His strength was in his size. We know nothing of his fighting skills.

Yet, the Philistines devised a plan to have Goliath taunt Saul's army. He would go to the battlefield and call for the Israelites to produce a champion to fight him. He would do this each day to put fear in the hearts of their army. Some would, no doubt, decide Goliath couldn't be defeated and desert their fellow soldiers. All Goliath had to do was keep taunting the Israelites until they were already defeated in their hearts.

But David did not look at his size but at his defiance of David's God. David was a young man who wrote songs about God as he watched his father's sheep. He had a unique walk with God and knew Him to be the God who protected and provided. He knew God to be greater than anyone on the earth. It didn't matter how big .

Isn't it interesting that David uses the term "living God" when he speaks of Him? This term gives a picture of God in action. God is not merely a bystander who stoically observes all that is happening. He is the One who shows Himself with action.

David's oldest brother, Eliab, doesn't see things as David does. He has been indoctrinated by the rest of the army. They have talked so much of Goliath's size that they have lost the vision of God's power over everything. Eliab says that David is evil speaking boldly against Goliath.

But David doesn't stop repeating what he knows to be true. This guy, Goliath, doesn't have a chance against God. David's words must have caused a stir because Saul hears of them. He sends for David and allows David to go up against Goliath.

I wonder: Was Saul's decision to send David a carefully crafter ploy? After all, the Philistines would have expected that the Israelites would send their biggest, best warrior. Defeating a boy wouldn't prove a thing. The Philistines had to be engaged in battle soon anyway. Saul really couldn't wait until someone else volunteered to face Goliath. The battle would really be over if by some chance David prevailed. There was no downside to sending David.

David decides to go with what he knows after trying on Saul's armor. It certainly couldn't have fit. Saul was head and shoulders bigger than the average man. He must have been huge in comparison to David. No, David chose five smooth stones to fit in his sling. David didn't plan on missing. Goliath had four brothers and he might need one for each brother.

Goliath hurled insults at David when he saw who the Israelites had sent to fight him. He may have known that defeating David would be no feather in his cap. Therefore, he was going to make a great show of it.

It must have surprised Goliath that David ran forward. The battle would be over soon. I don't think Goliath saw the stone coming or he would have ducked. It hits him in the forehead but doesn't kill him. Everyone is stunned when Goliath falls on his face. It gives David enough time to take out Goliath's sword and cut off his head.

Can you imagine the scene at that moment? The Philistines are stunned. They had thought victory was theirs for the taking. The Israelites are energized. They knew they couldn't be defeated now. Remember, David had been telling them this throughout the camp. Now, all they had to do was a mop up operation. The Philistines took off running.

There are many giants who come against us. These giants look like they will defeat us. Every bit of conventional wisdom says we don't have a chance. But realize this please: Any giant who comes against you comes against the living God if you are truly serving Him. And God knows what to do with giants. He defeats them.

There will be those who will tell you that you are evil by saying things of faith. They will say that you are not using good sense. They will say that you are showboating. They will try their best to discourage you from engaging the giant in battle.

The giants will yell their insults at you by showing how big they are. They will look insurmountable if you focus on them. You can't see them as too big to defeat. You have to see them as too big to miss.

Let God direct your aim. He will will defeat your giants.

The giants of illness, discouragement, tragedy, depression, a bad economy, a sadistic boss, an unfaithful spouse, a lost child or any other seemingly insurmountable struggle will come against you. They will look huge.

Please remember: God is bigger.

1 Samuel 17:50 (NIV)
50  So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 


Anthony Chia said...

I am well aware of this account in Scripture; after reading your entry, I ask The Lord, what new thing I can learn? Guess what, this is the thought I get:

While this account is commonly given out to people who are themselves facing a daunting challenge, and it sure can be used that way, but the Spirit is saying this that I can write about. It can speak to those who are themselves not directly hit by the daunting challenge but would put ourselves forward to confront such challenge. When we look at the account carefully, it was NOT David was faced with the challenge in the first place. He was not in the army like his brothers, rather he was shepherding his father's flock. But as belonging to the nation, and belonging El Shaddai, he saw it as he could take on the challenge, in God. He saw the challenge as against the honor of God, and a fight against the people of God.

When we look at it that way, we, too, could, in The Lord, confront the daunting challenges faced by our fellow brothers and sisters, and even those against the Church as a whole. So when we see fellow brethren faced with daunting challenges, will we take our place, in The Lord. It is not necessarily that we take up arms in the physical realm and fight, but there are things we can do to help our fellow brethren.

What can we do? It could be any of these:
1. Help our fellow brethren in any practical ways, like help run some errands, etc
2. Be there to be the listening ears
3. Provide godly counsel
4. Bless financially (please do this appropriately)
5. Pray and intercede
6. Engage in deliverance (this, please do so, only after training, and with experienced minister, as appropriate)
7. Generally, move in love and compassion, prepared to make sacrifices, even.

David handles the daunting challenge on behalf of God, the King and the army, with faith. We have to move in faith. Especially, when we pray and intercede and do spiritual warfare, we are to do so with faith, trusting God would come and bless our efforts and bring breakthroughs.

David could have taken the attitude of "not my problem or not my fight", but he did NOT. The giant can be in the form of many different things, even in such form as what the Good Samaritan faced, a man robbed, beaten, and left on the roadside (Luke 10:25-37); would you stop to care. The priest who passed by, did not think that was his giant; neither did the Levite who also passed that way. Only the Samaritan took on the challenge. We all have our businesses to attend to, but would you and I, care to stop to work with God to fight a giant?!

Many people have shared (I have experienced it as well) that when we work with God to fight other people's giants (by the way, that is practicing righteousness, too), we can be blessed by God and we could have His favor as a shield (supported by Ps 5:12); in other words, we could be having God fighting our us, our giant, when we work with Him, fighting other people's giants. It has happened that sick people involved themselves in healing ministry to others, have their own sickness healed by God!

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Prentis McGoldrick said...

You are right but I would add this. David couldn't walk away because he identified with God. In other words, his relationship with God was like that of a relative. A relative will take up the offense of the family member because it reflects on the family name.
The larger crowd of people think they can walk away from challenges but we cannot as long as we understand that our family honor is being harmed.
Yet, you bring up another application that I hadn't thought of that is excellent. We are united in this honor with all who are called by His name. We are to be a part of the challenges that face others too because what happens to one of us happens to all of us. We are called by His name. Its a stronger bond than the average believer realizes.
Very good, Anthony.