David & Goliath - The Battle is the Lord's
Sermon shared by Chris Appleby
Summary: God is the one who saves, not by sword or spear, but by his power, by his word proclaimed in the gospel, by his Spirit who fills each one of us just as he filled David.
Series: Book of 1 Samuel
Audience: Believer adults
About Sermon Contributor
I guess this would be one of the best known, if not THE best known story in the Bible. In fact itís so well known that David has become a metaphor for the victorious underdog. Heís the archetypal cutter down of tall poppies. The one who can overcome the greatest odds to win through to victory. But of course the trouble with such an archetype is that it actually misses the essential facts of the story. As weíll see as we go through the story it isnít anything to do with David that brings about this victory. Heís simply a man of faith who believes intrinsically in the God he worships and trusts him to act.
Although it seems that David is now moving to centre stage to replace Saul as the focus of Godís plans for his people, the reality is that itís actually God who holds the central place in the drama thatís been and continues to unfold before us.
In fact we need to go back to ch16:13 to discover the source of Davidís success: "the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward." As we saw with Saul, the motivating and enabling power for everything that David accomplishes is the Spirit of God. Provided that David remains faithful in following the Lord, God will bring him success as king. God is at work as David comes to prominence as the one who will lead his people to finish the conquest of the land.
Now before we think about David and Goliath we should first look at the end of ch 16 because here weíre introduced a little more to David. First though, we discover something thatís both surprising and a little disturbing. The section begins with the statement that the Spirit of God has departed from Saul. The effect of Godís anointing moving to David from Saul, is that God no longer empowers Saul for the kingship. In fact the opposite is the case. Saul is now afflicted by an evil spirit, sent, youíll notice, not by Satan, but by the Lord. Hereís a surprising thing. You may have thought that evil spirits were the sign of Satan at work but here we discover that God is in control of everything that happens in his world. Saul has rebelled against the Lord and so the Lord sends an evil spirit to torment him. But this evil spirit, whatever it is, is also the means by which David is introduced to Saulís court.
How do you soothe someone whoís afflicted by an evil spirit? Well it seems you provide someone to play music to help them relax, to soothe them. And so we discover that David is a gifted musician as well as being handsome. And heís a man of valour. What a combination! Heís both a man of culture and a man of action. And heís someone who has a good presence. When he walks into the room, people look up, take notice. Heís the sort of man that others follow. When he speaks to you, you feel good, youíre glad that heís noticed you. So much so that when Saul meets him and gets to know him heís pleased with him. In fact weíre told that he loved him greatly, and David became his armor-bearer.
But thereís something else that strikes you about this small episode in the life of Saul and David. The passage both starts and finishes with the reference to the evil spirit. And so we need to think a bit more about whatís going on here. You know, some people say, well, Saulís suffering from depression and David comes along and sings to him and that lifts the depression. But that isnít what the passage says. What it says is that
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